As the Premier League heads towards the dying embers of yet another feverish weekend, the eyes are firmly placed on a fixture that is as much about historic rivalry as it is about what it means today. The upcoming clash between Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea isn’t just another London derby. It’s a narrative-rich showdown that promises drama, tactical nuance, and a significant impact on the league table, not just for the two teams but also for all those around them.
Whilst the football on show is undoubtedly set to be promising, the backdrop of this particular clash is painted with the hues of the return of an adored Tottenham legend – Mauricio Pochettino who will be looking to outwit his former team and get Chelsea much needed three points.
Pochettino was a manager who put Tottenham on the map before a poor run of results saw him being shown the exit door. After a few indifferent seasons, Ange Postecoglou is seemingly having a transformative effect on the club.
Tottenham Hotspur, riding high under the stewardship of Ange Postecoglou, have been in imperious form. Their best start to a top-flight season since the 1960-61 campaign speaks volumes of the tactical acumen and cohesive unity Postecoglou has instilled in the squad.
Chelsea, meanwhile, grapples with a narrative of resurgence under Pochettino. The Blues have faced their fair share of turbulence this season, but there’s a sense that a derby win could be the catalyst for a turnaround.
Date & Time: November 6, 2023, 8:00 pm UK time
Left-backs Destiny Udogie and Ben Davies are both carrying injuries and face late fitness tests. The latter is unlikely to make it whilst the former might just be able to make the bench. If both are not ready to start, then Emerson Royal is the most likely candidate to fill in on the left side of defence.
Ivan Perisic (ACL), Ryan Sessegnon (hamstring), and Manor Solomon (knee) remain unavailable due to injuries. Alfie Whiteman (ankle) is also expected to remain on the treatment table.
Forwards Armando Broja and Mykhaylo Mudryk have returned to training and are in contention for the match. Neither of them are expected to start the game though although the latter might make an impact off the bench.
Chelsea will be without Trevoh Chalobah (thigh), Carney Chukwuemeka (knee), Ben Chilwell (thigh), Wesley Fofana (ACL), Romeo Lavia (knee), and Christopher Nkunku (ACL).
- Tottenham ended a twelve-game winless run against Chelsea with a 2-0 home victory earlier this year.
- Spurs have only secured back-to-back Premier League wins against Chelsea once before, in 2018.
- Chelsea has netted 51 Premier League goals at Tottenham, the most by any visiting team.
- Chelsea boasts the most wins (four) at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in all competitions.
When it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, they say and Ange Postecoglou has no reason to change a working system. Tottenham setup up in a 4-2-3-1 on paper although they are far more fluid on the pitch.
The only major question for Postecoglou is going to be whether he starts Richarlison on the left wing or if he chooses to use Brennan Johnson who set up a goal in his substitute appearance last time around.
If Destiny Udogie is ready, he walks into the team. It is highly unlikely for him to be ready though and Emerson Royal will have to be at his best to mitigate the threat that Raheem Sterling or Noni Madueke or whoever plays on the right for Chelsea pose.
One interesting thing for Tottenham to look out for would be the fact that they might finally see Rodrigo Bentancur be given a substantial amount of minutes on the pitch after he made a fleeting appearance last time around.
Mauricio Pochettino has experimented with quite a few setups this season and no one knows which one he will deploy tomorrow. Regardless of what formation Chelsea play, their relentless pressing approach remains the same.
Marc Cucurella is likely to start as the left-back and Dejan Kulusevski could look to exploit his weakness in defensive situations. That said, the Spaniard has gotten much better in this regard in recent times.
It will also be interesting to see who starts as the striker for Chelsea. Although Nicolas Jackson is a candidate, the Senegalese international is currently encountering challenges. It wouldn’t come as a shock if Cole Palmer gets the nod to commence as a false 9 against Tottenham.
Tottenham: (4-2-3-1): Guglielmo Vicario; Pedro Porro, Cristian Romero, Micky van de Ven, Emerson Royal; Yves Bissouma, Pape Matar Sarr; Dejan Kulusevski, James Maddison, Brennan Johnson; Son Heung-min.
Chelsea: (4-3-3): Robert Sanchez; Reece James, Thiago Silva, Levi Colwill, Marc Cucurella; Moises Caicedo, Enzo Fernandez, Conor Gallagher; Noni Madueke, Raheem Sterling, Cole Palmer.