Having made the best start through ten games to a Premier League season in their history — one of the best starts in Premier League history in fact — high-flying Tottenham Hotspur are next up for a fledgling Chelsea side still just trying to lay down the foundations for a team we believe will be one of the best for a long time.
The pieces are largely there, but putting up one brick at a time, maybe a couple if we’re lucky in 90 minutes, makes for an arduous, frustrating, slow process — especially when some of the bricks then fall down as we take steps backwards.
But does this process have to go brick-by-brick? Could a statement victory propel us upward and forward by a few leaps and bounds instead? Mauricio Pochettino, ex-Spurs managerial legend, has an opportunity to lead us to just such a victory today, against his old team, in front of his old fans.
Time to spice things up!
Date / Time: Monday, November 6, 2023, 20.00 GMT; 3pm EST; 1:30am IST (next day)
Venue: New Three-ish Point Lane, London, N17
Referee: Michael Oliver (on pitch); John Brooks (VAR)
Forecast: cool and breezy
On TV: Sky Sports Main Event (UK); none (USA); Star Sports Select HD1 (India); SuperSport Premier League, Canal+ Sport 3 (NGA); elsewhere
Streaming: Sky Go (UK); Peacock (USA); Hotstar (India); DStv Now (NGA)
Tottenham Hotspur Team News: Ange Postecoglou was one of the less heralded Premier League managerial appointments over the summer, but the former Australia and Celtic boss has proven all the football hipsters correct so far, having gone unbeaten in his first ten Premier League matches. In fact, the only match he’s lost in any competition was on penalties to Fulham in the League Cup.
Spurs, top of the league coming into the weekend, have certainly ridden their luck at times to remain the last unbeaten team in the league, but the table tends not to lie. No title has ever been won in the first ten games of course, but Postecoglou has got himself right now a determined and efficient bunch who can grind out wins with solid defending (third best in the league) and clutch attacking (though without Bundesliga-frocliker Harry Kane, overall the worst of the top teams) — four of their last five wins have been by one goal. They do look the part for a potential title-challenge, dare I say, especially if James Maddison can keep up his level.
Injuries can play a major part in any such ambitions as well, and Spurs are also looking good in that department. The one question coming into this game is at left back, where but Ben Davies and Destiny Udogie are questionable. The latter could yet pass a fitness test, but it’s likely that Emerson Royal, right back by trade, will have to switch over. Ivan Perišić, Ryan Sessegnon, Manor Solomon, and Alfie Whiteman are on the long-term injury list.
View from the enemy: Cartilage Free Captain
Chelsea team news: We might have some good news regarding injuries, too, with Mykhailo Mudryk returning to first-team training late in the week. Misha was just getting into some decent form at long last when he picked up this knock, so hopefully he can now pick things up right where he left them off. The striker-less attacking quartet he formed with Cole Palmer, Raheem Sterling, and Conor Gallagher looked quite promising against Arsenal a couple weeks ago, and there’s a chance Pochettino opts for something along those lines — especially as Nicolas Jackson has struggled of late and Armando Broja is a major fitness doubt.
Christopher Nkunku, Ben Chilwell, Roméo Lavia, Wesley Fofana, Carney Chukwuemeka, and Trevoh Chalobah remain sidelined. Nkunku could getting close to finally making his debut: probably after the upcoming international break.
Wednesday’s 2-0 win over Blackburn in the League Cup means that we’ve now scored 11 goals in our last 6 games (almost two per game!) after scoring just 7 in our first 7 games (a measly one per game, going scoreless in three) in all competitions. Progress!
Previously: This rivalry is yet another one where the balance of power has been slowly shifting away from us, and last season we managed just 1 point from the two games against Spurs, including a 2-0 defeat at their stadium. Not great!