Andre Villas-Boas meets up with his old boss, Jose Mourinho, in the early kick off at White Hart Lane this Saturday, where 2nd meets 4th in an eagerly awaited clash between the two clubs.
The boss versus the apprentice. Both managers and their clubs have enjoyed different summers and starts to the season. The ‘Happy One’ has returned to Stamford Bridge to a much, much different and more youthful side than he left back in September 2007.
In terms of their summers, both clubs were at loggerheads over the poaching of Willian for Chelsea via Tottenham via Anzhi, an absolute mess of a transfer, but in the end Chelsea got their man. Willian arrived at Chelsea for £30m, while Spurs also made a £30m signing of their own – Erik Lamela.
Chelsea enjoyed a dominant 30 minute spell against Hull City on the opening day of the season, and then faded throughout the rest of the game, their home game versus Aston Villa was a poor display despite their 2-1 victory. Since then, they have won 1 in 3 in the Premier League, drawing 0-0 with Manchester United, a 1-0 loss away to Everton and a 2-0 win versus Fulham last Saturday.
Spurs have won four Premier League games this season; 3 of those ending 1-0; while beating Norwich City 2-0 at White Hart Lane on the 14th. Their only loss of the season so far has come against their North London rivals, Arsenal, and the manner of that defeat came as a shock to many Spurs fans, but the arrivals of Christian Eriksen and Erik Lamela, and the reintroduction of 4-2-3-1 has seemed to ease some worries for Spurs.
Aaron Lennon and Etienne Capoue will definitely miss out, but Danny Rose and Younes Kaboul could feature in the squad for the visit of Chelsea.
Ramires and Marco van Ginkel are set to miss out after coming off in their 2-0 win over Swindon Town on Tuesday night in the Capital One Cup.
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[li]Spurs have won only three of their 42 Premier League games against Chelsea[/li]
[li]The last three competitive meetings between Spurs and Chelsea have produced a total of 16 goals.[/li]
[li]Spurs have conceded 1 goal in their last 987 minutes in all competitions.[/li]
[li]None of Chelsea’s strikers have scored a Premier League goal this season.[/li]
[li]Spurs haven’t won against Chelsea in all competitions since April 2010, a 2-1 win at White Hart Lane.[/li]
Spurs: Christian Eriksen vs Chelsea: Oscar
Since making his £11m move to White Hart Lane, despite playing just two Premier League games, Christian Eriksen is already an integral part of the Spurs set up. His debut versus Norwich City was a creative masterclass, his ability to link up with Roberto Soldado and create space in-between the lines was what was missing for the opening three Premier League games.
In his 160 minutes played, Eriksen has played (91) passes, of which (83) found his target, a passing accuracy rate of 91%. Of those (91) passes, 24% were played forward, 26% backwards, with 18% played to the left and 32% of his passes played to the right, it seems that the Denmark international has established a relationship with Kyle Walker and Andros Townsend on the right hand side.
In terms of Eriksen’s creative ability, in just 160 mins played, he has completed 1/4 successful dribbles, has created (6) total chances and has (1) assist – averaging a clear-cut chance every 160 mins.
Compare this to Chelsea’s key player, Oscar, the player that is currently keeping out Juan Mata, and with reason, according to Jose Mourinho.
At this moment, Oscar is my No 10 [playmaker] and, if somebody tells me that Oscar has not been Chelsea’s best player this season, I’d have to disagree. These are football issues. – Jose Mourinho
I have to agree with Mourinho, so far this season, Oscar has been Chelsea’s stand out player. In his 382 minutes played in the Premier League, Oscar has bagged (2) goals in the Premier League, and currently has a 40% shot accuracy, while converting 20% of his chances and converting 100% of his clear-cut chances. Oscar also has a Champions League goal to his name, netting in the 2-1 defeat to FC Basel at Stamford Bridge last week.
Oscar has been successful with 5/9 of his attempted dribbles, the Brazilian playmaker has created 8 chances, but has yet to assist a goal for his team-mates.
Chelsea’s number 11 has played 246 passes, of which 208 has found his target, a 85% pass completion.
As shown above, Oscar has played 93/121 total final 3rd passes – a 77% final 3rd pass completion, compared to Christian Eriksen, who has 45/51 total final 3rd passes – a 88% final 3rd completion. If Eriksen can sustain the accuracy of final 3rd passes, he will be join Oscar as one of the most feared playmakers in the Premier League.
Predicted line up, Scorline and Odds
Both managers will line up with a 4-2-3-1 formation. Ramires may miss out after coming off versus Swindon Town, with Frank Lampard being reinstated against Spurs, who is usually a thorn in their side. Lamela could potentially make his first Premier League start for Spurs, Sandro could fit back in defensive midfield for his first start, as Chelsea’s midfield will offer more in attack; which will mean more defensive work for Mousa Dembele, but in such a big profile game, Villas-Boas may keep the same 11 that have won at Cardiff away and Norwich at home.
I think the game between the two London rivals will be incredibly tight, so I’m backing a 1-1 draw at William Hill at 6/1.
Roberto Soldado has scored first in 2 of Tottenham’s 5 Premier League games, he’s available at 6/1 FGS at William Hill.