After recently returning from Azerbaijan with a Europa League win over Qarabag FK, Tottenham looks to continue their fantastic run of form this Sunday at White Hart Lane by beating an underperforming Chelsea side that’s looking to stay afloat.
Spurs will be without Dele Alli after he got chippy with Hammers’ Mark Noble and picked up his fifth yellow card of the season in a 4-1 win against West Ham last week. The Blues’ captain, John Terry, sustained an ankle injury and isn’t expected to be able to play on Sunday. They also may be without midfielder Ramires as well.
Chelsea desperately need to win as the chances of crawling into the top four are slowly disappearing for the Blues each week. Tottenham look to continue their quest for the top four and to finish out November picking up points in all three of the London Derbies they’ve played in. With that being said, Spurs’ manager Mauricio Pochettino won’t be making too many changes to the starting 11.
This match also features arguably the two best set piece takers in the premier league — Spurs midfielder Christian Eriksen and Chelsea winger Willian.
Goalkeeper: Hugo Lloris – No debate here. The French goalie has had an excellent season so far compiling of four clean sheets this year. He gets the start on Sunday.
Right back: Kyle Walker – If Chelsea attacker Eden Hazard doesn’t play in the No. 10 spot he’s recently been playing in, then it will be up to the English fullback to stop him from getting up the wing. Walker has been excellent this season and being left back in London by Poch instead of traveling to Azerbaijan should mean he’s fit and ready to go on Sunday. If Hazard plays in the 10 spot, then Walker will most likely be going up against Brazilian winger Willian.
Centre backs: Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld – The Belgian duo and former Ajax products have arguably been the best centre back duo in the Premier League this season. They’ll both get the nod again in this London Derby. But wait, what about Fazio possibly starting? No, just, no.
Left back: Danny Rose– Rose was left back in London also this week as well and should be fit. He’ll be a nightmare for the less paced Chelsea defenseman Branislav Ivanovic when he gets up in the attack.
Centre defensive midfielders: Eric Dier and Ryan Mason
Mason will fill in with Alli who’s out due to suspension as him and Dier will be tasked with stopping the buildup in the Chelsea midfield. Algerian midfielder Nabil Bentaleb will be back from injury and is an option, but this would be a tough match to immediate throw him back into after being out for almost three months. I do believe that he’ll make an appearance in the match as a substitute though. Dier has had a great season and is well up to the task of stopping Hazard. He’s a tenacious ball winner and each week looks more and more comfortable in the centre defensive midfield.
Attacking midfielders: Christian Eriksen, Heung-Min Son and Mousa Dembélé
Son is expected to start on Sunday if Lamela can’t go due to a nagging groin injury, however if the Argentinian can go, then he’ll most likely fill in for Son on the right side. Dembélé was outstanding against West Ham last Sunday in the No 10. role and will most likely get the nob by Poch to start there again as well. Expect Eriksen to be in his usual role on the left side. I can’t stress enough that Ivanovic is a weak spot in that Chelsea back four. Eriksen should look to exploit that.
Striker: Harry Kane
He certainly does score when he wants. Picking up another goal against Qarabag FK this Thursday only ensures that Kane has been on an absolute tear after a rather slow start. The Blues’ will have a huge task of dealing with the Englishman and possibly being without Terry doesn’t make things easier.
What is the lineup that you would run, and what do you think the result of the match will be?