Print and go back ESPNsoccernet: England Soccernet Print

Saturday, March 24, 2012
Hoddle tipping Arsenal to smile

Harry Harris, Football Correspondent

Glenn Hoddle believes Arsenal will be the big winners of Saturday's lunchtime clash between Chelsea and Tottenham as he feels the game will end in a draw.

A stalemate will favour Arsenal in what has become a three horse all London race for the Champions league berths with one of the clubs destined to lose out on qualification for Europe's top competition.

Hoddle, who managed both Chelsea and Spurs, said: "I have a sneaking feeling the winners of this game are going to be Arsenal. Spurs and Chelsea could cancel each other out. I fancy a 2-2 draw and Arsenal, who are one point ahead of Spurs and six clear of Chelsea, would be over the moon with that."

Hoddle is concerned about the alarming way Spurs' form has recently dipped, noticeably since Harry Redknapp became linked with the England job - another post Hoddle has held.

But Tottenham had a similar collapse at the turn of the year last season, and that worries Hoddle who said in an interview with the Daily Express: "For Spurs, this game is totally psychological. They go into it on the back foot mentally.

"Five or six games ago you would not have said that, but things have changed. And that is despite Chelsea losing at Manchester City on Wednesday. They still put in a decent performance there, and they have improved.

"Spurs have not won in four league games. They are not playing that badly, but are not creating as many chances as they were earlier in the season. At Arsenal they were 2-0 up and lost, and they should have put Stoke to the sword.

"When you are going through a long season there are always ups and downs, but the worst time to have a dip is now, at the back end of March. It is the teams that hit a good run now that can be the surprise packages.

"I don't know whether the England scenario and the speculation over whether Harry Redknapp is going to get the job has had an effect. But looking at it from the outside, things have seemed to coincide.

"Chelsea have been playing well since Roberto Di Matteo took over. But whether that is just the impetus of a new man taking over we will soon find out.

"They will be up for this. They know if they lose it could be the end of their Champions League hopes. It is a tough ask to win the competition this year, with Benfica the first hurdle and possibly Barcelona in the semi-finals.

"People were surprised Di Matteo played Fernando Torres up front at City but that was because he scored two against Leicester in the FA Cup last weekend, and he had waited so long for goals that you had to give him another go.

"If ever he was going to go into a game with confidence it was on Wednesday. But I would not be surprised to see Didier Drogba start today."

• Glenn Hoddle is technical director of the Samerai Elite Legend Cup and Fallen Heroes Trophy at Loftus Road on Sunday, May 20, featuring Manchester United v Arsenal and QPR v Chelsea. Go to - tickets on sale from Monday.

ESPNsoccernet: Help | Media Kit | Contact Us | Site Map | Tools | Jobs at ESPN | Supplier Information | Copyright ©2014 ESPN Internet Ventures.
Terms of Use (Updated 5/6/08), and Privacy Policy and Safety Information/Your California Privacy Rights are applicable to you. All rights reserved.