Much has changed in the seven months since Eden Hazard completed Chelsea's 2-2 comeback draw in the Battle of the Bridge, confirming Leicester City as the Premier League's unlikeliest champions and Spurs as the Premier League's most likely Spursiest team. Again. Still. Always.
Since that time, Chelsea have gone from strength to strength, finishing last season on a semi-high note, bringing in Antonio Conte to re-teach the club the ideals of passion and hard work and commitment, and then, over the last couple months, playing some of the best football we've seen for over half a decade. Chelsea are top of the league for the first time in 18 months, and seemingly invincible.
All that could change spectacularly in the course of any 90 minutes and were it to change during the course of these 90 minutes, we'd also be destroying an almost three decade-long tradition of not losing to Spurs as Stamford Bridge. The count after that spectacular 2-2 draw is 29 games and 26 years.
Let's make it 30.
Date / Time: Saturday, November 26, 2016, 17:30 GMT; 12:30pm EST; 11pm IST
Venue: Stamford Bridge, SW6
Referee: Michael Oliver — there are many streaks in effect for this match, but Chelsea's 7-match winless streak (5 draws) under Mr. Oliver's refereeing, including the 3-0 loss at Arsenal earlier this season, is one that really needs to end today.
Forecast: Cold and dry, to keep those tempers calm.
On TV: BT Sport 1 (UK); NBC, NBC Universo (USA); Star Sports Select HD1 (India); elsewhere
Online: BT Sport Live (UK); NBC Sports Live Extra, Telemundo Deportes En Vivo (USA); Star Sports
Chelsea team news: Chelsea (and the starting eleven that's now gone five games unchanged) are not only in a good moment, the squad is almost fully healthy. The only injury of note is John Terry's latest muscular tear (glute), which will keep him out for at least a couple weeks, probably more. Mikel is supposedly not completely fit either, though he hasn't played all season, just like young Kurt Zouma, who's continuing his rehab assignments with the U23 team.
The Blues will be looking for a seventh win and seventh clean sheet in a row to maintain our one point lead at the top of the table over Liverpool and Manchester City, both of whom play earlier in the day (City away to Burnley; Liverpool home to Sunderland). But the only thing that should matter in this one is ourselves.
Tottenham Hotspur team news: Polar opposites of the Blues, Spurs come into this game with just one win in nine in all competitions, including elimination from the Champions League, elimination from the League Cup, no clean sheets in six straight, and just 7 points won from a possible 15 in the last month and a half. Spurs may be heard to beat, but other than putting three past West Brom, they've managed just 4 goals during this run. For more on Spurs, be sure to check out Rob's opposition analysis.
And it's not getting any easier for Pochettino's men, with a key injury in defense (Alderweireld), a key suspension in defense (Rose) and a key injury to the suspended man's backup in defense (Davies). While this might inspire Spurs to switch to a three-man backline, they will no doubt take heed from the 5-0 mauling Everton got when they tried to do just that. The oftentimes annoyingly talented game-changer Erik Lamela is also out.
So it's Spurs trying to end one impressive streak, Chelsea trying to continue one impressive streak, with potential title implications even this early in the season. So buckle up, bear down, take heart, and hold on. We might be in for some drama.
View from the enemy: Cartilage Free Captain
Previously: Battle of the Bridge, May 2, 2016.