The Mind Series returns for round two on Sunday when Chelsea take on Tottenham Hotspur at Stamford Bridge.
The Blues got off to the perfect start in the competition with a 2-1 win over Arsenal and will look to build on that against Spurs, who have netted three goals in each of their last two friendlies against MK Dons and Colchester.
Before the game kicks off, Chelsea fans will also get the chance to see the Champions League trophy when it is paraded around the pitch by an as-yet-unnamed senior player, who will also hold a pitchside Q&A about the win.
Here’s 90min‘s preview of the game.
Chelsea are back at full strength following the return of Thiago Silva and England trio Mason Mount, Ben Chilwell and Reece James. Expect all of them to feature in some capacity.
There are no injury worries for Thomas Tuchel to deal with, so he’s free to continue examining each and every player in the squad, but he might choose to stop handing minutes to obvious deadwoods like Danny Drinkwater or Baba Rahman now that the new season is inching closer.
Giovani Lo Celso and Pierre Emile Hojbjerg are both back in training after their summer exploits and will expect to feature in some capacity in this one.
Ryan Sessegnon is a doubt because of a hamstring injury, although he is expected to recover in time for the new season if Nuno Espirito Santo decides to keep him around.
Finally, probably best not to expect Harry Kane being involved given the ongoing standoff regarding his future.
Chelsea: Mendy; Azpilicueta, Christensen, Rudiger; James, Jorginho, Kante, Hudson-Odoi; Werner, Pulisic; Havertz.
Tottenham: Lloris; Doherty, Tanganga, Dier, Reguilon; Hojbjerg, Ndombele; Lucas; Alli, Bergwijn; Son.
These two sides tend to take turns reigning dominant over one another. Spurs won three on the bounce across 2018 and 2019, before Chelsea went on a four-game winning streak of their own that was ended by the penalty shootout defeat in the fourth round of the Carabao Cup in September 2020.
Alongside that cup game, 2020/21 brought us a goalless draw at Stamford Bridge, before a Jorginho penalty handed Chelsea a 1-0 victory in February in Tuchel’s third league game in charge.
Tuchel’s first game actually came against Nuno’s Wolves, who were one of the few sides to stop Chelsea scoring in the second half of the season.
You can’t help but get a sneaking suspicion that the events of the past few days might have a bit of an impact on Spurs. There’s so much uncertainty and negativity around already – and it’s only pre-season.
Without their star striker and their work in the transfer window still to be finished, Spurs might struggle up against a Chelsea side who dispatched of Arsenal in composed fashion earlier in the week.
It won’t be a whitewash, but Chelsea are the better team with more high-level preparation and they’re in the better place as a club. They’ll be expecting a win here, and they should get it.
Prediction: Chelsea 2-0 Tottenham