A few cosmetic alterations at Stamford Bridge — new signage, murals, monitors, and a changed facade to the West Stand — await us in the home opener of the 2022-23 Premier League season. Hopefully that’s the only change we need to deal with as we entertain Spurs, who have won at the Bridge just once since 1990.
Ironically, the man in charge of Chelsea for that historic defeat in April 2018 was Antonio Conte, well on the downhill slope of his two-year tenure at the club. He’s now well on the uphill slope of his tenure at Spurs, with a team molded in his image and executing at the level that just might create the proverbial blazing inferno.
Defeat was all we deserved in 2018, reflected Conte at the time, just as he had reflected on the three defeats we had administered to his Spurs in the span of just a few weeks back in January. They have gotten a lot better since — only Liverpool and Manchester City have collected more points in 2022 (calendar year); only City have scored more goals — and they arrive with plenty of momentum and plenty of confidence.
History alone will not win this game for us.
Date / Time: Sunday, 16.30 BST; 11:30am EDT; 9pm IST
Venue: Stamford Bridge, SW6
Referee: Anthony Taylor (on pitch); Mike Dean (VAR)
Forecast: HOT HOT crotchpot-cooking HOT
On TV: Sky Sports Main Event (UK); USA Network, Telemundo (USA); Star Sports Select HD2 (India); Super Sport Premier League (NGA); elsewhere
Streaming: Sky Go (UK); NBC Sports, Telemundo Deportes En Vivo (USA); Hotstar (India); DStv Now (NGA)
Chelsea team news: Last weekend’s opening day victory wasn’t pretty but they all count the same and three points at Goodison has been a rare thing for us indeed. In fact, the last two times we managed that, we had gone on to win the league. There are no such delusions of grandeur being entertained at the moment, with the focus on the more immediate improvements necessary.
Those improvements may yet involve new players coming in, but the only changes from last weekend include the departures of Timo Werner and Malang Sarr, and the impending departure of Marcos Alonso. Mateo Kovačić is dealing with a nagging injury. Ethan Ampadu and Billy Gilmour have been added to training to make up numbers.
Tottenham Hotspur team news: Full of growing belief and almost fully fit physically, Spurs will be missing only Oliver Skipp and new arrival Clement Lenglet. Richarlison will be available to make his debut after serving a suspension last weekend. Fellow new arrivals Yves Bissouma and Ivan Perišić both played in that impressive 4-1 win over Southampton.
Conte has been using Chelsea as the measuring stick for his Spurs, and he would like nothing more than to put us to the sword. Nothing personal!
“When I arrived in Tottenham, I said ‘we want to try to write a good story for this club’. I know very well that it’ll be more difficult than the other clubs for many reasons, but I think we’ve started to go in the right path.
“[...] it will be a difficult game but we want to play this game. I want to play this game and my players want to play this game because it will be important this game to make the right evaluation of our improvement.”
-Antonio Conte; source: Football.London
View from the enemy: Cartilage Free Captain
Previously: Chelsea beat Spurs four times last season, and without conceding a single goal. That was fun; let’s do that again!