Eric Dier delivers verdict on Tottenham v Chelsea showdown, comments on rivalry
By Dominic Toner
Tottenham ace Eric Dier is expecting an exciting match when his side face Chelsea on Saturday and believes the rivalry gives the game an extra edge.
Spurs face their London rivals in the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley, while Arsenal play Manchester City in the other half of the draw on Sunday.
Mauricio Pochettino’s side are battling Chelsea for the Premier League title and are four points adrift of the leaders, but they will put that aside for the cup encounter.
The two teams have a win apiece from their league encounters and are regarded as the best two teams in England this season.
Dier has predicted a top match between the two sides and commented on their growing rivalry.
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“Chelsea are a very experienced team and I’m sure they’ve all played at Wembley many times before too,” Dier said, as quoted by the Football Association’s website. “I don’t think that’s going to have any impact on it or make any difference to the game.
“I just expect a really good match and we’ve created a bit more of a rivalry with Chelsea over the years so it will be an interesting game.”
Spurs consider north London enemies Arsenal as their biggest rivals, but there has always been a competitive edge against Chelsea.
The two teams are battling together at the top of the table and fireworks can be expected in the cup showdown.
The rivalry boiled over last season in the ‘Battle of the Bridge’ when Chelsea snatched a 2-2 draw against Spurs.
Eden Hazard scored a superb long-range effort to end Spurs’ pursuit of the title and hand unlikely winners Leicester the league crown.
The match was a scrappy affair that saw 12 yellow cards awarded and Mousa Dembele handed a six-game suspension after an altercation with Diego Costa.
In other Tottenham news, Alan Shearer has raged on Twitter at the exclusion of the club’s ace from the PFA team of the year.