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Tottenham Hotspur vs. Chelsea: Lineups & Game Thread

John Terry begins his four-game domestic suspension, but the real news is that Gareth Bale is nowhere to be seen as Andre Villas-Boas welcomes his former employer to White Hart Lane.

Clive Rose

Gareth Bale was initially in Spurs' first team. And then he wasn't. The Welshman is apparently off to witness the birth of his first child. That's good news for him - great news for Branislav Ivanovic and Chelsea. No Moussa Sidi Yaya Dembélé, either, which is quite nice.

Gary Cahill and David Luiz are in the center of defense today, as the Blues engage in their third London Derby of the Premier League season. Villas-Boas has monopolized the media headlines (to an extent) ahead of this match, and deservedly so. A fifth consecutive league win here would certainly go far in wiping away the nightmare of his tenure at Chelsea - for some, mind you.

Chelsea, meanwhile, are still top of the league. Yes, we are. Ramires will partner John Obi Mikel in the double pivot, with the mouth-watering trident of Oscar, Juan Mata and Eden Hazard in front of the pair. Fernando Torres continues up front, while Daniel Sturridge returns from injury to assume a place on the bench. Excellent news.

Enjoy the match, my friends. Keep it clean, and keep the illegal streams to yourself. Up the Chels.

Team Sheets
Tottenham Hotspur

Friedel; Walker, Caulker, Gallas, Vertonghen; Sandro, Huddlestone; Lennon, Dempsey, Sigurdsson; Defoe. Bench: Lloris, Dawson, Naughton, Falque, Livermore, Townsend, Adebayor.

Cech; Ivanovic, Cahill, Luiz, Cole; Mikel, Ramires; Oscar, Mata, Hazard; Torres. Bench: Turnbull, Azpilicueta, Bertrand, Romeu, Lampard, Moses, Sturridge.

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