Spurs vs Chelsea Preview: Team News, Classic Encounter, Key Battles & More

Mauricio Pochettino’s Spurs team play host to bitter rivals Chelsea at Wembley on Sunday afternoon, as the Lilywhites play their first home game of the season at the national stadium.

Coming into the game off the back of a clinical display against a depleted Newcastle team, the north Londoners meet an equally diminished Blues side, with suspensions and injuries making this the perfect time for Spurs to square off with Antonio Conte’s side.

Indeed, the Blues come into this game on the back of a shock opening day defeat to Burnley in which senior pros Gary Cahill and Cesc Fabregas both received red cards. On top of this, the club were already without midfield dynamos Eden Hazard and Pedro through injuries. 


Classic Encounter

Tottenham 5-3 Chelsea (01/01/15)

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Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea side were defeated in a thriller on New Year’s Day 2015, falling prey to a Harry Kane-inspired Spurs.

Diego Costa’s tap-in put Chelsea ahead, but Kane’s 20-yard drive levelled and then Danny Rose followed up a rebound. Kane was then tripped by Gary Cahill for an Andros Townsend penalty, with Kane’s turn and shot giving Spurs a fourth.

Eden Hazard’s low shot gave Chelsea hope, but Nacer Chadli’s deflected effort meant John Terry’s late close-range goal was only a consolation.

Chelsea would have the last laugh however, going on to secure their fourth title of the Premier League era, while Pochettino’s Spurs side finished sixth.


Key Battle

Harry Kane vs Andreas Christensen

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The talismanic Harry Kane will hope to bring his August hoodoo to an end, having somehow failed to score in the the first month of the season in his team’s last eleven games.

Fantasy football managers everywhere will be hoping that he can break this duck against what could be a less cohesive Chelsea back line, with Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger being brought into the side.

It is the former who will be primarily tasked with keeping the Englishman quiet. Following a successful two-year spell in Germany with Borussia Monchengladbach, the Dane will see this as the perfect opportunity to lay claim to a more permanent starting berth.


Team News

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While Erik Lamela, Danny Rose and likely Kieran Trippier remain out for Sunday’s game, Spurs come in without any new injury doubts. 

Victor Wanyama came off the bench to feature against Newcastle last week, and has now fully recovered from a preseason niggle. Likewise, Son Heung-Min returned to action on the opening weekend following a broken arm on international duty, and would hope to be restored to the lineup from the outset.

On the other hand, Chelsea’s already small squad has been ravaged by injuries and suspensions. With Gary Cahill banned, Conte has few options in defence and will turn to Christensen to fill the gap at the back.

Meanwhile, David Luiz could be handed a midfield berth with Cesc Fabregas also banned and Tiemoue Bakayoko only this week having joined training following his summer move from Monaco.

One piece of good news will be the return of Victor Moses, who was suspended for the game against Burnley having been sent off in last season’s FA Cup final loss to Arsenal.


Prediction

Tottenham Hotspur v Juventus - Pre-Season Friendly

With so many narratives at play here, it is hard to see any result other than a fairly convincing Spurs win. Chelsea, depleted and having taken an early knock against Burnley, will not relish visiting their rivals.

Indeed, Spurs will be looking to inflict significant damage to a fellow title contender, especially following their painful loss to the Blues in last years FA Cup semi-final at the same venue.

It would not be a surprise of Chelsea were kept scoreless, but given the quality of Morata up front, there is the possibility that they can nick at least a goal.

Score Prediction: Tottenham 3-1 Chelsea



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