Chelsea head to Tottenham on Sunday looking to continue their recent mini-revival. After back to back wins, can they pull off another huge result against the team who are fifth in the Premier League? As their top four ambitions begin to slip away, the champions need a big result in this one to ignite their push for the Champions League spots.
The injury list for this one is quite short, with just Radamel Falcao and Thibaut Courtois out once more. The Belgian keeper seems a few weeks away from a return, while no date has been set for Falcao. Expect to see a couple of changes from Jose Mourinho for this one, as he’s rarely been keeping a settled team of late. Eden Hazard could find himself out of the team, given how irate the manager was at him from the touchline on Tuesday night.
Tottenham head into this game in fantastic form, as they’ve put together a 12 game unbeaten run. They’ve blown a few teams away at White Hart Lane already, and with Harry Kane back to his best they’re a very dangerous prospect. This team has really changed over the summer, as Mauricio Pochettino has built a side full of energy and which is adept at pressing.
The one worry for the Spurs boss here, is timing. This game comes just three days after their involvement in a Europa League game. That game is Spurs’ longest away trip in Europe, and that could well leave them drained here. Of course, Chelsea were in Israel themselves, but they have an extra two days to recover. Will Tottenham be back to their best by the time this game comes around?
The Blues will be hoping to catch the hosts at a good time, but that would require a much better display than we’ve seen in the league for weeks. Luckily, that came the last time they saw off Maccabi 4-0, as they then went on to beat Arsenal 2-0 the following weekend. A repeat of that here would spark a lot of optimism in the Chelsea ranks, and it would take them a step closer to retaining a place in the Champions League.
But, given how inconsistent the champions have been this season, it’s hard to have too much faith in them. Seeing as Spurs have come through tests against Manchester City, Arsenal and Liverpool in recent weeks, it might be a bit of a stretch to see Chelsea suddenly bouncing back and getting a massive win. It might be more realistic to expect a draw here.
It wouldn’t be incredibly surprising if we saw Mourinho show up here playing a 4-3-3, looking to close down space and frustrate Tottenham. Not only could that work, but a hard fought draw would be a good result, all things considered. Fighting for a point against Spurs isn’t something Blues fans are used to, but right now, they’d probably take it.
LCN Verdict: 1-1 draw