Chelsea vs Tottenham Hotspur
Venue: Stamford Bridge
TV: BT Sport 1
Referee: Andre Marriner
The biggest match of the mid-week fixtures comes as Chelsea play host to Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham Hotspur, with Maurizio Sarri’s side seeking to maintain their credentials as top four candidates.
Meanwhile Spurs will look to close the gap on Manchester City as they look to push on and have a late-season charge for the title, despite a slip-up at Turf Moor on Saturday.
Chelsea come off the back of a penalty shootout defeat to Manchester City in the Carabao Cup final at Wembley but having put in a respectable and strong performance. The move to Plan B and away from ‘Sarri Ball’ seemed to work with the Blues putting in a much better performance than last time they played City when they lost 6-0.
Tottenham also had a pretty poor weekend losing 2-1 away to Burnley, with Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino confronting Mike Dean due to his anger over a number of decisions made by the referee. The defeat dealt Spurs a sizeable blow to their title ambitions as they fall five points behind City, so a win this Wednesday would be a significant boost in their quest to remain outsiders for the title.
After Sunday’s miniature debacle involving the goalkeepers, in appears that Kepa may well keep his spot as Chelsea number one, however a change may be made in the forward department. It seems unlikely that Chelsea will maintain their false 9 system meaning that Gonzalo Higuaín is likely to start up front.
The choice over the wingers will rear its head again as Callum Hudson-Odoi continues to push for a starting berth, however the performances of both Willian and Hazard last Sunday against City may well keep them in the starting eleven for Wednesday night.
Another question come around the full back berth with Marcos Alonso being left out of the cup final after recent question marks around his defensive positioning especially in the 6-0 defeat to Manchester City. Will Emerson still start even despite playing the full 120 minutes on Sunday?
Tottenham have a host of injuries, however with Harry Kane and Ben Davies both making the return to the squad away at Burnley last Saturday, a potential starting role for both of them seems to be well within the realms of possibility.
A return for Dele Alli seems to be too much for Wednesday and there are additional doubts around Eric Dier who missed last weeks game through illness, and Kieran Trippier and Davinson Sanchez, yet all three could still make some form of appearance on Wednesday night.
Predicted Starting XIs
Chelsea (4-3-3): Kepa; Azpilicueta, Rudiger, Luiz, Alonso; Kante, Jorginho, Kovacic; Willian, Higuain, Hazard.
Tottenham (4-1-3-2): Lloris; Trippier, Sanchez, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Rose; Sissoko, Winks, Eriksen, Son; Kane.
Prediction: Chelsea 1 Tottenham 1
I can see this being a bit of a dull game with Chelsea potentially just blocking out Spurs throughout the game and it being a goal a piece with both sides being relatively happy with that as the end result. Lets just hope Chelsea can keep up their defensive momentum because if Son and Kane are on full form, they will need to be.