Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur will both be in search of maximum points when they meet in a crucial Premier League encounter at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night.
The Blues registered a big win in their last league outing as they defeated newly-crowned champions Manchester United 1-0 away from home with Juan Mata scoring the only goal of the match late in the game.
Rafa Benitez men are currently in third place on the table with 68 points, three more than Spurs in fifth place and Mata says he is expecting another tough clash on Wednesday.
“This coming Wednesday against Tottenham it will be another final,? said Mata.
“Obviously, it’s a vital game for both teams and we will have to watch one of the best players in the world, Gareth Bale.
“He is in an amazing shape and proves to be a decisive player for Spurs almost every week. I take this opportunity to congratulate him for all his recent awards.
“So it’s going to be tough but, with the support of the Bridge, I think we can make it and seal our place in next season’s Champions League.”
Bale also scored the a late winner for Spurs as they edged a stubborn Southampton side on Saturday, and Michael Dawson hopes his side will show the same fighting spirit during Wednesday?s London derby.
??Both teams will want to win; it?s a game we?ve been looking forward to and we?ll certainly be going there to win,? said Dawson.
?We?ll have to earn it. We?ll go there full of confidence and hopefully get the three points.?
This match will also see former Chelsea coach Andre Villas-Boas returning to Stamford Bridge for the first time since he was sacked by the Blues last season.
However, the Portuguese says he is more concerned about what the result means for his team than settling a score with former employers.
“For me, it would be excellent but only if we get the three points,? he said. ?At the moment, it means absolutely nothing.
?Chelsea is just like any other team, it’s about the result and hopefully, at the end, there can be a little bit more satisfaction.”