Joining club historian Rick Glanvill and club statistician Paul Dutton to continue their preview for the weekend's opening fixture, Clive Walker adds the tactical eye of a former player…
Chelsea are aiming to extend a five-match winning streak and become the first team to win at White Hart Lane since Norwich in April. Former Blues winger Clive Walker assesses how we might achieve it.
'We are overdue a good result at White Hart Lane,' Clive says. 'Six visits without a win is disappointing compared to what we became used to before. It was always going to be a difficult job and it's made harder by the loss of John Terry. You need leaders in games such as this and Spurs are desperate for revenge after what we did to them last season.
'Having said that, David Luiz and Gary Cahill have proved themselves at centre-back in the toughest of environments - a Champions League final on the opposition's home ground - so I'm sure they will keep their focus again this weekend.
'This season the ratchet is cranked even higher because Spurs are managed by the man Chelsea sacked, and the Blues arrive as the capital's first Champions of Europe, a title the north London clubs would love to have won.
'Tottenham fans will still be bitter that our victory also turfed them out of this season's Champions League. There will be an air of "something to prove" about the place.
'The Chelsea fans can remind the home supporters as much as much as they like about last season's 5-1 drubbing in the FA Cup semi-final, but the teams will put it out of their minds completely.
'However, as a player you are well aware what this derby means to fans, and I always feel this one means more to Chelsea supporters than playing anyone else; for Spurs it's more Arsenal.
'International traveling over the past few weeks could be a factor for both sides. After the delay to the England game I imagine both AVB and Roberto Di Matteo would have been frustrated not to have had their players back from Poland on time. They were two teams in terrific form before the break.
'After a bit of a winless streak AVB switched to a 4-4-1-1 at QPR and was rewarded with a big win. They had been playing less on the front foot than under previous manager Harry Redknapp, using a 4-2-3-1 formation that relied more on patient possession.
'With that they couldn't find enough at home to put away West Brom and Norwich - who we beat with ease a fortnight ago, of course. Since them Clint Dempsey, who can be quite clever and elusive, has been playing in a support striker role behind Jermain Defoe.
'Part of his job is to harass the opposition's holding midfielder as much as possible, as well as provide the usual nuisance in attack with late runs. It's worked for AVB. But will he be ready to start after flying halfway round the world with the USA team?
'Another key switch was bringing young Steven Caulker into the centre of defence and moving Jan Vertonghen to left-back. Vertonghen will likely be back in the middle if Benoit Assou-Ekotto is fit again.
'The Belgian has earned a lot of praise so far for showing his quality in the tackle and on the ball. Chelsea's attacking four will ask real questions of this Spurs defence, though, and it will be the concentration of Vertonghen and co. that will be tested to the limit.
'How many of Oscar, Eden Hazard and Victor Moses will start after their globe-trotting activities? If we can put out a semblance of the side that beat Arsenal at the Emirates the likes of right-back Kyle Walker will have to be careful about when he chooses to go forward. We have become expert at exploiting gaps behind the defence this season.
'It was amazing Spain left out Juan Mata, but their loss is our gain. He's been absolutely terrific so far this season and he'll want to go out at White Hart Lane and really show the national set-up what they're missing.
'Mikel is back in the Nigeria fold again, though, and this is the type of battle where you do need his strength and experience in that defensive role. He has been excellent this season and will have a crucial part to play stopping Dempsey and Dembele from finding Defoe.
'Centre midfield is going to be a decisive area. Spurs have Moussa Dembélé and Sandro in there. Of the two, Dembélé roves forward more, hoping to beat a man and open up play.
'From the attacking viewpoint it means if he can rob his opponent further up the field you're that crucial bit closer to goal, and this Chelsea side always offers lots of options.
'Obviously Gareth Bale and Aaron Lennon are big threats for Spurs. Referees may be scrutinising Bale's tumbles slightly more than usual after recent incidents, but you can't deny he gets the crowd out of their seats with his surging runs.
'He carries the ball at speed and has a tremendous shot on him too. He singlehandedly won the game for Wales against Scotland, and Robbie Di Matteo will have to work out a way to deal with him.
'He used José Bosingwa at right-back in last season's semi-final for his pace. We won 5-1, which was fantastic, but it was Bale who scored their goal. At the Lane, Branislav Ivanovic started there but had to go off injured, and Paulo Ferreira did very well.
'It's handy our full-backs have not been that over-exerted in the break. Ashley Cole was partly rested, Cesar Azpilicueta did not go anywhere at all, and Ryan Bertrand returned early because of illness - let's hope he is fully recovered by Saturday as we'll need to defend our flanks properly and he can do a job there from midfield.
'People were surprised Brad Friedel was dropped after 310 consecutive league starts to make way for Hugo Lloris. It was ahead of the international break though and Lloris obviously wants to stay in the France reckoning. He played against Spain and saved a Fabregas penalty, so AVB did him a favour.
