After moving to the top of the Premier League last weekend, things are only getting tougher for Chelsea. They host unbeaten Tottenham next, with the title hopefuls four points behind in fifth place. In this tight battle for the Premier League trophy, no side can afford to fall too far back. Could that inspire Spurs to a first win at Stamford Bridge since 1990? That’s not a record that Antonio Conte will want to surrender.
When you look at the Blues’ recent form, it’s hard to back against them. However, Spurs are yet to taste a league defeat this term, and they maintained that with a spirited fightback at home to West Ham on Saturday. One thing we can expect is a heated game, these two saw plenty of cards when they met in May. Expect another fiery contest between these two, seeing as both are looking to push for the title.
Team News: Will Conte finally make a change?
The Blues have seen a few of their fringe stars get some game time this week. The Under 23 squad played on Monday, with a few big names featuring: John Terry, Cesc Fabregas and Michy Batshuayi all played. They were also joined by Marco Van Ginkel and Kurt Zouma, who are working back to fitness.
None of those are likely to feature, seeing as Conte has kept the same side for five straight games. With a week break in between and no major injuries or suspensions, why would he change things now? Expect that same 11 to get another go this weekend. However, we do expect rotation to start in December, with a busy schedule coming up.
Tottenham could have quite a few injury doubts for this game. They’re set to be without Toby Alderweireld, Ben Davies and Erik Lamela for the weekend’s game. Before their clash with Monaco, Mauricio Pochettino said that a few more stars might not be up to scratch either. He said to reporters, “We need to assess (Harry) Kane, (Moussa) Dembele and (Dele) Alli.” It’s thought all three might not be ready to play 90 minutes quite yet. That could leave them very short ahead of one of their biggest games of the season.
Spurs are still unbeaten in the league, but their win over West Ham ended a seven game run without recording a victory. They are already out of the EFL Cup, while they are heading for a Champions League exit too. The Premier League title is their main aim this season, but they’re already fifth in the pecking order. Could they be struggling from taking on too much this term, without having the squad to cope?
They’ve been shy of goals lately, Vincent Janssen up front struggled to replace Kane while the England striker was out injured. In their last match with West Ham, they started with two forwards, but they had a tough time getting around the Hammers’ 3-4-3 formation. That could be a big bonus for the Blues this weekend. It was only Slaven Bilic’s changes which allowed Spurs back in to the game, so they could have a tough time against the Blues and their new set up. Conte’s new tactic looks to be one that the Lilywhites struggle to deal with. They don’t have much time to think of a way to counter that system, seeing as they’ve got midweek commitments to worry about.
Chelsea v Tottenham Head to Head
Even when the Blues were struggling last term, Spurs still failed to take advantage. Both of the meetings last term finished level, which cost Tottenham two points in their failed push for the Premier League title. Danny Rose admitted that the players cried in the dressing room following their 2-2 in May, which handed Leicester the title. Can Chelsea leave them in tears again this weekend?
- Chelsea 2-2 Tottenham, May 2016
- Tottenham 0-0 Chelsea, Nov 2015
- Chelsea 2-0 Tottenham, Mar 2015
- Tottenham 5-3 Chelsea, Jan 2015
- Chelsea 3-0 Tottenham, Dec 2014
- Over 1.5 Chelsea goals – 31/40 with BetVictor
- Diego Costa to score any time – evens with Bet365
Last weekend’s game showed that Tottenham do have a few vulnerabilities at the back. With Alderweireld out, they don’t look anywhere near as solid. There’s no bigger test of their defence right now than a game against Chelsea, who are scoring goals for fun, especially at the Bridge. They’ve scored 12 goals in their last three league outings at home, against some quality sides. They put four past Manchester United, and hit five against Everton last time out. They’ve done all that without conceding a goal, which is a pretty remarkable run.
Momentum is carrying the Blues through some tough games with ease, and that’s partly down to their great scoring record. Can they continue that by taking advantage of a shaky Spurs defence? The 3-4-3 set up clearly troubled them at White Hart Lane, so it’s hard to see them coping when they travel to the Premier League leaders. We can see Conte’s side adding another couple of strikes onto their tally for the season, so we’re backing over 1.5 goals at 31/40 with BetVictor.
A key part of Chelsea’s recent strong scoring form has been Diego Costa, who currently leads the race for the Golden Boot. He’s hit 10 goals in 12, which is the kind of form that shot the Blues to the league title in 2015. He found the net 20 times that season, and he’s already on course to better that tally. With six months of the season still to go, it’s easy to see him hitting the 25 goal mark. With Spurs struggling at the back, Costa is going to be hard for them to handle. Given his excellent scoring form, we think he’s fantastically priced at evens to score against Spurs this weekend.