Tottenham vs Chelsea head-to-head: Who wins the on-pitch battles?
Tottenham vs Chelsea head-to-head: Kepa rated higher than Hugo Lloris, Jorginho edges out Eric Dier and Harry Kane backed to outscore fellow striker Alvaro Morata
- Tottenham host Chelsea in Saturday evening’s Premier League clash at Wembley
- Spurs will go above their London rivals if they beat Chelsea at the weekend
- Match will see the likes of Harry Kane and Eden Hazard share Wembley pitch
Two old rivals clash in the fixture of the weekend under the arch on Saturday night as Premier League football returns following the international break.
Just a point separates unbeaten visitors Chelsea, in third, and fourth-placed Spurs, with both aiming to bring the title back to London.
Here, Sportsmail’s MIKE KEEGAN delivers his verdict on the expected starting XIs and predicts who will take the Wembley honours.
Hugo Lloris 7.5
An under par start to the season, coupled with some unhelpful off-the-field issues, led to the ‘l’ word – liability – being used in connection with the World Cup winner. Lloris kept a clean sheet at Crystal Palace before international fortnight and will be hoping to carry on where he left off. His distribution is key.
Kepa Arrizabalaga 8
Took the Spanish gloves from David de Gea in the international break and has impressed after his big money move, with nine clean sheets in 16 appearances. Has made only one notable mistake — in the 3-2 win over Arsenal — and would appear to be the solid presence Maurizio Sarri craves.
Hugo Lloris and Kepa Arrizabalaga will have to be at their best if they are to keep a clean sheet
Serge Aurier 6.5
Likely to step in for the injured Kieran Trippier, and his presence will concern Spurs fans. There is no doubting the athletic, rapid Ivorian’s talent, but his concentration levels are not what they perhaps should be and a clanger never feels far away.
Cesar Azpilicueta 7.5
Mr Consistent. One of those defenders who you do not notice, which suggests he is rarely at fault. Perhaps not the most dynamic attacking threat, but does exactly what is asked of him.
Serge Aurier and Cesar Azpilicueta will start at right back for their respective sides
Toby Alderweireld 7
Tottenham’s only fully fit centre half will be looking to put a nightmare evening with Belgium in Switzerland behind him. The hosts found more holes in the Belgium backline than their famous cheese and, while Alderweireld cannot shoulder all the blame, it was a stunning collapse that nobody saw coming. Will need to be at his best.
Antonio Rudiger 7.5
The German has adapted well to life under Sarri, and his distribution, so important in his manager’s style of play, has improved. While his theatrical collapse after a glance from Everton lightweight Bernard rightly won him few fans, has been a commanding presence in a defence that has performed well so far.
Toby Alderweireld and Antonio Rudiger have been in fine form for their clubs this season
Jan Vertonghen 7
May well come in for his first start in almost two months following a hamstring injury and will be welcomed with open arms. Mauricio Pochettino is a big fan of the Belgian, who now has six years at the club following his move from Ajax. Had Spurs actually signed someone in the window, he would probably not be back in the mix yet.
David Luiz 7
Back in favour following the departure of Antonio Conte, the Brazilian looks set to win a new contract at the Bridge and no wonder. Earlier this week, Sarri sung his praises, highlighting his ‘intelligence’ and ‘availability’. Is now firmly re-established.
Jan Vertonghen (left) is back in first team training while David Luiz is a reliable defender
Ben Davies 6.5
Held down the left back spot for long periods last season, to the surprise of many. The intelligent, softly-spoken Welshman, however, had a tough time against Palace and there are concerns over his ability to deal with the best of the best. He will relish the opportunity to prove his critics wrong.
Marcos Alonso 7.5
Sarri reckons the Spaniard can be the best left back in Europe, and he may have a point. Brilliant going forward, but questions remain about his defending. If he can answer those, then Sarri’s prediction will not be far off the mark.
Left backs Ben Davies and Marcos Alonso will be hoping to make a difference from wide areas
Moussa Sissoko 7
Appears to have proved his doubters wrong after a sterling start to the season, which is just as well, given Spurs’s apparent lack of options in the centre of the park. Back in the France squad, and a dominating presence that Tottenham will need.
N’Golo Kante 7.5
Will step out fresh from signing a new, five-year contract, which should give you some indication of how he is regarded in west London. A tireless player who is everywhere, and key to Chelsea’s strong start to life under Sarri.
France internationals Moussa Sissoko and N’Golo Kante will face each other on Saturday
Eric Dier 7.5
Has impressed for club and country and appears to be maturing into a fine player. At 24, he provides a reassuring, controlling presence, and will look to dictate on Saturday evening.
Chelsea won the bidding war with Manchester City to ensure he followed his manager from Napoli and the reasons for their efforts have become clear. Has 100 passes more than anyone else in Europe’s top five leagues so far this season and makes Chelsea tick.
Tottenham’s Eric Dier and Jorginho of Chelsea often play at the base of the midfield
Christian Eriksen 7.5
Fitness worries over Erik Lamela could hand the Dane a start. Pochettino demands loyalty from his players and perhaps the numerous reports linking Eriksen with a move away are behind his relative lack of playing time. On his day, can change the game.
Mateo Kovacic 7.5
Looks set to win his fitness battle after picking up an injury at the same venue during Croatia’s Nations League defeat to England last weekend. Another new arrival who has slotted in nicely, although a feeling remains that the best may be yet to come.
Christian Eriksen and Mateo Kovacic will battle it out in midfield during Saturday’s duel
Dele Alli 7.5
Presuming he has had some sleep after his late night following England’s finals-qualifying win, could be Spurs’s key to unlocking Chelsea’s resolute defences. Another who came back from a long World Cup who may well improve over the coming weeks.
Like his compatriot Luiz, has flourished under the new manager following the departure of Conte. Entertaining on the field and off it, revealing this week that Kante knows the value of a pound and often is last to reach for his wallet in restaurants.
Dele Alli and Willian will be looking to get on the scoresheet for their respective sides
Lucas Moura 7.5
There were some who were questioning why Spurs brought the Brazilian across the Channel from Paris Saint-Germain in the middle of last season. With a full pre-season under his belt, he has shown them why. Electric pace, intelligent runs and sound distribution. Like a new signing.
Eden Hazard 9.5
The brilliant Belgian continues to improve and has to be involved in best in the world conversations. When he gets the ball, things tend to happen, unless he gets singled out for a roughing up, which happens with increasing regularity.
Lucas Moura and Eden Hazard will be hoping to steal the show during the London derby
Harry Kane 9
Already a shoe-in for a knighthood and the best old fashioned striker in the Premier League. His presence, intelligence and ability to hold the ball up are one thing, his lethal finishing another. Spurs fans must have nightmares over what happens if he ever gets injured.
Alvaro Morata 7
Comes in for his fair share of flak and, as the saying goes, often looks like he would not hit sand if he fell off a camel. That is a little harsh, but improvement is needed if he is to justify his hefty transfer fee.
Harry Kane will be buoyed by his England heroics while Alvaro Morata will start at Wembley
PREDICTION: Tottenham 1-1 Chelsea. A result which will do the away side more favours than the home side, but one an injury-depleted Spurs would probably take.
Source: Read Full Article