Here comes another London derby as Tottenham hosts their London neighbors, Chelsea. Chelsea has met with two other London rivals in the first three weeks of the season, dispatching them with ease. Can Chelsea gain another solid three points at the White-Hart-Lane or will Spurs withstand the European giants as they did to Manchester City?
WHY YOU SHOULD BE WATCHING
Unbeaten yet, Chelsea is somewhat riding on a high. Even Liverpool could not defeat a 10-man Chelsea. Chelsea has developed a resilient backline to block out any penetration from the opposition. Chelsea might not be free-scoring like the Manchester teams but they do know how to carve out the expected result and frustrate the opponent.
Meanwhile, though Tottenham won their first three games of the season with one-nil wins. It might not be as beautiful as you expect but a win is a win. But then, they collapsed to a three-nil loss to Crystal Palace in a Derby game. After the red card to Tanganga in the 58th minute, the Spur’s defense crashed like a pack of cards.
A point difference separates both clubs despite Chelsea being second and Tottenham being seventh. A win would be crucial for both sides to maintain pressure at the top of the table.
Tottenham has a rather depleted squad with injuries and quarantine regulations ravaging the team. Son had some injury concerns during the week but would be pushing to be fit ahead of the Sunday clash. Bergwijn and Moura were also substituted off in their midweek Europa League face off with Rennes. There have been questions surrounding Ndombele fitness. Meanwhile, Davinson Sanchez, Lo Celso, and Christian Romero are all back after being quarantined. They have all had a limited training session with the team. Nuno Espirito Santo has a lot on his gloves in deciding the best team to pick to face off the in-form Chelsea squad.
Chelsea has a relatively full squad with the major injury concerns being Pulisic and Kante. Both have resumed individual training. Kante is match fit while Pulisic is doubtful for the encounter. Mendy suffered a minor clash during the week when he collided with an opponent in the Champions League. Luckily, he saw off the game.
Defense- Emerson, Romero, Sanchez, Reguilón
Midfielder – Hojbjerg, Skipp, Winks
Attack- Alli, Kane, Gil
Defense- Christensen, Thiago Silva, Rudiger
Midfield- Azpilicueta, Jorginho, Kante, Alonso
Attack- Mount, Havertz
Head to Head
The North and West Londoners have squared off against each other 169 times till date. Chelsea has a clear advantage in the neck-to-neck battle with 73 wins out of the total contested. Spurs have managed to win 54 games of the total and the rest 42 failed to produce any result. In the most recent face-off between these two teams, Chelsea sneaked out a narrow 1-0 win. It remains to be seen who comes out on top in this evenly matched clash tomorrow.
PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT FOR
The English Talisman is yet to score his first goal of the season. After his failed attempt to push a move to Manchester City, he has rejoined the first team for the rest of the season. It won’t be long before we see Harry Kane banging in the goals again but will he start against Chelsea?
The former La Fabrica academy youngster is in the form of his life currently in the Premier League. He has turned out to be an excellent revelation for Spurs. He emerged as the most dependable players for the Whites thanks to his commandable performances. In the four appearances he has made till now, he has entertained us in each of those. His darting runs down the left flank and sending inch-perfect crosses into the box are a delight to watch. He is also defensively sound and maintains a perfect balance between his attack and defence. Against a tough Chelsea side, he would certainly be looking forward to dish out another impressive performance. His duel with Reece James on the left flank could potentially decide the outcome of the match.
Lukaku is one of the most sensational strikers on the planet at the moment. Defenders don’t afford to give him any chance. Yet any chance he gets eventually ends up at the back of the net. Lukaku only had two shots against Aston Villa and these two were goals. Arsenal had a lot of troubles trying to cope with the physicality of Lukaku. He has the ability to win the game for Chelsea.
The UEFA best player is not just a defensive midfielder but a tactical mastermind. He dictates the pace of the game. His ability to read the game is absolutely phenomenal. He knows when to simply circulate the ball and when to give a forward pass to attacking players. A lot of improvement has been added to his physicality and tackles since he arrived at Chelsea. It has made him the Defensive Midfielder pipped to win the BallonD’Or for the first time in a long while. Tottenham must be beware of the maestro.
If Spurs must overcome this Chelsea side, it will take both tactical and on-field diligence. Almost everyone knows what Chelsea is about but the major question is how do you stop them? How do you break their resilient defense and prevent a certain Romelu Lukaku from scoring? That is a big question for Nuno Espirito Santo to answer in the coming Sunday.
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