Tottenham Hotspur v Chelsea: Top Four Tussle or Title Challengers Match?

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LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 10: Tottenham players stand in the rain in a minute of remembrance wearing poppies on their shirts during the Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Tottenham Hotspur at Selhurst Park on November 10, 2018 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Mark Leech/Offside/Getty Images)

After the latest international break came to an end, the Premier League is back in action this weekend with some pulsating fixtures to look forward to. One of the standout ties is the Saturday evening kicks off at Wembley stadium between Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea. Last Word on Football looks ahead to a game that could be a top-four tussle or even a title challengers match up.

Tottenham v Chelsea – Top Four Tussle?

Both Chelsea and Spurs are once again aiming for top four finishes in the Premier League. Chelsea currently sit third with Spurs just one place and one point behind their London rivals.

Maurizio Sarri has revitalised a stagnant Chelsea, who now favour an attacking 4-3-3 formation which has seen them score goals aplenty this season. Spurs have had one of their best starts to a Premier League season without playing well. There is a feeling that Spurs are either one game away from truly hitting top gear or one step away from a damaging defeat. Some of Spurs’ football has been laboured and sluggish but they are a more resilient team than before the Pochettino era. Is this match just about the top four?

Title Challengers?

Whilst Chelsea know how to win Premier League titles, Tottenham are still waiting to add a first title since 1961 and the ‘glory, glory, days.’ They have come close, most notably losing out to Leicester City and their famous title victory. So can this match be touted as a title challengers match or is it simply a top-four battle?

Tottenham are just five points off the summit but if they want to be taken seriously as title challengers, it is in these games that they need to make statements in. Already this season they have surrendered to Liverpool and were considered a tad unlucky against Manchester City. The fact still remains that Spurs need to beat the teams around them to go from top-four regulars to real title challengers.

PossibleLine-Ups

Chelsea have no major injury concerns, whilst Spurs are missing a few of their main players. Kieran Trippier, Danny Rose, Moussa Dembele are all out injured although, in better news, Jan Vertonghen is in contention to start. If he is fit, a Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld pairing seems likely at the back. Ben Davies and Serge Aurier will be the wing-backs and will need to be at their best. Both look promising going forward but are not as convincing facing their own goals. Harry Kane will again lead the line with Dele Alli just behind and Christian Eriksen expected to start.

Eric Dier came in for criticism for his performance for England in mid-week and the thoughts of him facing up to Eden Hazard will fill Spurs fans with some concern.

Prediction

Spurs will have to be at their best to beat Chelsea and their ‘Sarriball.’ Going forward, Chelsea are fast and have a mean defence. Spurs have not been scoring lots of goals but this is a game in which goals should come.

It is hard to see, on current form, Spurs being able to dominate possession but they have the players to make this a close call.

Prediction: Tottenham Hotspur 2-2 Chelsea

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