So far this season, Chelsea have made an excellent start to the new campaign. At this moment in time, the Blues currently sit joint-top of the Premier League, picking up ten points from a possible 12 whilst also making a winning start in the Champions League on Tuesday night.
However, the games are getting tougher as next up on the agenda for Thomas Tuchel’s men is a trip to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Sunday afternoon. Will the Blues continue their unbeaten start or will Tottenham return to winning ways? It’s Spurs vs Chelsea as the two London sides battle it out for Derby Day bragging rights.
Spurs vs Chelsea: Current form (Last five matches)
Spurs: W W W L D
Under new manager Nuno Espirito Santo, Spurs had made an excellent start to the new season with three wins out of three. A 1-0 over Manchester City kicked off the Lilywhites’ campaign in style before consecutive 1-0’s over Wolves and Watford. Their superb start left them top of the table going into the international break.
However, upon their return to action, it has been nothing short of disappointment for the North Londoners. Last Saturday, Spurs travelled to Selhurst Park to face Patrick Vieira’s new look Crystal Palace side. With the match deadlocked at 0-0, Spurs were reduced to ten men thanks to Japhet Tanganga’s second yellow card. Soon after, the Eagles made amends as a Wilfried Zaha penalty and a brace from new signing Odsonne Edouard meant it ended 3-0 to the hosts.
Meanwhile, on Thursday night, Tottenham commenced their European campaign in the brand new UEFA Europa Conference League against Stade Rennais. The away side were ahead early on thanks to an own goal before being pegged back not long after. In the second half, Rennes completed the turnaround but Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg sparred Spurs blushes as they could only pick up a point.
Chelsea: W W D W W
In what is Thomas Tuchel’s first full season at the club, Chelsea’s start to the campaign couldn’t have gone any better. Having begun the season by winning the UEFA Super Cup, the Blues comfortably defeated Crystal Palace 3-0 in their opening Premier League match. A week later, Tuchel’s men made it back-to-back victories as they overcame rivals Arsenal 2-0 at the Emirates.
Chelsea’s third league game saw them head to Anfield to play Liverpool in what was set to be a difficult match. However, the West Londoners managed to leave with a hard fought 1-1 draw having played the entire second half with ten men. After the international break, the Blues faced off against Aston Villa in their fourth league match. Chelsea broke the deadlock in the first half thanks to Romelu Lukaku though Villa did threaten plenty of times but were unable to score. However, after the restart, the home side made sure of the points thanks to goals from Mateo Kovacic and another from Lukaku.
The Blues were also in action on Tuesday night as they kicked off the defence of their Champions League crown. Zenit St Petersburg were the visitors to the Bridge as Chelsea looked to begin their group stage campaign with three points. Tuchel’s men struggled in the first half and did very little to threaten the Russians, who looked solid at the back. However, in the second half, Chelsea were much better and made the breakthrough as Lukaku headed home from Cesar Azpilicueta’s cross. That proved to be the winner as the Blues picked up a 1-0 victory.
Last five match-ups
Spurs 0-1 Chelsea – 4th February 2021
Chelsea 0-0 Spurs – 29th November 2020
Spurs 1-1 Chelsea (Spurs won 5-4 on penalties) – 29th September 2020
Chelsea 2-1 Spurs – 22nd February 2020
Spurs 0-2 Chelsea – 22nd December 2019
Team News & Predicted Line-Ups
Ahead of this clash against Thomas Tuchel’s Blues, Spurs and Nuno Espirito Santo will be without Lucas Moura and Steven Bergwijn as both went off injured on Thursday against Rennes. However, three players that will be back for Nuno are summer signing Cristian Romero, Giovani Lo Celso and Davinson Sanchez. All three have been in quarantine after heading to South America over the international break but are now available for selection.
On another positive note for Spurs, Heung-Min Son and Eric Dier are both likely to return following their respective injuries. Son suffered a calf injury on international duty for South Korea whilst Dier limped off against Palace with a dead leg. Their potential return will come at a good time for Nuno. However, confirmed absentees are the suspended Tanganga and the injured Ryan Sessegnon, who is missing with a hamstring injury.
With all this taken into account, this is the starting eleven I expect to see on Sunday. Hugo Lloris will start in goal with, in front of him, a back four of Emerson Royal, Davinson Sanchez, Joe Rodon and Sergio Reguilon. I reckon Spurs will continue with their 4-3-3 formation that they have been using so far this season. Having impressed against Rennes, Tanguy Ndombele is in line to make his first Premier League start of the season beside Oliver Skipp and Hojbjerg. Finally, in attack, Dele Alli will likely start in place of the injured Moura and Berwijn with Son returning on the opposing and none other than Harry Kane up front.
Predicted Spurs XI: Lloris (GK): Royal, Rodon, Sanchez, Reguilon; Skipp, Hojbjerg, Ndombele; Alli, Son, Kane
So far this season, Thomas Tuchel hasn’t had many injury issues to deal with and has near enough a fully fit squad for the trip to Spurs. A huge boost for the German head coach is that N’Golo Kante is fit to return to the side for Sunday’s match following injury. In Friday’s press conference, Tuchel said: “N’Golo is back. He’s back in full shape and ready to play on Sunday.”
However, Christian Pulisic is set to remain sidelined through injury but is closing in on a return. The American injured his ankle on international duty but is working on getting back to full fitness. Sunday’s match comes too early for Pulisic but he’ll no doubt be back very soon. Aside from that, Tuchel has no fresh injury concerns.
As for the starting eleven for Sunday, I expect Tuchel to make three changes from Tuesday’s win over Zenit. Kai Havertz was rested for that game but I see him coming back in ahead of Hakim Ziyech. Meanwhile, Ben Chilwell, who came off the bench in midweek for his first minutes of the season, is in line for a start at wing-back over Marcos Alonso.
The backline should remain unchanged in Andreas Christensen, Antonio Rudiger, captain Cesar Azpilicueta and of course Edouard Mendy. Meanwhile, Reece James is available again in the league following his red card against Liverpool. The midfield four is likely to consist of James, Kante, Kovacic and Chilwell with Kante replacing Jorginho. Finally, joining Havertz in attack is likely to be Mason Mount and Romelu Lukaku.
Predicted Chelsea XI: Mendy (GK); Christensen, Azpilicueta, Rudiger; James, Kante, Kovacic, Chilwell; Havertz, Mount, Lukaku
Spurs vs Chelsea
Date/ Time: Sunday 19th September 2021, 16:30 BST, 17:30 CEST
Venue: Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London, N17
Officials: Referee: Paul Tierney, Assistants: Constantine Hatzidakis, Neil Davies, Fourth official: Craig Pawson, VAR: Chris Kavanagh, Assistant VAR: Sian Massey-Ellis.
Broadcast: Sky Sports Main Event/ Premier League (UK)
Final Thoughts and Prediction
In what has been a difficult set of fixtures to start the season, Chelsea have so far managed things well. However, with Spurs in this game and Manchester City to come, getting good results in these matches will prove the Blues’ title credentials at this early stage. Meanwhile, for Spurs, they will be determined to return to winning ways and get one over the Blues in the league for the first time since November 2018. As for the match itself, I expect it to be a tight and cagey affair with both sides aiming to avoid conceding early on. Tuchel will be determined for his side to score in the first half and then see it out in the second. However, if Spurs get the first goal, it’ll be interesting to see how the Blues respond. Nonetheless, I’m predicted Chelsea to edge this game 1-0 with Lukaku scoring the winner.
My Prediction: Spurs 0-1 Chelsea
Written and Edited by Matt North (@MattNorth_)
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