Chelsea will take in a meeting with old adversaries Tottenham on Sunday determined to prove that they are the No.1 side in London, says Cesar Azpilicueta.
A long-standing rivalry is set to be rekindled at Stamford Bridge in the latest round of Premier League fixtures.
Spurs will make a short trip across the English capital aware that they can cement a standing at the top of the table.
Victory for Chelsea could lift them to the summit, as they sit just two points off the pace at present, and there will be plenty to play for in the heat of a derby battle.
Clashes between two neighbours have tended to be fiery affairs down the years, with ‘The Battle of the Bridge’ from 2016 set to live long in the memory.
Azpilicueta figured in that contest, which saw Chelsea dash Tottenham’s title dreams and hand the crown to Leicester, and the Spaniard is hoping for a similar outcome this weekend.
He has told The Telegraph: “It's one of those kinds of games when you usually feel a special atmosphere at the Bridge and that game [in 2016], we were having a terrible season, we were losing 2-0 at half-time.
“But, in the second half, the electricity around the stadium... I think something clicked that day that even though we were not playing for anything, just to not let Tottenham win the league. It was not only the game, it was the title race as well that they were involved in.
“Every year is different and we had a very good record against them until two or three seasons ago when we lost, but, hopefully, we can keep beating them at the Bridge.”
Azpilicueta added: “We always try to be the top team in London and we want to be at the top because that means we are the No.1. That's what we fight for.
“We are in good form and, hopefully, we can improve on last season and now reach higher levels.”
As well as wanting to get one over on Spurs as a collective, Chelsea are also set to be presented with another opportunity to frustrate former manager Jose Mourinho.
Azpilicueta insists the presence of a Portuguese tactician on the touchline will offer no added motivation to the Blues, as they have faced him on a number of occasions in the recent past, but Frank Lampard’s troops are eager to put down a marker.
“That's football. I think Jose has a great history in Chelsea, but, after, football moves on,” Azpilicueta added.
“We played against him when he was in Manchester United and now he's in Tottenham.”