Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham welcome Antonio Conte’s Chelsea to Wembley for the first home game of the new season in a match of significant importance so early in the campaign.
Pundits and fans alike have cast many doubts over Tottenham’s chances of Premier League success this season and many have stated the coming season will be a struggle due to playing at Wembley. This shouldn’t be an excuse for any shortcomings this season, but Spurs’ record at the National Stadium speaks for itself. Spurs won just once in five visits to Wembley last season including an embarrassing aggregate loss to Gent in the Europa League, so you can see why fans are not brimming with confidence.
So, the visit of the Premier League champions brings with it the perfect opportunity to silence early season critics and doubters. Revenge will be on the minds of the Spurs players following last season’s 4-2 FA Cup semi-final defeat where the introduction of Diego Costa and Eden Hazard won the game for the Blues.
Two players Spurs will not have to face on Sunday are Diego Costa and Nemanja Matic, who have caused the Lilywhites problems in the past. Costa’s future seems uncertain at this moment in time, but it appears he will not be playing anymore football at Stamford Bridge. The decision to sell Matic has puzzled many and is clearly a decision that does not sit well with Antonio Conte.
The loss of two key players has not been easy for Chelsea as they fell to a shock 3-2 defeat to Burnley, who one just once away from Turf Moor last season. Alvaro Morata getting on the scoresheet is one of the few positives Chelsea fans can take from the opening day loss, but Morata missing a sitter, denying another goal and ill-discipline will be on the minds of many going into this Sunday’s trip to Wembley.
By contrast, Spurs got their campaign off to a winning start to Newcastle, running out 2-0 winners over Newcastle, Dele Alli and Ben Davies getting on the scoresheet. Until the sending off of Jonjo Shelvey just four minutes into the second half, Spurs failed to create many chances and didn’t really look like taking all three points. This is something that surely will be on Mauricio Pochettino’s mind ahead of Sunday.
Both seeing red on Saturday, Chelsea will be missing key creator Cesc Fabregas and captain Gary Cahill, which could prove big misses for the Blues. Spurs on the other hand will be without Danny Rose and Erik Lamela whilst Georges-Kevin N’Koudou and Kieran Trippier are also unlikely to make the matchday squad which could mean another chance to impress for young Kyle Walker-Peters.
What do you see as the outcome for this one? Take a look at the best bookies & offerings on this one. I think Tottenham are good value for the win. Moreover, I think we are going to be in for an entertaining match on Sunday. Antonio Conte will be demanding a big response from his players after Saturday’s defeat while Mauricio Pochettino’s side will be keen to banish those Wembley woes. I would not be surprised if this one ended in a draw.