Chelsea vs Tottenham: Match preview and predicted line-ups
In what was a title deciding fixture last season, there were 12 yellow cards in a tense affair which cost Spurs their last remaining hopes of a Premier League title which finished 2-2. Chelsea have only been beaten by their London rivals on six occasions in the last 26 years, with Tottenham’s last win at Stamford Bridge coming in February 1990 when Gary Lineker scored the winning goal.
The Blues can make it seven consecutive victories without conceding if they can extend their run of form, with Liverpool’s strike through Jordan Henderson nine weeks ago the last shot to beat Thibaut Courtois. Diego Costa is also back on form and Chelsea have shown their ability to defeat any side, from those who prefer to sit deep and play for a draw like Middlesbrough to those who have looked to play a more expansive attacking game like Manchester United.
Victory over West Ham last weekend was Tottenham’s first win since their win over Manchester City at the start of October. Their late comeback was remarkable, but the boost from that was erased by being knocked out of the Champions League with defeat to Monaco. Spurs have found goals hard to come by with only three goals from open play since that win over Manchester City in the nine games played since.
Chelsea predicted starting XI Tottenham Hotspur predicted starting XI
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Antonio Conte will once again name an unchanged line-up for the seventh successive game as results continue to impress at Stamford Bridge, with Kurt Zouma likely to be a candidate for the matchday squad for the first time this season.
After rotations in midweek defeat to Monaco, Mauricio Pochettino is expected to make changes. Harry Winks may be unfortunate to miss out but Moussa Sissoko is likely to come in as Spurs return to a 4-1-4-1 at the expense of Vincent Janssen, with Dele Alli also replacing Christian Eriksen and Kevin Wimmer replacing the suspended Danny Rose.
Suspensions and Injuries
Antonio Conte will benefit from having a fully fit squad for the first time since arriving in London, with Kurt Zouma now match fit after a number of fixtures with the under 23s and could be involved in the matchday squad for the first time since March.
Danny Rose will serve a suspension after picking up his fifth yellow card of the campaign against West Ham last weekend, which could be a costly absence for Pochettino in defence. The most obvious replacement would be Ben Davies, but he is out with an ankle injury for at least another week, and the backline is also weakened by the absence of Toby Alderweireld who is due back next month. Erik Lamela is also nearing a return from a hip injury but this game will come too soon for him.
Spurs will be looking to bounce back from their midweek disappointment but are unlikely to be able to defeat the Premier League’s in form team who have also benefited from an extra few days rest. Chelsea should have a field day against a makeshift Tottenham defence whilst Spurs have struggled for goals and will come up against a side who hasn’t conceded in almost 11 hours of football. The most likely result is a Chelsea win.
Featured Image: All rights reserved by Kieran Clarke.