Verdict: Chelsea win
Best Odds: 8/11
With London bragging rights up for grabs this weekend, Chelsea will travel across the capital on Sunday afternoon when they face off against Tottenham.
Starting with the hosts, while Tottenham might have opened the new campaign with a real early-season flurry, Spurs do find themselves enduring a recent wobble. Coming crashing back down to earth when returning from the international break, new boss Nuno Espírito Santo saw his side get blown away thanks to a 3-0 drumming against Crystal Palace. Missing out on what they thought was a golden chance when they opened their Europa Conference League adventure out in France on Thursday, Spurs eventually had to settle for a 2-2 draw away at Rennes. Showing the same issues that haunted them last season and shipping five goals in their back-to-back contests, the former Wolves boss will know that his side face a stern test this weekend. With attacking talisman Harry Kane yet to open his Premier League account after a summer of speculation, it should also be noted that Tottenham were hit with a 1-0 defeat the last time they welcomed Chelsea to North London.
With both Lucas Moura and Steven Bergwijn limping off against Rennes in midweek, both are seen to be a doubt when Chelsea come to town on Sunday.
However, in what could be a boost for Spurs, this weekend’s hosts are hopeful that Eric Dier and Son Heung-min could feature in North London.
As for the visitors, eventually managing to open the defence of their Champions League crown with a 1-0 win against Zenit in midweek, the mood in Chelsea’s camp should be at a red-hot high. Only continuing to shine since appointing Head Coach Thomas Tuchel earlier in the year, the Blues are tipped as a real contender in the title hunt this season. Marking their return from the international break with a thumping 3-0 win against Aston Villa at Stamford Bridge, the former PSG boss has seen his side gain a string of admirers. Collecting 10 points from their opening four Premier League contests and conceding just a single goal in doing so, Tuchel also has one attacking talisman enjoying a real purple patch. Laying down an early marker since making his return to West London over the summer, Romelu Lukaku once again got himself on the scoresheet in midweek. In fact, the Belgian ace has already recorded seven goals in his six matchups for club and country this season.
Suffering an ankle injury against Liverpool last month, midfielder N’Golo Kante still remains a doubt on Sunday afternoon.
Christian Pulisic is also a doubt after the American came off an hour into the USA’s 4-1 World Cup qualifying victory over Honduras last week.
Key Factors to Consider
- When Sunday’s opponents last faced off on Premier League duties back in February, Chelsea picked up a 1-0 victory on the road.
- Since making his Chelsea return over the summer, Romelu Lukaku has seven goals in his six matchups for club and country this season.
- Tottenham have conceded five goals in their back-to-back contests since returning from the international break.
- England skipper Harry Kane is yet to open his Premier League account this season.
- Four of the last five Premier League meetings between Spurs and Chelsea have finished with under 2.5 goals.
Managing to open their Champions League defence with three points at Stamford Bridge in midweek, Chelsea should be smelling the chance to lay down another marker here. With London bragging rights up for grabs on Sunday, Thomas Tuchel’s side are enjoying a real early-season flurry. Mustering 10 points from their opening four Premier League contests and with Romelu Lukaku enjoying his own free-scoring run, a downbeat Tottenham might face another stern test here. Having to settle for a point against Rennes in midweek and blown away thanks to a 3-0 drumming at the hands of Crystal Palace when returning from the international break, Spurs are once again showing a host of issues. With Chelsea landing a 1-0 win in their last trip to North London, we’re backing a similar away win here.
Verdict: Chelsea win
Best Odds: 8/11