It is the apprentice vs the master as Andre Villas-Boas’ Tottenham meet Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea for the first time. Chelsea enter the game in indifferent form after defeats to Everton and Basel in successive matches however a win at home to Fulham will give them confidence, whereas Spurs are playing fluently, having only conceded one competitive goal since May 12th. The media are describing this as the game that will truly reveal whether Spurs are capable of a title challenge.
Christian Eriksen v John Obi Mikel
The £11.5m Dane has made a stellar start to his Premier League career, producing a man of the match display at home to Norwich before backing it up with an impressive showing at Cardiff. He will be hoping to make his second home league game as successful as his first, but Chelsea’s defensive midfielder John Obi Mikel will be the man tasked with stopping him. Mikel, fresh from netting his first goal for Chelsea last week, is the major line of defence to Spurs’ creative hub.
Eden Hazard v Danny Rose
AVB stated in a press conference this week that Rose had a 90% chance of playing against Chelsea; that is tremendous news considering his back-up is Kyle Naughton. Tottenham’s main weakness is traditionally in the full-back areas and Rose will need to ensure that Hazard has little time or space to find a killer pass, because Samuel Eto’o will be desperate to get off the mark for Chelsea if the chance presents itself.
Paulinho v Frank Lampard
When Paulinho joined Spurs from Corinthians in July, he was immediately described as a “Brazilian Lampard”. Now the box-to-box midfielder has his first opportunity to face Lampard in the Lilywhite and he enters the game on sparkling form, having netted 2 goals in 2 games. His energy and eagerness to get forward is coming to the fore as he settles into the Premier League and he will be desperate to out-perform the experienced Lampard.
This feels like a bigger game than the Arsenal match did a month or so ago. It’s AVB v Mourinho. White v Blue. Come on you Spurs!
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