'This will be a tight game in a hostile atmosphere, but I thought we edged the draw there last season and should go one better this time around.'
With Frank Lampard over the calf strain that kept him out for England and Ryan Bertrand recovered from illness, Roberto Di Matteo has plenty from which to choose, especially as the international break was the final part of Daniel Sturridge's rehabilitation from a hamstring tear. John Terry is suspended.
Tottenham will be without former Blue Scott Parker due to an Achilles injury and defenders Benoit Assou-Ekotto and Younes Kaboul have knee injuries.Jake Livermore and Kyle Naughton are back in contention.
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The Blues are hoping for a sixth straight win in all competitions.
We have won both games against teams in the top half.
Chelsea boast the Barclays Premier League's tightest defence, conceding four goals in seven matches.
The Blues are eight points better off after seven games compared to the corresponding games last season.
All five occasions this term in the Premier League we have opened the scoring we have gone on to win the game.
Chelsea's 19 points from seven matches marks our best start since 2005/06 when we secured maximum points from the same number of games.
|Last six results|
|Sep 19||Juventus (Champions League h)||D 2-2|
|Sep 22||Stoke (h)||W 1-0|
|Sep 25||Wolves (League Cup h)||W 6-0|
|Sep 29||Arsenal (a)||W 2-1|
|Oct 2||FC Nordsjaelland (Champions League a)||W 4-0|
|Oct 6||Norwich (h)||W 4-1|
Premier League scorers
Torres 4, Ivanovic 3, Lampard 3 (2 pens), Hazard 2 (1 pen), Cahill 1, Cole 1, Mata 1. Total 15.
League games since
An away win: 0
An away draw: 1
An away defeat: 3
|Chelsea's next three games|
|Tue 23 Oct||Shakhtar Donetsk (CL) away||7.45pm|
|Sun 28 Oct||Manchester United home||4pm|
|Wed 31 Oct||Manchester United (LC) home||7.45pm|
If selected, Ramires will make his 100th Chelsea appearance.
Frank Lampard is now equal with Bobby Tambling's as our top league scorer in top-flight matches with 129 goals.
2 League championships, last in 1961
8 FA Cups, last in 1991
4 League Cups, last in 2008
7 FA Charity/Community Shields (3 shared), last in 1991
1 European Cup Winners' Cup in 1963
2 UEFA Cups, last in 1984
Tottenham have not lost a Premier League London derby at White Hart Lane in over five years (20 games).
They have scored in their last 28 Premier League games at White Hart Lane since a goalless draw with West Ham in March 2011.
Spurs have not lost in the league this term when they have opened the scoring.
They are unbeaten at White Hart Lane in seven games in all competitions.
2009/10 was the only Premier League season in which Spurs had more than their current total of 14 points after seven games.
Brad Friedel's omission from their last game against Aston Villa ended a record run of 310 consecutive Premier League games stretching back to May 2004 when he was at Blackburn.
Manager Andre Villas-Boas
Days in charge: 109
|Spurs' last 10 year league history|
|Last six results|
|Sep 20||Lazio (Europa League h)||D 0-0|
|Sep 23||QPR (h)||W 2-1|
|Sep 26||Carlisle (League Cup a)||W 3-0|
|Sep 29||Manchester United (a)||W 3-2|
|Oct 4||Panathinaikos (Europa League a)||D 1-1|
|Oct 7||Aston Villa (h)||W 2-0|
2012/13 Premier League scorers
Defoe 4, Bale 2, Assou-Ekotto 1, Caulker 1, Dembélé 1, Dempsey 1, Lennon 1, Vertonghen 1, own goal 1. Total 13.
League games since
A home win: 0
A home draw: 2
A home defeat: 6
SPURS MAJOR SUMMER MOVES
Ins Moussa Dembélé (Fulham, £15m), Clint Dempsey (Fulham, £6m), Emmanuel Adebayor (Manchester City, £5m), Jan Vertonghen (Ajax, £10m), Gylfi Sigurdsson (Hoffenheim, £8m), Hugo Lloris (Lyon, £12m)
Outs Luka Modric (Real Madrid, £33m), Rafael van der Vaart (Hamburg, £10m), Sébastian Bassong (Norwich, £3m), Vedran Corluka (Lokomotiv Moscow, £5m), Steven Pienaar (Everton, £4.5m), Niko Kranjcar (Dynamo Kiev, £2m), David Bentley (FC Rostov, loan), Ryan Nelsen (QPR, free), Danny Rose (Sunderland, loan), Louis Saha (Sunderland, free), Giovani Dos Santos (Real Mallorca, undisclosed)
THE MAN IN THE MIDDLE
Mike Dean will referee his first Blues game of the season. His last Chelsea game was our goalless draw at Arsenal in April. Chelsea have won two-thirds of the matches he has officiated since 2001.
John Terry is suspended (first of four domestic games).