Chelsea humiliated Tottenham in both legs of the EFL Cup semi-final just a few weeks ago, but the Blues’ league form is seriously compromised, and Tottenham will feel they have a chance of revenge when the two teams meet in Stamford Bridge on Sunday.
The Blues (third place, 44 points) reached the EFL Cup final with a 3-0 aggregate victory, but in the Premier League they have only won one of their last seven games and have not won in their last five. The drop in form, mainly due to a lobotomized attack, has seen Chelsea slip down the Premier League table, their title challenge all but fizzled out.
Meanwhile, Tottenham (sixth place, 36 points) had many of their team’s shortcomings exposed against Chelsea in Cup competition, but they are unbeaten in the Premier League since October 30, a run of nine games without losing. Their extravagant 3-2 win over Leicester City last time out has given them a confidence boost, and a trademark victory over Chelsea would see Spurs jump to bottom of the Champions League.
Spurs have not beaten Chelsea in the Premier League since November 2018. With form in the away team’s favour, now might be the time to change the script.
This table-top clash will set the tone for both clubs heading into the upcoming international break in January. USA fans will take a particular interest in Christian Pulisic’s performance as Captain America takes the field for his club once again before flying home for a trio of critical USMNT games.
Sporting News will follow the match live and provide score updates, commentary and highlights as they happen.
(All times Eastern)
The lineups are here. Is it a 4-3-3 with Sarr and Azpi on the wings? Or is it a triple with Hudson-Odoi at full back? We’ll find out soon. I am surprised that Tuchel still has faith in Hakim Ziyech, who has been a regular in the attack that has failed in recent weeks, while Christian Pulisic and Kai Havertz are still stuck on the bench.
For Tottenham, Bergwijn is indeed rewarded for his heroism last time out with a start over Lucas Moura, while Japhet Tanganga comes in at the back.
Dele Alli was left out of Tottenham’s squad for the match, and many have taken this as a sign from Conte that he wants to see Alli sold. Reports indicate that nothing significant has happened yet, so there is speculation that it could be left until close to the transfer window deadline.
???? Dele Alli was left out of Tottenham’s squad for Chelsea today in the last game before the transfer window closes a week tomorrow. #THFC open to the transfer of the 25-year-old midfielder (contract 2024). There are no attractive offers yet; it is very likely to be late @TheAthleticUK #CHETOT https://t.co/rLE6laEZ4R
—David Ornstein (@David_Ornstein) January 23, 2022
9:30 a.m.: Antonio Conte hopes to succeed where other former Chelsea managers have failed.
Tottenham’s iconic London rivalry with Arsenal often leaves this match in the dust, but it’s a heated London derby that has been somewhat one-sided of late.
Chelsea vs Tottenham Lineups
Chelsea’s depleted squad is slowly recovering. Trevoh Chalobah and Reece James are back in training, but neither is expected to be in top form for an appearance in this game, at least not in the starting lineup.
However, there are still absences that Thomas Tuchel must solve. Ben Chilwell’s long absence with a torn ACL remains a key loss. Andreas Christensen continues his recovery from COVID-19, while Edouard Mendy remains in AFCON duties.
There are also a lot of squad decisions to make. Tuchel has been unable to find a recipe for success in front of the net in recent months. It’s mixed and matched to little effect. Part of the problem is width, with the losses of James and Chilwell causing problems on the side. He has occasionally switched to a 4-3-3, but that hasn’t led to any improvements. He is likely to return to the back three, with Malang Sarr returning to the side. Up front, Romelu Lukaku has been ineffective in the winless streak, with none of Kai Havertz, Timo Werner and Christian Pulisic finding any form either. At this point, it’s a total mystery who will see the field, as even Mason Mount’s performances have dwindled, leading to the occasional break.
Kepa (GK) – Azpilicueta, Rudiger, Silva, Sarr – Jorginho, Kovacic, Hudson-Odoi – Mount, Ziyech, Lukaku.
(Lineups posted one hour before kickoff)
Tottenham will get a big boost from the return of Eric Dier after a three-game absence due to illness, although neither Heung-Min Son nor Christian Romero will return until after the international break.
Antonio Conte mentioned that Tottenham are dealing with some “recent injuries” for this match but did not specify who is affected, leaving the starting line-up in doubt. Conte also said that Emerson played the last match against Leicester City with an injury and therefore his availability for this game will be in doubt.
It remains to be seen if Conte will reward the hero of the last game, with a place in the starting eleven, or if he will leave the Dutchman as an impact substitute and keep Lucas Moura from the jump. Sending Bergwijn back to the bench would be a huge blow to his confidence after such an emotional high. The midfield squad is a total coin toss in every game, although last time both saw the pitch from kick-off.
Lloris (GK) – Tanganga, Sánchez, Dier – Doherty, Winks, Højbjerg, Davies, Sessegnon – Bergwijn, Kane.
(Lineups posted one hour before kickoff)
- Date: Sunday, January 23
- Hour: 11:30 a.m. Eastern Time
- Television channel: – None
- Transmission: Peacock (subscription required)
The match Chelsea vs. Tottenham is exclusively available on the NBC Peacock streaming platform.
Chelsea vs. betting lines Tottenham, selections and predictions
Tottenham or draw (Double chance) and more than 2.5 goals (+300)
Chelsea 1-2 Tottenham
- money line: Chelsea -135 / Draw +280 / Tottenham +370
- Spread: Chelsea -0.5 (-130) / Tottenham +0.5 (-115)
- O/U 2.5 total goals: More than -110 / Less than -110
- Both teams score: Yes -120 / No +105