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CHELSEA v Tottenham: Preview

Date: Saturday 22nd February 2020

Venue: Stamford Bridge

Kick-off: 12:30 GMT

After Monday’s defeat to Manchester United, probably the last thing we want or need, is a visit from that lot from North London in an early kick-off today.

I say this not because of their manager, I honestly couldn’t care less who or where Jose Mourinho manages. Nor do I say it because they’re having a ‘challenged for the title’ video type of season. No, I say this because they’ve put enough of a run together in the league to get within a point of us, and we’re just so out of sorts.

Worse still, if we think we’re having a few bad days at the office, it seems those monitoring us from afar don’t even bother logging in now. Not that they always need to, given their assistance is only called for when it suits anyway. Yet in painfully frustrating times where we look like we couldn’t buy a goal, it’s sods law they’ll have all been up early enough to study each and every rule in the book to determine how and why they can chalk it off when we do manage to squeeze one past a keeper. I swear they’d challenge Sir Isaac Newton’s thinking if it meant delaying and ultimately denying any pre-scrutiny joy we might have inadvertently engaged in.

Anyway, enough of our woes, I need to save room for the opposition’s. It goes without saying Mourinho has been bemoaning their injury situation because after all, they’re the only club in that situation. They have Harry Kane and Son Heung-min out and start acting as if they’d sold Eden Hazard and had a transfer ban to contend with!

Obviously, we’d be ok today if they really did need to resort to fielding a couple of ball boys and Mabel from the canteen, but since we all know their manager’s games of old, we know better than to expect anything other than them being sent out to niggle and frustrate us as far as is legally permissible – and then some, assuming the blind eyes continue to be turned.

Happy Days.

MANAGER’S VIEWS

Going into today’s game, Chelsea boss Frank Lampard, says “I think with Tottenham, they are on a good run of form. Clearly an incredible player like Harry Kane is a miss and now Son is a miss, but with Harry Kane it always amazed me the stats when [Mauricio] Pochettino was manager and Harry Kane was injured a few times. They remained a force because they had players that could fill in. When you are talking about players like Dele Alli, whose game is to arrive from slightly behind and break lines consistently, Lucas Moura is similar and he has qualities, [Steven] Bergwijn has come in and has those similar qualities. I have watched a lot of them recently and they are a threat. This is a London derby against Tottenham, I think whatever team they put out will always be a threat in this type of game.”

Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho, meanwhile, says “The boys did fantastic to put themselves back in the positions where we belong, these positions fighting for the top four.

The situation is difficult. I think nobody else in the Premier League for sure, but even in European football, is in such a difficult situation as we are in terms of injuries in specific positions.  If we manage to finish fourth without Harry and Sonny it would be something incredible, incredible achievement for the boys.”

SQUAD NEWS

For Chelsea, van Ginkel (ACL), Christian Pulisic (abductor) and Callum Hudson-Odoi remain out. N’Golo Kante (abductor) is also out for the next three weeks. Andreas Christensen has had a mask fitted and should be good to go. Tammy Abraham (ankle) could be available, although he’s considered to be at about 70% and Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Achilles) is expected to be in the squad.

For Tottenham, Juan Foyth (groin), Harry Kane (hamstring), Son Heung-min (arm) and Moussa Sissoko (knee) remain out but Erik Lamela and Tanguy Ndombele could start.

TEAMS

CHELSEA (Possible line-up): Caballero; Azpilicueta, Zouma, Rudiger, James; Jorginho; Kovacic; Alonso; Willian, Mount; Giroud.

TOTTENHAM (Possible line-up): Lloris; Aurier, Alderweireld, Sanchez, Tanganga; Dier, Ndombele; Fernandes, Lo Celso, Bergwijn; Alli

LAST SEASON

Chelsea 2-0 Tottenham (27th February 2019)

CURRENT FORM (PL)

CHELSEA: DWLDDL

TOTTENHAM: LLDWWW

OTHER STUFF

  • Chelsea have only lost one of their last 33 home games against Tottenham in all competitions dating back to 1990.
  • Tottenham have won only seven of their 55 Premier League matches against Chelsea
  • Three of Tottenham’s wins against Chelsea have come in the past six meetings.
  • Chelsea have lost nine of their 26 Premier League fixtures this season
  • Chelsea’s seven home defeats in all competitions is their most in a single season since 1994-95.
  • Tottenham have won four consecutive league matches
  • Tottenham have won only three of their 13 Premier League away fixtures this season.  
  • Tottenham have won only two of their 11 Premier League fixtures this season versus the other teams who begin this match round in the top half of the table.

PREDICTION

BBC Sport: Chelsea 2-0 Tottenham

Sky Sports: Chelsea 2-1 Tottenham

Sportsmole: Chelsea 1-2 Tottenham

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