Chelsea are looking to bounce back from a disappointing draw at Sunderland with a win over fierce rivals Tottenham. The Blues failed to find the net for the first time this season at the weekend, but they should find things easier against a Spurs side who struggle defensively.
The Blues come into this game quite a distance above the visitors, who are currently mid-table. Tottenham are a shadow of their former selves, currently being propped up with luck and the fantastic form of Christian Eriksen. The Pensioners are clearly heavy favourites for this one given that they’ve not lost in their last nine against Spurs, and few would bet against them.
Jose Mourinho’s men will of course be looking to extend their unbeaten start, having not lost in 20 games in all competitions this season, including 13 Premier League matches. The further into the season we go, the more they will try to protect that record. If they are going to do that, and improve on the Sunderland result, then we’ll need to see a few changes here. Chelsea looked tired on Saturday, and it seems like a few players need a bit of a rest.
One certain change will be up front, as Diego Costa picked up his fifth booking of the season against Sunderland which means he’s suspended for the Spurs game. Costa will be a big miss, but given his recent injury record the rest will probably do him good, just in time to return for the trip to Newcastle on Saturday.
It’s unlikely that Mourinho will leave out either of his central midfielders, given how well both Cesc Fabregas and Nemanja Matic have played this season. Neither of those two look like they should be replaced, but the side could do with more energy. Ramires coming in would help that, either replacing Oscar and making a midfield three or coming in on the right in place of Willian.
Willian has had a good run of games, but you could still see him dropping to the bench. Oscar could be one to drop out, as a player his age will need more breaks than he’s currently getting. Eden Hazard should keep his place on the left hand side, despite looking quiet at the Stadium of Light.
There should be a few changes at the back too, despite the team looking solid in recent weeks. The defence is rarely changed, but with nine games to come this month some players will need a break. Thibaut Courtois will continue in goal, but Kurt Zouma could come in for either of the centre halves. Filipe Luis is likely to make an appearance, probably instead of Branislav Ivanovic, with Cesar Azpilicueta moving to right back.
A couple of changes should freshen the side up, especially after two long return trips in the last week, with another on the horizon. With a 100% record at home in the league, Chelsea should have enough to get a win here, and we predict they will keep up their pace at the top of the table.
LCN Verdict: Chelsea to win 2-0