A third of the season has gone by and a new third begins. Premier League fans across the globe are guaranteed a treat this week with the upcoming London Derby. Chelsea will take on Tottenham for the first time this season at Stamford Bridge. Last season, we saw the two teams draw in both meetings. The last game was a thriller.
This match cannot be talked about without mentioning the blood bath that occurred last season. With 6 yellows being given out and a retroactive ban for Dembélé, the game was a literal fight that featured many altercations between the two London sides. A game that looked like a sure win for Tottenham at half, who were leading 2-0, was pulled back by the Blues for a draw. A magnificent strike by Hazard effectively ended Tottenham’s title chances and made him a hero to Leicester fans that saw their fairytale season end with winning the Premier League title for the first time. To put a cherry on top for Chelsea fans, Chelsea increased their unbeaten home league record against Tottenham to 26.
Chelsea fans have to be delighted and anxious to see the team step onto the pitch this Saturday. Ever since they switched from a 4-2-3-1 formation to a 3-4-3, Chelsea has been unstoppable. In 6 games, they’ve produced 6 clean sheets and 17 goals. Conte has really transformed his side with unlikely heroes, like Victor Moses, emerging from a revitalized squad. This team no longer looks like the Chelsea of last season who fell very short of expectations. In their last 6 games, it looked as if Chelsea made it their goal to not concede a goal. Facing Tottenham will be a good test for Chelsea. We will see if they can keep their momentum going and pull further away from the rest of the league.
Projected Lineup (Chelsea)
Out: Van Ginkel, Zouma, Terry
Tottenham hasn’t hit the ground running this year. Although they are undefeated in the Premier League, their 18 goals scored is subpar for a top four contender. The lack of goals for Tottenham has been the main reason why they are currently fifth in the standings. However, Tottenham do have a rock solid defense that has only allowed a league low, 8 goals. But, it will be difficult to hold Chelsea back especially with Alderweireld and Rose sidelined for the match. Tottenham’s talisman, Harry Kane, has scored 3 goals in his last 4 league meetings against Chelsea. Tottenham are very reliant on him on offense. However, the team’s fitness is a concern seeing as this is their third game of the week. Tottenham need to win in order to keep up with the top four and possibly crack into it if results go their way.
Projected Lineup (Tottenham)
Out: Rose (Suspension), Davies, Lamela, Alderweireld
Having never lost in the league along with the best defensive record surely proves that Tottenham is not a team that can be defeated easily. However if there’s any team right now that could give Tottenham their first loss, it would be Chelsea. Chelsea is the hottest team in the Premier League right now. Since their formation switch they are leading in most goals scored and least goals conceded. No side has scored on Chelsea since switching their formation. I don’t think that changes on Saturday.
Prediction: Chelsea 2 – Tottenham 0