Eden Hazard, Cesc Fabregas' title comments 'ridiculous' - Roberts
LONDON -- Eden Hazard and Cesc Fabregas' comments about wanting Leicester City to win the Premier League title over Tottenham Hotspur are "ridiculous" and unprofessional, according to former Chelsea and Spurs defender Graham Roberts.
Chelsea face Tottenham at Stamford Bridge on Monday before hosting Leicester on the final day of the season, meaning that last season's Premier League title winners could yet have a big say on the destination of the trophy this time around.
Speaking after Chelsea's 4-1 win over Bournemouth last weekend, Hazard said that "the fans, the club and the players" want to see Leicester edge out Tottenham in the title race, while midfielder Cesc Fabregas had earlier revealed that, due to his Arsenal links, he too would be rooting against Spurs.
These declarations led to suggestions that Chelsea might deliberately lose to Leicester in order to deny Tottenham the title and undermine the integrity of the Premier League.
Interim manager Guus Hiddink denied those suggestions on Friday, but Roberts believes that both players should have kept their feelings to themselves.
"You can think it but you don't need to say it," Roberts told ESPN FC. "It doesn't look like it's going to come to fruition now because Tottenham drew [against West Brom], but they were ridiculous comments. These are supposed to be professional players and if they'd given their all this season, Chelsea wouldn't be in the position they're in now.
"They got one of the best managers in the world [Jose Mourinho] sacked by not trying earlier in the season, and now all they want to do is stop Tottenham winning the league. If that's where their professionalism takes them they're not very good professionals, because they should want to win every game."
Tottenham go into Monday's match knowing they must end a 26-year winless run in all competitions at Stamford Bridge in order to keep their faint title hopes alive, after Leicester drew 1-1 with Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday.
And Roberts -- who captained the last Chelsea team to lose at home to Spurs, in February 1990 -- is expecting the atmosphere at Stamford Bridge to be electric with the stakes high for both teams.
"Tottenham want to win every game and they're not out of it yet, because if they win on Monday night it could all be back on again and go down to the last game if Leicester get the wobbles at home to Everton," he added.
"Tottenham's away record is very good this year. They've only lost two games. [The Stamford Bridge record] is a hoodoo and they lost the last London derby to West Ham, so they've got to make sure they perform.
"The league is still there to be won. They have to go there full of confidence and come away with three points. It would give them a big boost but they'll have to be at their best, because Hazard and Fabregas will work harder than at any other time this season."
Liam is ESPN FC's Chelsea correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @Liam_Twomey.