Cesar Azpilicueta claims Chelsea are determined to crush Tottenham’s title hopes

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Cesar Azpilicueta claims Chelsea are determined to crush Tottenham’s title hopes and prove why they are the ‘No 1 team in London’ ahead of Sunday’s Stamford Bridge derby
Cesar Azpilicueta says Chelsea are ‘in very good form’ and ‘will fight for trophies’
Chelsea have gone unbeaten in 10 games in all competitions and face Spurs next
Azpilicueta says they will assert their position as the No 1 club in London
He claims their focus on Sunday will be about ‘not letting Spurs win the league’

Cesar Azpilicueta plans to curb Tottenham’s Premier League title ambitions and assert Chelsea’s position as the No 1 club in London.

Having gone unbeaten in 10 fixtures in all competitions and winning their past six in succession, Azpilicueta says Chelsea are in ‘good form’ ahead of their derby at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

The Spain international says they will miss the ‘special atmosphere at the Bridge’, but insists Chelsea are motivated by the prospect of overcoming Tottenham – who currently sit two points ahead at the top of the Premier League table.

Azpilicueta featured in the Chelsea side that came back from 2-0 down against Tottenham to secure a bad-tempered draw and prevent them from picking up the Premier League title in 2016 in the ‘Battle of the Bridge’.

Although there is not quite the importance riding on Sunday’s game, the match does, however, provide both clubs the opportunity to assert their dominance in the league.

Speaking ahead of the game, Azpilicueta told The Telegraph: ‘It’s one of those kinds of games when you usually feel a special atmosphere at the Bridge and that game [in 2016], we were having a terrible season, we were losing 2-0 at half-time.

‘But, in the second half, the electricity around the stadium… I think something clicked that day that even though we were not playing for anything, just to not let Tottenham win the league. It was not only the game, it was the title race as well that they were involved in.

‘Every year is different and we had a very good record against them until two or three seasons ago when we lost, but, hopefully, we can keep beating them at the Bridge.’

He added: ‘We always try to be the top team in London and we want to be at the top because that means we are the No 1s. That’s what we fight for.

‘We are in good form and, hopefully, we can improve on last season and now reach higher levels.’

Tottenham’s fixture at the Bridge will also see Jose Mourinho return to his former club.

Mourinho was one of the most successful managers at Chelsea, helping Azpilicueta win one of his his two Premier League titles with Chelsea in 2015.

However, Azpilicueta has played down the significance of facing the Portuguese manager and insists their focus will be on securing three points.

He said: ‘That’s football. I think Jose has a great history in Chelsea, but, after, football moves on. We played against him when he was in Manchester United and now he’s in Tottenham.’

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