It’s derby time in London as fourth placed Tottenham host Chelsea at Wembley. With both teams locked in a battle at the top of the table, it’s a case of Christmas-come-early. For neutral fans, at least.
Maurizio Sarri led Chelsea have been on a tear this season, winning eight of their 12 matches and drawing four. Tottenham have won a game more than their West London rivals, but also lost three. Chelsea, along with Liverpool and league leaders, Manchester City are yet to lose a match in the 2018-19 Premier League.
Tottenham’s injury woes
To Mauricio Pochettino’s credit, he has anchored a side plagued by injuries, to a contending position.
Spurs’ major injuries happen to be in their defense. Davinson Sanchez, Kieran Trippier and Danny Rose, all sideline from this pivotal fixture. The Colombian Sanchez is out with a hamstring issue while the English pair of Rose and Trippier are dealing with groin injuries. Midfielder Moussa Dembele will also play no part in the game because of an ankle injury. Luckily for Tottenham, Jan Vertonghen has returned to full fitness.
Chelsea, meanwhile, have a squad that is at full strength. Always a good thing to have, especially before facing one of the Big Six of the Premier League.
Spurs’ dismal performance at Wembley
Tottenham’s well publicized stadium problems have not done them any good. Too add to that, they’ve not had it easy at their makeshift home this season. Spurs have only taken six points out of a possible 12 at Wembley.
This problematic record at Wembley is something that Sarri’s cohort will be looking with intent. Spurs do not have the psychological advantage of playing at Wembley, which will make life a bit easier for the Blues.
Tottenham also succumbed to Liverpool earlier this season and have also lost their Champions League games to FC Barcelona and Internazionale. Their performances against the big clubs hasn’t been ideal and this fixture will be a big test for them.