This evening’s game is a big London derby, as Tottenham Hotspur host Chelsea at Wembley. The game is set to kick off at 5:30pm. It’s is set to be a good one, as both teams have had good starts to the season and both always get really up for it when they play their big rivals.
Tottenham are fourth in the table coming into this game. They’re just one point behind today’s opponents as they look to win the win the game and overtake Chelsea into third place. Spurs are three points behind their other big rivals, Arsenal, who play tomorrow. They’ll want to avoid defeat at the very least and ensure they don’t drop out of the top four.
Today’s game will be difficult against Maurizio Sarri’s unbeaten Chelsea, but Tottenham will be confident that they can win it. They have quality all over the pitch, and should be able to match their opposition. Stopping Eden Hazard is, of course, one of the most important things for them to do today. The Belgian can win the game single-handedly, and Spurs will have to be on top of their game if they’re going to keep him quiet. Serge Aurier could be tasked with doing a job on him today, as Kieran Trippier is injured.
Even though Trippier hasn’t been at his best, Aurier playing there is a bit of a worry because he has looked vulnerable defensively in the past. Aurier will need protection from those around him, as Marcos Alonso will also be getting up that flank in support of Hazard. Spurs could have real problems down that side today. It’ll be interesting to see how Mauricio Pochettino sets his side up to counter that.
At the other end of the pitch, Tottenham will hope to cause Chelsea big problems today. I’m still not entirely convinced by their defence, as I think Alonso leaves too much space in behind when he goes wandering. David Luiz is also likely to make a mistake at some point. It would be nice to see Kepa really tested today too. He has impressed so far, but we still haven’t seen enough of him. With Spurs’ top class attacking talent, they should be able to get at the Blues today.
Chelsea are unbeaten in all competitions this season. Maurizio Sarri has transformed the team extremely quickly. They now play good football, which they haven’t been associated with over the last few years. Sarri has made a big impact, and Chelsea look really good. They’re third in the table and trail Manchester City by four points. That could be seven by the time they kick off. But winning the league shouldn’t be their expectation this season, as it’s going to take Sarri longer to get them playing exactly how he wants. A top four finish and a good run in the cups should be seen as a good first season for the Italian.
The Blues’ aim will definitely be to win this game. They’ll feel they have enough quality to beat Tottenham. Chelsea definitely can win this one, but it’ll be difficult. Tottenham are no pushovers, and these games can go either way. There is a huge rivalry between them, and both sets of players will be really up for it.
As mentioned, Chelsea will likely target Tottenham’s right hand side. Hazard can hurt anybody, but he’ll feel he can really get at Aurier back there. Alonso will constantly support him, and they could find some joy down that side. They’ll have to ensure Alonso is covered when he goes on his adventures, though, as they could be caught out, as we saw against Manchester United.
We know that most of what Chelsea do comes through Jorginho. He keeps them ticking and builds attacks from the centre of midfield. Recently, we’ve seen the opposition put someone on him and attempt to man-mark him out of the game. It’ll be interesting to see if Tottenham go for the same tactic today. It would be a wise move if they did, but whether they’ll be able to manage that remains to be seen.
Jan Vertonghen could return to partner Toby Alderweireld in the centre of Tottenham’s defence. He returned to full training during the week. Davinson Sanchez will miss a few weeks, though. Kieran Trippier, Danny Rose and Mousa Dembele are all out.
Mateo Kovacic missed Croatia’s game against England with an ankle injury, but could be available today. Don’t be surprised to see Ross Barkley take his place if he is struggling.
I’m really looking forward to sitting down and watching this one. It should be a really enjoyable game, with both sides getting at each other and going for the win. It’s too tough to call, as it really could go either way. It could be a fiesty encounter, as games between these sides often are. It could have a bit of everything.
If you haven’t read it yet, have a look at our article on the history of the rivalry between these clubs.
I’ll be watching the game, and I may say a few things about it on Twitter. I’m going to stop doing the live commentary there, because I feel it may annoy people!
Enjoy the game if you’re going or watching!