Chelsea and Spurs lock horns this weekend in the London derby. Chelsea and Spurs are both separated by just 2 points at the top of the table and both sides on Saturday will be looking to get all three points. Spurs have responded strongly after losing to Arsenal at the Emirates. Chelsea too have had a couple of setbacks in the past couple of weeks with a defeat to Everton and a home defeat to Basel but Mourinho’s men are still keeping up the pace with the their rivals. This weekend however will be a big test for Chelsea’s young guns.
What to expect from Chelsea:
Chelsea will look to build on their wins vs Fulham and Swindon and will try to take all three points at the White Hart Lane. It won’t be easy though as the current Spurs side means business. Chelsea will be sweating on the injury to Ramires, who is likely to miss the game vs Spurs. If so it could be a massive blow to Chelsea’s chances away at WHL. With MvG already out for almost 6 months we have a mini pivot crisis on our hands.
Chelsea in my opinion should start with Mikel in the pivot and in the absence of Ramires (quite likely) we might see Lampard starting again. Oscar and Hazard will surely start and I am not betting against a start for Willian who we snatched from the Spurs. Surely this is not the one to be betting against. Torres might be in contention for a start after his goal vs Swindon or will Jose continue with Eto’o in the league, that remains to be seen.
Matchday 6 also reunites the master Jose with the apprentice Andre Villas-Boas. AVB who was sacked after just 40 games in charge at Chelsea believes the experience made him strong and helped him learn managing big name players. AVB told L’Equipe:
“This is probably one of the lessons I learned. My past Porto gave me advantages and disadvantages. I had principles, values, and I’m very stubborn, I do not change them.
“I learned in a school where the team was more important than any player. Therefore I try to defend the team before individuals. But now I ‘m more rounded, I maybe deal better with the important players.
“I treated everyone the same way at Chelsea. For you to stick to such a decision, you need the support the club, and you don’t find that everywhere. In Porto, yes.
“It was an experience that I had to live. It made me very strong. I failed, it is true. I had to win and I failed.”
What to expect from Spurs:
Spurs are a great side, although they have lost the talisman in Gareth Bale to Real Madrid, they have added enough quality to cause any team problems on its day. The likes of Eriksen, Paulinho, Lamela and Soldado are the ones to look out for.
Tottenham have been impressive defensively this season, a team hard to break down. Spurs have kept 4 clean sheets in the 5 BPL games they have played, infact they have so far only conceded one goal in all competition they have played in. Pretty Solid.
The main reason why Tottenham are so solid defensively is because of the pressing play by the pivot players. Dembele and Paulinho are quite determined in the pivot and are ever ready to lash on to any opportunity to get the ball back from the opposition. The stats below show the consistency of both Paulinho and Dembele in the pivot. Dembele’s stats below show how he presses for the ball and the ground and air duels he has won so far.
Paulinho is not far behind with his 73% tackle success rate. These stats show how important both Paulinho and Dembele are to the Spurs game and how they both help Tottenham win the ball whenever they lose it.
Tottenham are playing the brand of possession football of their own and both Dembele and Paulinho love to join in with for the attack which is an opportunity for Chelsea to exploit with quick and incisive passing. We might have to rely on quick counters to catch the duo of Dembele and Paulinho out of position.
It will be an exciting game with both teams oozing talent in midfield. Still both teams are struggling to break down teams that are low block defending in the final third. But surely the game on Saturday would be entertaining. Hoping for a great game of football and a win for Chelsea!
Tottenham and Chelsea have created the most chances in the league 81 and 69 respectively, and have had more shots than any other team in the league, 80 and 73 respectively.
Up The Chels!