We won't know exactly how much this game means in the overall Premier League picture until Leicester City's match against Manchester United on Sunday. A win for Ranieri's men at Old Trafford would clinch them the title and possibly cause a major ripple in the fabric of the football universe. Or possibly not, and they'll fade away just like Blackburn Rovers after 1995. But that's a discussion for another day.
Should Leicester only manage a draw or worse against Louis van Gaal's Army, it will be up to Chelsea to shatter the last remaining fragments of Spurs' Premier League title dream. Add in the usual emotions and emphasis placed on the cross-town derby and there should be no reason for any lack of motivation for the Chelsea boys, several of whom have publicly stated their desire to beat Spurs and thus curry favor with the slightly disillusioned Chelsea fans after a most disappointing season.
Cesc Fàbregas, Willian, Pedro, and Eden Hazard have led the 'Beat Spurs!' chorus, while the likes of John Terry and Branislav Ivanović should not need to remind anyone of where they stand in this rivalry. With Terry back in full training since Thursday, presumably all six of these players will start. Gary Cahill has also recovered from the illness that kept him out last weekend.
While Guus Hiddink had given significant playing time to youngsters in recent weeks, which is great, his use of the young talent has been rather inconsistent, which is less great. In this one, I'd expect him to opt for experience even more than last week.
Begović | Azpilicueta, Terry, Cahill, Ivanović | Mikel, Fàbregas | Hazard, Willian, Pedro | Costa
That lineup should look quite familiar (minus the suspended Courtois). In a way, giving this familiar, once-dominant configuration the chance to redeem itself in the biggest match left this season is a good way to close the books on this season. The WAGNH community mostly agrees, with an extra throwback to the days when Matić was an indispensable part of the starting lineup:
Begović | Azpilicueta, Terry, Cahill, Ivanović | Matić, Fàbregas | Hazard, Willian, Pedro | Costa