Opinion: Five Spurs things to look out for ahead of the derby against Chelsea

With Tottenham heading to Stamford Bridge this Sunday in an early litmus test for their Premier League title credentials, we wanted to take a look at the five things to look out for:

Richarlison getting his debut?

Following the one-game ban for his flare antics whilst at Everton (DailyMail), Richarlison will look to make his Tottenham debut this weekend. An appearance off the bench looks most likely for the Brazilian due to the excellent performance of Dejan Kulusevski against Southampton.

This season, the Premier League has allowed clubs to make a maximum of five substitutes instead of the prior three, subsequently making the introduction of Richarlison crucial ahead of the derby.

Evertonians would be the first to admit the importance of Richarlison in big games. The heart and desire he possesses are second to none and his fierce personality could prove pivotal in the latter stages of Sunday’s game.

Same team please, Conte

The team news on opening day raised a few eyebrows as Conte opted to include no new signings from the start. Fans were quick to criticise the Italian as all available debutants were named on the bench.

After the Southampton game, Antonio Conte explained his decisions behind the team selection and confirmed why he started with a familiar starting eleven.

He said (Alasdair Gold): “I am really happy because we have new signings going into our process and they will help us to improve, but at the same time they have to know they have to fight and give me the possibility to rotate.”

It is likely that Conte will go for the same team that thrashed Southampton and put his trust in those players to go out and get the three points on Sunday.

However, I would not be surprised if Ivan Perisic came in for Ryan Sessegnon, even after the youngster’s impressive display at left-wing-back. Experience in a game like this is key and as well as his ability on the ball, the Croatian could provide a sense of leadership.

Our horrid record against Chelsea

Granted, our opening display against Southampton was incredible and got Spurs off to the best start possible. However, Chelsea will be a completely different test. In recent times, our record against Chelsea has been abysmal.

Our last victory against the Blues in the Premier League was November 2018 (11vs11). A Pochettino-led team with a defence containing Juan Foyth and Serge Aurier achieved a 3-1 victory over Chelsea at Wembley.

Many Spurs fans may associate this game with Heung-min Son’s brilliant solo goal. Yes, unfortunately, it has been that long since we’ve beaten Chelsea in the league.

However, a squad with a Conte pre-season under their belt could change this horrid run of form and I am quietly confident we can get the three points.

A perfect start for both Spurs and Chelsea

The opening weekend saw the two London clubs come away with three points each. Chelsea travelled to Goodison Park to face an Everton team who started new signings James Tarkowski and Dwight McNeil.

A Jorginho penalty just before halftime saw the Blues take all three points from Merseyside after an unimpressive display. Although they won, Tuchel’s men looked poor against Everton and could have easily drawn or even lost the game.

Their lack of a goalscoring number nine showed from the first whistle, with their only bright spark being new signing Raheem Sterling. Due to our thoroughly strengthened side, this could be our best opportunity to snatch the win at the Bridge and come back with all three points.

New signings are on the block in South London

Following the Todd Boehly take over at Chelsea, the club have been allowed to restart their transfer business. The departure of Roman Abramovich, who had served the club for nineteen years, allowed investment to be pumped back into the squad.

Chelsea had to say goodbye to a crucial centre-back in Antonio Rudiger, who made a move to the Bernabeu earlier this summer. However, the £33.8M signing of Senegalese defender Kalidou Koulibaly helped replace Rudiger in their back three.

Additionally, both Aston Villa starlet Carney Chukwuemeka and Brighton’s Marc Cucurella signed contracts with Chelsea last week, with the latter immediately boosting their wing-back options. The new Spaniard can also fill in at left centre back.

Tuchel has improved his attacking assets too with the signing of Raheem Sterling from Manchester City. As mentioned above, Sterling looked like the Blues’ most promising player in their opening game and will look to cause problems come Sunday afternoon.

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