There was a time when Chelsea could not wait to face Tottenham.
Spurs have won just six of their 52 matches against the Blues in the Premier League era.
And Chelsea have kept 21 Premier League clean sheets against Spurs – against no side have they kept more in the competition.
But things have changed under Mauricio Pochettino. Tottenham are now a bonafide member of England’s Big Six and far from the walkovers they once were.
Indeed, Spurs have won three of their last seven Premier League games against Chelsea, as many as they’d won in their previous 49 top-flight games against the Blues (W3 D18 L28).
So, Tottenham are different beast, but still they head into this weekend looking to win consecutive league games against Chelsea for the first time since August 1987.
Maurizio Sarri’s men go into this weekend’s clash at Wembley having won just two of their last 12 away games versus Tottenham in league competition (D5 L5).
But Chelsea have beaten Spurs four times at Wembley Stadium, more than any club has beaten another at the ground.
Moreover, only Arsenal (51.2%), have a better win rate in Premier League London derbies than Chelsea (50.6%).
Spurs have won just 35.3 per cent of theirs and have won just 22% of their Premier League points in home games this season (6/27), the lowest ratio in the division.
Just a single point separates third-place Chelsea and fourth-place Spurs, in what promises to be a special derby afternoon in the Premier League’s standout fixture of the matchday.
Chelsea are unbeaten in their 12 Premier League games this season – only in 2014-15 (14) have they had a longer unbeaten run from the start of a top-flight campaign.
And none of Tottenham’s last 16 Premier League games have ended in a draw (W12 L4) – the longest current such run in the competition.
The stakes are high. The pressure is on.