Chelsea Vs Tottenham Preview: Tuchel Stands On Shaky Ground
Many wonder where Chelsea’s form has gone.
The biggest fixture in the Premier League this weekend has to be the London Derby between Tuchel's floppy Chelsea and Conte's Tottenham, who are riding high from their incredible 3-2 win over Leicester.
While Chelsea had the upper hand in their EFL Cup, this game has different circumstances regardless of their H2H record in all competitions.
Tottenham's last victory against the Blues was in January 2019, since then Tottenham never won a competitive game against Chelsea, albeit they eliminated them from the Carabao Cup in 2020 on penalties.
Despite this advantage, Chelsea can't just sleep on this past superiority and labor a win.
Spurs under Conte experienced a massive improvement from their early slump, with 9 wins in his managerial run so far and an unbeaten run in the Premier League as it stands.
However, aside from a game in the UEFA Conference League, he lost TWICE to Tuchel's side and acknowledged the gap in quality between the two clubs.
For the Blues, they are in such a rough patch; Winless in 4 PL matches including two draws at home, and a humbling 1-0 loss against leaders Man City. This recent run embodied all of Chelsea's woes, ranging from COVID and injuries to offensive impotency, to the recent defensive horror shows.
Conte's PL streak is on the line.
As far as squads are concerned, Spurs will only miss Son, Dier, and Cristian Romero in their trip to Stamford Bridge. While in the other camp, Chilwell and James will remain a long term miss as well as Chalobah and Andreas Christensen which limits Tuchel's defensive options.
A lot hinges on this game for both sides, both in terms of the table and morally speaking. For the visitors, it's about getting closer to West Ham at 4th as they are currently 2 points behind them. Moreover, It's a bit personal for Conte who defends his unbeaten PL run against a side he admitted is head and shoulders above Tottenham, which makes you wonder how it will affect his players.
For Thomas Tuchel, a home win is very crucial to stay at the very least around the top spots after being out of the title race virtually. For that to happen, Chelsea clearly need to be sharper offensively and put better service to their main men, including 115 million Euros signing Romelu Lukaku. Defensively, they need more solidity too, as they only kept one clean sheet in their last 10 outings, conceding 9 goals which is as much as they conceded in the previous 13.
Spurs on the other hand will take great pride in their dramatic late win against Leicester. Especially in the performance of Steven Bergwijn who scored the two late goals, which makes him almost a surefire starter as Son's injuries layoff continues.
Chelsea (3-4-2-1): Kepa - Rudiger/Thiago Silva/Sarr - Azpilicueta/Kante/Kovacic/Alonso - Mount/Ziyech - Lukaku
Tottenham (3-4-3): Lloris - Tanganga/Sanchez/Davies - E.Royal/Hojbjerg/Skipp/Reguilon - Bergwijn/Moura/Kane
It's going to be one of those clashes where every detail matters. Tuchel and Conte now built enough of a basis between them to be an open book for one another, so expect a cagier game than usual where the 3 points are the sole purpose.
My Prediction: Chelsea 2-1 Tottenham
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