Chelsea vs Tottenham is always a huge game and Sunday’s game at Stamford Bridge (Watch LIVE, 11:30AM ET on USA Network and Online via NBCSports.comHe has the power to set the tone for the season for these London giants.
Can Tottenham seriously challenge the title? Will Chelsea be able to do that too?
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We won’t find out, for real, for a few months yet, but this clash between two bitter rivals in London will surely be an intriguing clash. Antonio Conte and Thomas Tuchel have great respect for each other, and although their formations may look similar, their playing style is not.
Here’s how we think both Chelsea and Tottenham will line up this weekend, with an analysis of where and how key battles can be won and lost.
Chelsea line-up predictions (4-2-3-1)
—- Mendy —-
– Azpilicueta – Silva – Coulibaly –
—- James —- Jorginho —- Kante —- Cucurella —-
The back three are basically choosing themselves now because Thomas Tuchel doesn’t have many other options. Reece James can start as a centre-back on the right side and push Azpilicueta into full-back because James is incredibly quick and a quick recovery could be necessary to thwart some of Spurs’ counter-attacks. It looks like Marc Cucurella will start at left-back as he will make his new signing for the first time with the Blues.
In midfield, Kante and Jorginho are likely to start, with Mateo Kovacic knocked out through injury, a blow given his consistency over the past 18 months. Mason Mount, Kai Havertz and Raheem Sterling appear to have sealed off all three attack points. Havertz and Sterling can both play center or wide, so don’t be surprised if they trade in during the match, while the likes of Christian Pulisic and Hakim Ziyech should be brought in during the second half.
Tottenham line-up predictions (3-4-3)
—- Loris —-
—- Romero —- Dyer —- Davis —-
—- Doherty —- Bentancourt —- Hogberg —- Perisic —-
—- Kulusevsky —- Ken —- Son —-
The three defenders choose themselves again and so do the two from midfield where Rodrigo Bentancourt and Pierre-Emile Hojberg have developed a fantastic partnership. Yves Bisoma should be ready to make his debut after missing Southampton in the opening weekend. Where Tottenham Hotspur news gets interesting is at full-back.
Emerson Royal started on the right and Ryan Sessegnon on the left in the opening game at the weekend and both were happy to move on. But in what is expected to be a tight and tense tactical battle, will Conte go with experience and a defensive mind for this showdown? If he does, Matt Doherty, who has recovered well after being injured at the end of last season, could come to Royal, and new signing Ivan Perisic could come in instead of Cisson. Perisic’s experience and leadership could be crucial in a game like this, but with each team able to make five subs, it’s also very reasonable for Conte to keep the same team and swap in Doherty and Perisic at the start of the second half. As for the top, the three up front will stay the same but Richarlison will certainly make his debut in the second half.
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