Chelsea started their season with an awful home defeat to Burnley, leaving the champions in trouble ahead of their clash with Tottenham. The Blues were the first defending champion in the Premier League to concede three on the opening day, a worrying snapshot of their awful defending. The last thing they need after losing to one of the relegation favourites is a clash against last season’s runners-up. With the game taking place at Wembley, will that be the saving grace for Antonio Conte and his threadbare squad?
This could well be a third loss at Wembley across the Blues’ last four competitive games in all competitions. Having lost twice to one London rival, Arsenal, going down to Tottenham too is unthinkable for most fans. However, Mauricio Pochettino’s men started the season with a solid win at Newcastle, which suggests they’re ready for the new campaign despite their lack of additions to their squad. If only Chelsea could say the same, having been left short by the selling policy of the Stamford Bridge hierarchy this summer.
Team News: Suspensions leave Conte short with his selection
Chelsea come into this game with just one of their three scorers from their mast meeting with Spurs. While Willian is likely to make an appearance, Eden Hazard is injured and Nemanja Matic is now at Manchester United. The Blues are without the suspended Gary Cahill and Cesc Fabregas, meaning Cesar Azpilicueta is set to take the armband. After barely managing to field a team on Saturday, those two absences leave Antonio Conte with a tough task preparing a side to face Spurs. A formation change has been mooted, simply because they lack numbers to fill the regular 3-4-3.
Tottenham are set to miss Danny Rose once again, with the full-back still out injured. Given his comments to the press, he’d probably be fighting for a starting place even if he was fit. Aside from that Spurs should be at full strength, with Harry Kane starting up front. However, the forward is still searching for his first career goal in August, can he find that on Sunday?
Tottenham were able to make a comfortable start to the new season, winning 2-0 at newly promoted Newcastle. Spurs weren’t completely convincing until Jonjo Shevley received a red card, which changed the game and allowed them to take control. However, that win has likely built up confidence in the Tottenham squad going in to this game, which would have been needed after the summer they have had. While the part line has been to boast about the strength of the team, cracks have begun to appear.
Danny Rose’s decision to come out and blast the club’s transfer policy and wage limit means things weren’t rosy at the club last week. Pochettino even said that his side have fallen behind the rest of the top six after failing to sign anyone. While the Blues are having problems with regards to transfers, this is the same side which lost to Chelsea twice last season. Can they turn that around at Wembley, or will their awful run of form at this ground hurt Spurs?
Tottenham vs Chelsea Head to Head
The last clash between these two sides came at Wembley, as the Blues came from behind to win 4-2 in an FA Cup semi-final. That has set the scene for this game, with Spurs set to kick off their Premier League campaign in their temporary home. That makes this another landmark meeting between these two rivals, after a strong of high profile games. Before that cup semi-final Spurs ended Chelsea’s 13 game winning run, a streak which contained a 2-1 win over Spurs in November. The Blues stopped Spurs from winning the title in May last year, so these clashes have been quite high profile of late.
- Chelsea 4-2 Tottenham, Apr 2017
- Tottenham 2-0 Chelsea, Jan 2017
- Chelsea 2-1 Tottenham, Nov 2016
- Chelsea 2-2 Tottenham, May 2016
- Tottenham 0-0 Chelsea, Nov 2015
- Both Teams to Score – 8/11 with Betfred
- Tottenham to win – 21/20 with Sky Bet
Coming into this game, Tottenham have been priced up as 21/20 favourites with Sky Bet, with clear distance between them and the Blues. The champions can be backed at 5/2 with BetVictor, while the draw is available at 12/5 with Bet365. Unfortunately we have to side with Spurs on this one, because they seem to represent value in this match. However, we should get a pretty entertaining game when these two meet.
With Chelsea’s issues at the back, we think a Spurs goal is pretty much nailed on. They’re facing a makeshift back line which is weaker than the one which conceded three at home to Burnley. However, the Blues fought back in that game and got on the scoresheet, with Alvaro Morata looking sharp. There’s a chance that Conte pairs him with Michy Batshuayi in the absence of Eden Hazard and Pedro, so we expect the champions to score here. Spurs won’t have enough to cover all the space behind their defence at Wembley, and Morata proved that he can run in behind and exploit that with his weekend display. We’re backing both teams to score in this clash at 8/11 with Betfred.
However, the Blues have too many problems with their selection to get a result here. There are too many similarities to 2015 for us here, in which Chelsea defended their title, lost to Arsenal in the Community Shield and then slipped up at home to Swansea in their opener. They followed that up by heading to the previous runners-up, Man City, in which they were heavily beaten. We think that history will repeat itself once again, and Spurs will win this clash. Given their price of 21/20 with Sky Bet, it’s hard to say they aren’t well priced with everything going on right now.