This weekend’s round of Premier League fixtures closes out with a mouth-watering London derby between Tottenham and Chelsea.
The two old rivals sit towards the top of the Premier League standings, with Chelsea picking up ten points from their opening four games and Spurs sitting on nine, although they come into this game in significantly different form.
Spurs lost their last Premier League game 3-0 to Crystal Palace and followed that up with a 2-2 draw with Rennes in the Conference League, whereas Chelsea ran out 3-0 wins over Aston Villa and then went on to secure a European victory over Zenit St Petersburg.
It’s got all the tools to be one of the weekend’s best viewings, and here’s 90min‘s preview of the big game.
What time is kick off? Sunday 19 September, 16:30 (BST)
Where is it being played? Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
TV channel? Sky Sports Main Event(UK), Peacock Premium (US)
Highlights? Sky Sports YouTube Channel (UK) Match of the Day 2 (BBC – UK)
Referee? Paul Tierney
VAR? Chris Kavanagh
The Rennes draw was tough on Spurs, who lost both Steven Bergwijn and Lucas Moura to injuries. Neither is likely to feature in this one, and fellow winger Son Heung-min is also fighting an uphill battle to recover from a calf injury.
Eric Dier is battling a leg injury but is hopeful of making it back in time, while Nuno Espirito Santo must also make a decision on Cristian Romero, Davinson Sanchez and Giovani Lo Celso, all of whom are expected back from quarantine on Saturday.
Japhet Tanganga will miss out as a result of the red card he picked up against Palace.
Chelsea are doing significantly better from a fitness perspective. Thomas Tuchel has confirmed that N’Golo Kante is ready to return from a groin injury, leaving just Christian Pulisic (ankle) as the Blues’ sole absentee.
Right-back Reece James has served his suspension and could keep his place in the starting lineup, having played the full 90 against Zenit.
Tottenham: Lloris; Emerson, Sanchez, Romero, Reguilon; Hojbjerg, Skipp; Alli, Ndombele, Gil; Kane.
Chelsea: Mendy; Azpilicueta, Silva, Rudiger; James, Jorginho, Kante, Alonso; Mount, Havertz; Lukaku.
Chelsea have had the majority of the bragging rights over the past few seasons. A Jorginho penalty earned them a 1-0 win when the two sides met in February, three months after they played out a feisty 0-0 draw.
Spurs did get the last laugh in last season’s Carabao Cup, dispatching of Frank Lampard’s men on penalties after a 1-1 draw in which goalkeeper Edouard Mendy made his debut for the Blues.
That win ended a four-game losing streak for Spurs, whose last win over Chelsea in the league came under Mauricio Pochettino in the form of a 3-1 win back in November 2018.
Spurs’ bright start under Nuno has threatened to unravel in the past week or so, and Chelsea will be licking their lips at the prospect of kicking their rivals when they’re down.
While Chelsea have yet to hit top gear this season, they have continued to score goals and shut teams out at the back. Romelu Lukaku is in predictably devastating form and will fancy his chances against a Spurs back line that has shipped five goals in the past 180 minutes.
To make matters worse for Spurs, they look set to be stretched for numbers in attack and potentially in defence, so you get the feeling they will struggle to match up to Tuchel’s side.
Prediction: Tottenham 1-3 Chelsea