Chelsea vs Spurs Preview – Conte returns to the Bridge as Tuchel and Chelsea aim for another victory over Spurs

Antonio Rudiger scored the winning goal for Chelsea in the Blues’ most recent clash with Spurs just over a week ago

The past few weeks in the Premier League have proven very tough on Chelsea, with Thomas Tuchel’s men picking up just one win in their last seven matches. As a result of this poor form, the Blues sit in 3rd place and 12 points off leaders Manchester City (prior to this weekend’s matches) having lost 1-0 to the reigning champions last Saturday.

However, Sunday’s match at home to Spurs is a huge opportunity for Chelsea to get back on the winning trail in the Premier League, having not tasted victory in the league since defeating Aston Villa on Boxing Day. It’s Chelsea vs Spurs with Tuchel and former Blues manager Antonio Conte facing off against each other for the third time in just under three weeks.

Chelsea vs Spurs: Current form (Last five matches)

Chelsea: D L W W W

When you look at Chelsea’s current form from their past five matches in all competitions, you’d think three wins, a draw and a defeat wouldn’t be too bad. However, those three victories have all come in the cup competitions, with the Blues winning both legs of the Carabao Cup semi-final tie against Spurs as well as a 5-1 FA Cup routing of National League outfit Chesterfield.

Tuchel and Chelsea progressed to the Carabao Cup final a little over a week ago, where they will now meet Liverpool at Wembley, who defeated Arsenal 2-0 on Thursday night. Meanwhile, the Blues are into the fourth round of the FA Cup and take on Plymouth Argyle in a fortnight’s time. Though, in the Premier League, it’s a completely different story as the West Londoners desperately need a win over their London rivals in order to avoid an unwanted top four battle with the likes of West Ham and Arsenal.

Spurs: W L W L W

On the other side of the coin, Spurs and charismatic Italian manager Antonio Conte have been in great form in the league, currently unbeaten since Conte took over from Nuno Espirito Santo in November. In their nine Premier League matches under the Italian, the side from North London have won five and drawn three, which isn’t bad going. Spurs will very much fancy their chances of getting a result at Stamford Bridge.

Tottenham picked up an impressive late comeback win on Wednesday night away at Leicester City. As the clock ticked to 94 minutes and 52 seconds, Spurs found themselves 2-1 down to the Foxes before a Steven Bergwijn brace turned the match on its head with Conte’s men somehow winning 3-2 at the King Power. A quite remarkable result.

However, when it comes to recent meetings between Chelsea and Spurs, the Blues have had the far superior edge, winning four out of the last five games. Despite that, this match will be a lot closer than people expect with the Lilywhites determined to avenge the two defeats to Chelsea in the Carabao Cup.

Last five match-ups

Spurs 0-1 Chelsea (Rudiger) – 12th January 2022

Chelsea 2-0 Spurs (Havertz, Davies og) – 5th January 2022

Spurs 0-3 Chelsea (Silva, Kante, Rudiger) – 19th September 2021

Spurs 0-1 Chelsea (Jorginho) – 4th February 2021

Chelsea 0-0 Spurs – 29th November 2020

Team News & Predicted Line-Ups

Chelsea

Heading into Sunday’s clash with Tottenham, Thomas Tuchel has confirmed no fresh new injury concerns with Trevoh Chalobah and Reece James remaining out injured while Andreas Christensen is still isolating having tested positive for Covid-19. We of course know Ben Chilwell is out for the season so the German head coach will have the same squad selection as he did for Tuesday’s match against Brighton.

I expect there to be changes made by Tuchel’s from that disappointing draw with the Seagulls. Kepa will of course continue in goal with a back-three of Malang Sarr, Antonio Rudiger and Thiago Silva. Further forward, I expect Mateo Kovacic to replace Jorginho and play alongside N’Golo Kante with the wing-backs remaining the same.

Finally, in attack, Romelu Lukaku may get dropped after a poor showing on Tuesday along with Hakim Ziyech where Kai Havertz and Timo Werner may step in and join Mason Mount in the front three. Altogether, it would be a total of four changes seeing Cesar Azpilicueta, Jorginho, Ziyech and Lukaku making way for Sarr, Kovacic, Werner and Havertz.

Predicted Chelsea XI: Kepa (GK); Sarr, Rudiger, Silva; Hudson-Odoi, Kovacic, Kante, Alonso; Mount, Werner, Havertz

Spurs

Ahead of their trip to Stamford Bridge, Antonio Conte has confirmed Eric Dier is back and 100% fit to play but remain without defender Cristian Romero and South Korean international Heung-Min Son. However, Conte also said that Spurs had two further injury concerns following the Leicester match and that the Italian would decide on the involvements of these respective players prior to the game.

From that match at the King Power, I don’t expect there to be many changes made by Conte. Captain Hugo Lloris will retain his place in net while in the back three, I reckon there will be one change in defence with Eric Dier replacing Ben Davies and playing beside Davinson Sanchez and Japhet Tanganga in the back three.

The midfield five should remain unchanged, though there is potential of Giovani Lo Celso coming in but I don’t expect that to be the case. Finally, the other change will be in attack seeing Wednesday’s hero Bergwijn replacing Lucas Moura to partner talisman Harry Kane up front.

Predicted Spurs XI: Lloris; Tanganga, Dier, Sanchez; Emerson, Skipp, Winks, Hojbjerg, Reguilon; Bergwijn, Kane

Match Details

Chelsea vs Spurs

Date/ Time: Sunday 22nd January 2022, 16:30 GMT, 17:30 CEST

Venue: Stamford Bridge, London, SW6

Referee: Paul Tierney. Assistants: Lee Betts, Constantine Hatzidakis. Fourth official: Andy Madley. VAR: Darren England. Assistant VAR: Adam Nunn.

Final Thoughts and Prediction

After Tuesday’s 1-1 draw with Brighton, this match against Spurs is very much a must-win for Thomas Tuchel’s side and three points here would be a fantastic way to end that torrid run of form. However, as mentioned earlier, Spurs and Antonio Conte will be fired up for this one, especially after the Leicester match in midweek and having lost the last two matches against the Blues. I expect this to be a very cagey affair at the Bridge and the game could be settled by the odd goal. Nevertheless, I’m backing Chelsea to win against Tottenham and earn themselves a much needed victory.

My Prediction: Chelsea 2-1 Spurs

Written and Edited by Matt North (@MattNorth_)


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