Mizgan Ahmed on 27th November, 2015
Chelsea travel north of London to face in form Spurs in the Barclays Premier League, we analytically preview the game and how Pochettino and Mourinho may go about their business for this huge game.
Spurs are unbeaten in the League since the opening day loss to Manchester United, on the other hand, defending champions have had a terrible start to the season already losing 7 of the 13 games played. Injury to regular captain John Terry has already reduced the backline options for Mourinho. Pochettino meanwhile, doesn’t have to worry interms of casualty after he took his full squad to play Qarabag on Thursday which is a good news.
Let’s now see how both teams may lineup for the game with a tactical insight.
Tottenham Hotspur –
We take a look at the expected lineup of Spurs and analyse their general play.
Pochettino loves his side to play from the back and get the fullbacks on the ball who can drive forward and stretch the oppositions. Both Walker and Rose loves to get on overlaps and put in crosses. Mason and Dier go a bit wider in their positions when the fullbacks are on the run, Dembele, Eriksen and Son will become narrow or make late runs in the six yard box giving either of Walker/Rose with an added option to target apart from Kane. On the defensive front, Vertoghen and Alderweireld loves to stay compact together and not allow a space in between them.
We all know, Chelsea have been horrible defending in wide areas, this will encourage Rose and Walker to run at their fullbacks and cut inside also whenever possible. Eriksen and Son will look to exploit the space Chelsea always provide in between a fullback and a centre back. Harry Kane will be looking to run behind a slow Zouma and open up space for others to run into. Delle Alli’s suspension will be a huge blow for Spurs though.
Kane will look to continue his goal-scoring form, he will be depending on Eriksen to provide an assist for him.
All in all, Spurs are a very well rehearsed and drilled side going forward or defending in tough situations. Pochettino has this side playing in exactly the way he wants, which is always a good thing for both manager and the team. Chelsea’s poor form this season will encourage Pochettino’s men to beat them for the second time in a year at the White Hart Lane.
Now let’s take a look at the possible lineup for the defending champions Chelsea. Injury to Terry makes it obvious that Zouma and Cahill will be leading the backline. Ivanovic is expected to start in that right back position, it will be interesting to see whether Mourinho go for Kennedy or Azpilicueta in that left back position, given the pace of Walker and solidity that Azpilicueta can provide defensively, the Portuguese may opt for Spaniard in that position. Matic and Ramires should be starting in the midfield role. Fabregas is not fit for that role, he is the best player when it comes to dominate the opposition with possession and incisiveness, but Chelsea need solidity in that midfield and pair of Matic and Ramires will provide that. All eyes will be on Hazard, whether he delivers the performance of the type we all are expecting.
All eyes will be on Hazard, whether he comes with the performance of the highest order.
Chelsea also love to play from back and allow the fullbacks to make runs from wider areas and stretch the opposition. Hazard and Willian also love to stay a bit wider and create that 2 vs 1 situation whenever possible with opposition’s fullbacks. Costa will look to make intelligent runs and create space for likes of Oscar and Ramires to dart in. Defensively, Zouma and Cahill will look to be as narrow as they can, they will want to tackle Kane as a pair and not allow Kane with one on one situation. Matic and Ramires will look to get wider when fullbacks move forward and will be compact with Ramires making runs forward whenever possible.
In all fairness, it is the battle of two teams who have similar style of play. As the home team, Spurs will look to take the onus early on and Chelsea will like to soak up the pressure and play on the counter.
We witnessed an eight-goal thriller last time these two met at the Lane on New Year’s day, if we get even half the amount of goals from previous encounter, it will be a treat to watch.
Comment your lineup and prediction of the game.