Keown names Tottenham star centre of attention in 'real rivalry' clash v Chelsea
Former Arsenal star Martin Keown has said that “everyone will be watching” Tottenham midfield star Dele Alli to see if he can keep his cool when he comes up against Chelsea this weekend.
The Lilywhites travel to Stamford Bridge on Sunday looking to cement their position among the top four as they look to secure Champions League qualification once again, and come up against one of their biggest rivals in the shape of the Blues.
Antonio Conte’s men sit five points behind Spurs with eight games left to play, and defeat would leave them struggling to make up the difference to nail down a place among Europe’s elite after finishing last season as champions.
Now Keown says the two sides are set for a crunch clash as they renew their rivalries, and highlights that all eyes will be on the tempestuous figure of Alli in a derby showdown.
He wrote in his weekly question and answer for the Daily Mail (13:09): “These two teams’ whole seasons could hinge on head-to-heads with one another.
“Win on Sunday and Tottenham will open up an eight-point gap between themselves and Chelsea. These two sides could well meet in the FA Cup final, too.
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“There is a real rivalry between these two. Chelsea extinguished Spurs’ hopes of winning the Premier League in 2015-16 and knocked them out of the FA Cup semi-finals last season.
“They even beat them at Wembley earlier this season. Tottenham will feel there is some unfinished business here. Everyone will be watching Dele Alli to see if he can keep his cool in a feisty derby.”
Alli has 10 goals and 16 assists in his 41 appearances this season, while he also has seven yellow cards to his name.
Football Insider verdict
While Keown suggests Alli might have all eyes on him for much of the game, the player, and manager Mauricio Pochettino, will be hoping that he is at the centre of attention for all the right reasons. The 21-year-old has the talent to decimate sides and the Spurs faithful will be hoping he can lift his game to be the decisive factor against Chelsea on Sunday. If not though, there are 21 other players starting the game who could have a major impact, not only on the clash but on the fortunes of each side’s season. Every point is crucial now and they almost count double when picked up against your nearest rivals. Neither side will want to lose, but both will be desperate to win.
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