Premier League: Chelsea vs Tottenham preview


Chelsea will be looking to get themselves back into the race for a top-four finish in the Premier League when they clash with Tottenham in a London Derby at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday. The two teams have already met three times this season and all the encounters were pretty intense. The reverse league fixture was won by Tottenham in November, with Dele Alli, Harry Kane and Son Heung-Min scoring for the Spurs and Olivier Giroud reducing the arrears for the Blues. The two rivals also clashed in the League Cup semi-finals, and Chelsea pulled through on penalties after a 1-0 defeat away and a 2-1 victory at home.

Chelsea have missed their first target of the season as they lost the League Cup final on penalties against Manchester City on Sunday. That match featured a strange episode in which goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga appeared to be refusing to go out of the pitch while manager Maurizio Sarri insisted to replace him with backup goalie Willy Caballero. The two parties claimed it was a misunderstanding but it might indicate that Sarri is losing the dressing room at Stamford Bridge. The Italian manager has a clean bill of health ahead of Wednesday's match but he will surely make some changes to his starting eleven.

Tottenham suffered a surprising defeat last weekend, 2-1 at Burnley, ending their four-game winning streak in all competitions. It is all quite ironic, they won four consecutive matches without Harry Kane and then lost right when the England striker returned to the starting eleven. That result leaves the Spurs in third place, but second-placed Manchester City are five points ahead and fourth-placed Arsenal are just seven points behind now. Dele Alli and Vincent Janssen remain sidelined, while Eric Dier missed the match against Burnley through illness and might be sidelined on Wednesday as well.

Probable line-ups:

Chelsea: Arrizabalaga - Azpilicueta, Rudiger, Luiz, Alonso - Kante, Jorginho, Kovacic - Pedro, Higuain, Hazard

Tottenham: Lloris - Alderweireld, Sanchez, Vertonghen - Trippier, Sissoko, Winks, Davies - Eriksen - Kane, Son

My prediction: Tottenham to win 2-1, Chelsea are in disarray and the Spurs will be determined to bounce back after last weekend's defeat.

Here are the odds for the match at Bet365:

Chelsea win - 2.30
Draw - 3.50
Tottenham win - 3.25

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