Chelsea will be looking to ward off competition and cement fourth place in the English Premier League as they welcome Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham at the Stamford Bridge in Saturday’s early kickoff game.
Stung by a 2-0 home loss to bitter rivals Manchester United on Monday night, Frank Lampard will certainly demand a substantive response from his players in this very important London derby against yet another top 4 contender Tottenham.
Chelsea still lie fourth on the table but are hanging onto it by the skins of their teeth. Their grip on that fourth position has loosened up precariously thank in part to a string of poor results in recent weeks – particularly at home – where they have inexplicably dropped points against teams in the bottom half of the table.
The Blue’s last five league games at the bridge have been atrocious. They have failed to keep a clean sheet in any of those games, losing three, including upsets against relegation-threatened Bournemouth and midtable Southampton and conceded a very late equalizer to draw against Arsenal. Their only win in that span coming against Burnley.
Mishy Batshuayi got the nod to lead the lines against Man United in place of injured leading striker Tammy Abraham but was largely a spectator for large swathes of that game and was substituted for veteran French striker Olivier Giroud who was a lot livelier. The lanky striker even had a goal ruled out by VAR for being offside by the thinnest of margins.
Frank Lampard’s squad has been dealing with a lot of injuries. Tammy Abraham (ankle) is racing to be fit for the game. Andreas Christensen and Christian Pulisic who have been out took part in training and are available for selection this weekend. Ruben Loftus-Cheek (calf) and Callum Hudson-Odoi (thigh) are unlikely to feature while N’Golo Kante (groin) is definitely ruled out. Willy Caballero should remain in goal ahead of Kepa.
After losing 1-0 at home to RB Leipzig in the midweek Champions League 1st leg round of 16 tie, Jose Mourinho compared his razor thin squad that has been depleted by a wave of injuries to key players as being akin to going to war with a gun without bullets. With captain Harry Kane and Moussa Sissoko already sidelined long-term, the White Hart Lane outfit got a major blow this week with news that Heung- Min Son who has literally been carrying the team on his shoulder in the absence of Kane, underwent an elbow surgery that will inevitably keep him out for the foreseeable future. He picked up the injury during the thrilling 3-2 win away at Aston Villa where he put up a virtuoso performance scoring two goals including the winner after they were pegged back twice by a determined Villa team, to earn his team three important points.
Jose Mourinho’s team has shown the fighting spirit that has been largely been the hallmark of the teams in his managerial career. They have picked up 10 points in their last four premier league games and will be rearing to continue that trajectory against Chelsea in spite of the injury woes they are currently facing.
That midweek defeat in the Champions League put some brakes on the good run, although it was overshadowed by the news of the latest injury to Son. Dele Alli was visibly disappointed when being hauled off against Leipzig, but the playmaker may have been substituted with Mourinho open to using the England international as his frontline striker at Stamford Bridge.
Spurs struggled in the final third against Leipzig. They created very few scoring opportunities, if any, and this toothless performance could spur the Portuguese tactician to think of a more radical approach to the Chelsea game and he may well opt to shuffle the deck upront and put Delle Alli to lead the lines.
Benfica loanee Gedson Fernandes was one of the few positives from that game. He put up a good performance pushing the ball forward. Whether the 21-year-old will be deemed ready for his first Premier League start this weekend remains to be seen, but Spurs fans will be encouraged by what they saw from him on the European stage.
This derby has always produced fireworks in the past. This particular fixture however doesn’t have the allure and attraction that has characterized the previous ones because of all the big names that are either completely ruled out or listed as doubts for the game.
Chelsea’s last game at the Bridge left a bitter taste in the mouths of the fans and under pressure Frank Lampard and his boys will want to appease the fans with a much better performance to fend off the teams – including Tottenham themselves – that are eyeing that coveted 4th place Champions League slot like vultures around a kill.
Only one point separates the two London rivals and therefore there is everything to play for. We expect a difficult game for both teams. We think Goals Under 2.5 @ 1.80 will be a good value for this game. Therefore this is our betting tip. You can find these odds and many other betting options at Nairabet.
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