Chelsea vsTottenham Hotspur – Confirmed Line-ups+Live Blog

Chelsea

It doesn’t get bigger than this. Stamford Bridge hosts a nail-biting match between the table toppers Chelsea and the league’s remaining unbeaten team this season, Tottenham Hotspur. Exciting seems to be an understatement.

Turning back the clock, history evidently favours the team in blue. Last season, Spurs had to win the encounter to keep hold of the title race yet a fiery comeback by Chelsea ended the match 2-2, which handed the trophy to Leicester City. It was a heated affair, the game saw 12 yellow cards with Tottenham contributing 9. Back in 2012, Spurs secured a fourth place finish yet their entrance ticket to Champions League was called off as Chelsea bagged the Champions League trophy itself despite finishing 6th in the league. To lessen the bitterness, Spurs did seal an impressive 5-3 victory over Chelsea at White Hart Lane in the 2014/15 campaign yet the Blues went on to claim their 5th Premier League title. Most notably, The Blues hold 26 years home unbeaten record against their London rivals.

At present, the Blues are in a rich vein of form, six wins and six clean sheets on the trot. They do boast their own attacking abbreviation too, PHD (Pedro, Hazard, Diego Costa) who have been giving defenders endless nightmares with a steady stream of goals. They totally look like a different side at the moment, brimming with confidence in all positions, particularly after switching to a 3-4-3 formation. Antonio Conte will be looking to field a similar line-up and does not have much injury concerns as only John Terry and John Obi Mikel are unavailable due to minor muscle injuries. Nevertheless, both individuals are no longer trump cards for the former Juventus boss.

Tottenham Hotspur are in desperate need of a lift after failing to qualify for the Champions League knockout stages with a midweek 2-1 loss to Monaco. Despite the glamorous “unbeaten” tag, their league form has been wayward too. They currently sit at the 5th place, four points adrift from the top of the table and have collected the most amount of draws (6) so far. Also, they are struggling to find the back of the net at the pace they were doing it in the previous campaign. The only big perk for them is the return of Harry Kane from injury and his spectacular brace against West Ham United last weekend, which got his side a dramatic win.

Series of injuries have taken a toll on their performance too. Mauricio Pochettino will be without Toby Alderweireld, Danny Rose (suspension), Ben Davies and Erik Lamela. The former two have largely been an influential part of their backline as Spurs have conceded the least number of goals so far (8). The Blues are not far behind, though, only conceding a goal extra. Without their key players, especially a natural left back, it’s no easy feat for the Spurs’ manager to come out with a strong team, considering Chelsea’s fearful frontline comprising Costa, who was the first to hit double digit of goals this term and the reborn Eden Hazard. On the other hand, a draw won’t be up Pochettino’s alley, knowing his expectations for the season.

As a whole, both teams do have a decent defensive record, this match could all go down to the attacking force to decide the winner. Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City will be hoping for Spurs to upset the odds yet Conte’s flourishing side will look to stay put at the top.

Here are the confirmed line-ups:

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