Chelsea will be up against Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday and a win could take them into the top six for the first time under new management.
Chelsea travel to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in Thomas Tuchel’s third and most difficult challenge as the Blues’ boss. The Blues claimed a hard-fought 2-0 success against Burnley last time around and will be up against Jose Mourinho’s men, who have lost twice on the trot.
The west Londoners are unbeaten against the north Londoners in their last four meetings in all competitions, and head into the clash level on points albeit having played a game more. Kurt Zouma is the only player who remains doubtful for the visitors due to injury.
Edouard Mendy, who has two clean sheets in as many league matches will keep his place in goal. The Senegalese could be put to the test on Thursday if the likes of Tanguy Ndombele and Heung-min Son have their shooting boots on. While there will be no Harry Kane at Spurs’ disposal, they still have enough players with quality to cause damage.
Antonio Rudiger, Cesar Azpilicueta and Thiago Silva will hold a three-man backline. The new-look defence was employed by Antonio Conte when he was Chelsea boss and Tuchel has opted to go with three players at the back in each of his two fixtures. The tactic is likely to remain for the London Derby as well.
Ben Chilwell was rested at the weekend and so he will replace Marcos Alonso as left wing-back. Callum Hudson-Odoi has been handed the responsibility of a right wing-back lately- the Englishman too will start. The youngsters will come handy in playing an attacking brand of football and potentially breaching Tottenham’s low-block.
N’Golo Kante sat out both of Tuchel’s matches so far as Chelsea boss, but is likely to return to the starting eleven. The Frenchman will be partnered by Mateo Kovacic in the middle of midfield. The Blues have not played a lot of football down the middle in recent matches, so the duo’s job might largely be limited to defensive duties.
Mason Mount continues to hold unmatched prominence in the Chelsea eleven even with Frank Lampard having been sacked. The 22-year-old will play as the right winger ahead of Hakim Ziyech. Christian Pulisic will get the nod on the left-hand side. The wingers will be up against Spurs’ slow but strong fullbacks and their pace might be the difference-maker.
The debate over Chelsea’s striking man continues with three ominous options at the manager’s disposal. Both, Olivier Giroud and Tammy Abraham have been in good touch, but Tuchel may once again prefer Timo Werner, who scored in the side’s cup match earlier this season.