Tottenham Hotspur will host Chelsea in North London for a capital derby on Sunday afternoon with the potential to maintain their grasp on fourth position in the Premier League standings.
As he recovers from gallbladder surgery, former Chelsea coach Antonio Conte will unlikely take the reins against his old team. However, Cristian Stellini’s spotless record in command is still standing after going three for three during West Ham’s visit last weekend.
Tottenham and Chelsea can relate to each other there. But, “Second Half FC” came to the fore as Emerson Royal, and Son Heung-min sent Spurs into the Champions League positions, making that dreary first 45 minutes the only notable event.
It’s futile to forecast which Spurs team will show up each weekend. Spurs are about to win three straight Premier League home games with clean sheets for the first time since 2019. Still, the Lilywhites last drew a league game at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in December 2021.
Spurs PL Form: L W W L W
Spurs Form (All Competition): W W L L W
Following Chelsea’s dismal 1-0 loss to bottom-dwelling Southampton last weekend, some Chelsea supporters have been calling harder and louder for Graham Potter to be fired. But, the Blues board continues to believe in the Englishman under siege.
After going four games without a victory in the Premier League, Chelsea is trapped in mid-table mediocrity in 10th position, 11 points behind the Champions League spot. Todd Boehly allegedly supports Potter, even if several board members disagree.
However, the Englishman can only claim a meagre three victories from his last 16 matches in charge of the Blues, who will not move up the rankings regardless of what happens this weekend, and scored just three goals in their last nine games across all competitions in simply unacceptable for a team of Chelsea’s calibre.
Chelsea PL Form: W D D D L
Chelsea Form (All Competition): D D D L L
Graham Potter isn't feeling the pressure ? pic.twitter.com/0twb4eTWK5
— ESPN UK (@ESPNUK) February 24, 2023
Hugo Lloris, Ryan Sessegnon, Yves Bissouma, and Rodrigo Bentancur are all still out with injuries for Tottenham. The former has recently undergone successful surgery for his ACL rupture, which will likely keep him out until November.
Cesar Azpilicueta had a severe head injury during Chelsea’s game against Southampton. Still, the Spaniard has since been released from the hospital and is now recuperating at home.
Armando Broja, Christian Pulisic, and Edouard Mendy keep the Azpilicueta company in the medical facility.
Still, the Blues have gotten a significant boost from N’Golo Kante, who is currently back in team practice and is allegedly close to signing a new contract.
Tottenham Hotspur’s possible starting lineup:
Forster; Romero, Dier, Lenglet; Emerson, Skipp, Hojbjerg, Davies; Kulusevski, Kane, Son
Chelsea’s possible starting lineup:
Kepa; James, Silva, Badiashile, Chilwell; Kovacic, Fernandez; Mudryk, Felix, Sterling; Havertz
Head to Head
This is the 150th league meeting. Tottenham have won 47, the Blues 64, with 38 draws.
Chelsea is looking to become just the third team to win four consecutive away league games against Tottenham, emulating Arsenal (1952-55) and Manchester United (six between 2001-07).
Time, Date & Venue
Date: Sunday, February 26
Time: 01:30 pm, GMT
Venue: The Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London
Even though Stellini has managed to win three of his first three matches in charge, Spurs remain a highly unpredictable team.
With Chelsea receiving several fitness boosts ahead of Sunday’s game, Potter’s team may return to Stamford Bridge with a share of the spoils. However, that will only do a little to boost the Englishman’s popularity among the supporters.