Chelsea cannot afford to lose, admits boss

Interim Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo has admitted that a defeat against Tottenham would be a hammer blow to his team’s chances of securing a top-four finish.

Spurs have dropped to fourth and the Blues are hoping to capitalise on their London rivals’ recent wobble by beating them at Stamford Bridge.

A loss, however, would hand the initiative back to Harry Redknapp’s side and increase the chances of Chelsea missing out on next season’s Champions League.

Di Matteo said: “Obviously, a win would give us a big, big lift. Also if we manage a draw, I think we’re still in it. If we lose, then I think it will be very difficult.

“Mathematically it would still be possible so we will fight until the end but we are looking to have a good game.”

Skipper John Terry has been passed fit to return following injury, but fellow defender Branislav Ivanovic is a doubt after picking up a thigh problem against Manchester City in midweek.

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