A few days removed from Chelsea's record-setting 10th win in a row in all competitions and 13th win in a row in the Premier League, setting a new club record and matching the Premier League record, respectively, the Blues travel across town to take on Tottenham Hotspur at a venue we used to call Three Point Lane. The 5-3 from two years ago sort of put a damper on those jokes, though that loss remains Chelsea's only loss to Spurs at any venue in over half a decade.
History, recent or ancient, only counts for so much of course. Spurs will be motivated as usual and will feel they'll have the backing of neutrals and the rest of the Premier League to try to stop the Chelsea juggernaut. What should help them even more is first-hand familiarity with Chelsea's system from their 2-1 loss at the Bridge a couple months ago. Spurs will be the first team to have a second try at Chelsea's 3-4-3 and that knowledge from the first meeting could prove crucial.
Just because of that, I would not be surprised to see Conte rolling out a new or slightly tweaked formation. We've used the 3-5-2 as the late-game lockdown option several times now and while we usually roll that with a "heavy" package (Matic-Kante-Chalobah), we could possibly plug in Fàbregas instead of Chalobah to make it a bit more creative.
On the other hand, we could just stick with the 3-4-3 that we know — keep it simple, stupid — and concentrate on executing as well as we did against Spurs in the second half of that first meeting. We do have all the players fit and available who started that game, survived Spurs' press and then went on to win the game. A few injury questions aside (Marcos Alonso, David Luiz both appeared to be carrying knocks after Saturday's game) we will probably choose to go with that tried and trusted starting eleven.
Courtois | Cahill, David Luiz, Azpilicueta | Alonso, Matić, Kanté, Moses | Hazard, Costa, Pedro
Conte will address the media in a few hours and should he reveal unfortunate news regarding either Alonso or David Luiz, we could be in for massive changes. Young Ola Aina or Pedro could deputize for Alonso (just as they did in the League Cup match against West Ham) while Cahill would likely slide into the Luiz role as best as he could and the likes of Ivanovic, Terry, and Zouma could roshambo for the third spot.
But hopefully that doesn't come to pass and instead we'll get the lineup that both the prediction above and the community's preferences have agreed upon.
Courtois (99%) | Cahill (94%), David Luiz (98%), Azpilicueta (99%) | Alonso (92%), Matić (79%), Kanté (98%), Moses (95%)| Hazard (99%), Costa (99%), Pedro (57%)