Chelsea come to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Sunday afternoon for what promises to be an intriguing encounter with both sides looking to confirm a top four position as they tuck in to their turkey and sprouts on Wednesday.
Of the two teams we appear to be the ones in form. We have won four of our last five league games whereas as our opponents have lost four of theirs. When Mourinho became our new step-dad the gap between the two teams was in double figures, it’s slightly astonishing that we can move ahead on goal difference with a win.
Last week’s victory at Molineux was much better on paper than it was on grass. Our goals bookended a dominant Wolves display. We were pathetic in midfield, ineffective up front and the defence was at full stretch from beginning to end. Very predictably Vertonghen spent much of the ninety minutes being torn a new one by Traore, it was all the more ironic then that Jan’s fine, fine winning header was as a result of Traore switching off at Eriksen’s corner.
Our midfield needs some serious surgery if we’re going to stand a chance this weekend. It’s clear that Jose is a Dier lover, and I think we’re all probably fans of a fit and focused Wreckless Eric but the overweight and clumsy chap who has been stuffed in to the number 15 shirt of late is not that man.
The trouble is the lack of alternatives. Winks, Sissoko, Wanyama, Skipp, Ndombele? In each case they would be square pegs being forced in to a square hole.
So the chances are we will see Eric back in front of the regular back four (Vertonghen, Toby, Sanchez and Aurier) once again, probably with Winks alongside him. Harry and Dele pick themselves. Perm any two from Sissoko, Son and Lucas to make up the eleven.
Chelsea have been reliant on the impressive Abraham for most of the season. Makes a change from Hazard I suppose. Their midfield of Kovacic, Kante and Jorginho is of a far higher quality than ours and attempting to keep these three from gaining a stranglehold on the game is going to be key. Rudiger is back to strengthen their recently hesitant back four whilst Willian and Pulisic will do their best to provide ammunition for Tammy.
Mourinho has had the squad to coach all week for the first time. We really must hope that he and tactical expert Joao Sacramento have been able to get through to the players enough information for them to stand a chance of getting a clean sheet. If they have, then Dele and Harry may well be able to deliver a result.
Whatever happens, it should be a cracking game.
Anthony Taylor is the referee.
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