London rivals Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea do battle at Wembley Stadium in what is the star match of this premier league weekend.
Chelsea lead Spurs with just a point on the log, meaning this fixture is very important for both teams.
Tottenham headed into the final international break of the year on a high with back to back wins despite issues surrounding their stadium plans and transfer activity.
They have won six times in their last eight matches and are in a strong position in the Premier League, through to the quarter-finals of the EFL Cup and still in with a chance of qualifying for the knockout stages of the Champions League.
Spurs though, have a very bad home-form having collected just 22% of their Premier League points at Wembley this season – the lowest-such tally of any side in the division. Of the 27 points accrued overall so far, only six have come at their temporary home.
Victory over Fulham was followed up by defeat to Liverpool, while their slender win against another relegation battler in Cardiff City came immediately before a 1-0 loss to Manchester City in their most recent match at the national stadium.
They also owe a trip to arch-rivals Arsenal on December 3, Tottenham have huge matches against Chelsea, Inter Milan and Southampton to prepare for.
Should Spurs defeat Chelsea this weekend, their winning run extends to five matches. This will leapfrog them over their city rivals into third place – not bad for a side enduring their so-called toughest spell since Pochettino took charge.
Tottenham Hotspur possible starting eleven:
Lloris; Aurier, Alderweireld, Foyth, Davies; Sissoko, Dier; Lucas, Dele, Eriksen; Kane
Maurizio Sarri became the first manager to remain unbeaten in his first 12 games in the Premier League with the 0-0 draw against Everton a fortnight ago, surpassing Frank Clark’s long-held record of 11 matches set at Nottingham Forest in 1994.
The last time Chelsea had a good run as this was in 2014, though the Everton stalemate prior to the international break did halt them in their tracks somewhat. Allowing Tottenham to close the gap to just one point, while Liverpool and Manchester City pulled further clear above them. The Blues, champions in two of the last four seasons, have now drawn four of their last seven league matches, having also been held by West Ham United and fellow big boys Liverpool and Manchester United in the past nine weeks.
Before the draw against Everton, Chelsea had amassed five successive wins in all competitions, including victories over Crystal Palace and Burnley in the Premier League, Derby County in the EFL Cup last 16 and BATE Borisov (twice) in the Europa League.
The Blues outfit have a strong mental edge going into Saturday’s match. They have beaten Spurs on four previous occasions at Wembley – more than any club has beaten another at the ground – including last term’s 2-1 success through a couple of Marcos Alonso strikes.
Chelsea possible starting eleven:
Kepa; Azpilicueta, Rudiger, Luiz, Alonso; Kante, Jorginho, Barkley; Willian, Giroud, Hazard
Head To Head
Pochettino’s team have won three of their last seven Premier League meetings with Chelsea, matching the number they had won in their previous 49 top-flight encounters.
The West Londoners have picked up victory in just two of their last 12 trips to Spurs, though one of those came in the corresponding fixture in August of last season.
Spurs exacted revenge by claiming a 3-1 triumph at Stamford Bridge the last time the sides met, and they are now seeking constitutive league wins in this fixture for the first time since August 1987.
Tottenham Hotspur 3 – 1 Chelsea
Dele Alli 8′
Harry Kane 16′
Son Heung Min 56′
Olivier Giroud 85′