PMB: Chelsea v Tottenham - matchday

The final part of the Pre-Match Briefing gets you ready for today's game...

• The turnaround in performance and mentality against Man City from the defeat at the Etihad to the Carabao Cup final was impressive, but Chelsea must retain the intensity and discipline of Sunday for the visit of a team with similar pace and attacking flair.

• One of the key differences was that Eden Hazard played in the middle of a front three with Pedro and Willian, as he had in the 2-0 home win against the Citizens in December. The trio were more selective than usual as to when they harassed opposing defenders, their covering reducing City’s ability to move the ball through midfield.

• At the same time, as the game progressed, the Blues used slick forward passing moves to open up the Mancunians. Although Spurs play more directly than Pep Guardiola’s side they are similar in committing defenders to attack, something we will hope to exploit. Maurizio Sarri will make a decision over whether Kepa Arrizabalaga retains his place after the goalie apologised for his behaviour in the cup final substitution incident. Emerson recently has had the nod from Sarri over Marcos Alonso at left-back.


• Tottenham used a 3-4-1-2 formation in their 2-1 loss at Burnley at the weekend, with Harry Kane returning upfront, partnered by Son Heung-min. They were not afraid to play the ball long and favoured Danny Rose on the left over fellow wing-back Serge Aurier to instigate attacks. Mauricio Pochettino was disappointed that ‘it was so easy for Burnley to beat us’ and has urged his team to show more aggression this evening.

• Prolific striker Harry Kane returned at Burnley last weekend, scoring directly from Danny Rose’s long throw-in. However he has now lost three of the past seven top-flight games in which he has scored. It was defending corners though that was their issue at Turf Moor – both Burnley’s goals came from that source. However, Tottenham’s tally of 13 goals scored from set-plays is only bettered by Liverpool’s 15. Dele Alli remains sidelined for the Lilywhites alongside Eric Dier.

Maurizio Sarri's pre-match quotes

‘We know very well that Tottenham are doing really very well away from home so for us it is really very important to defend with the same level of application and attention as in the last match. It is not easy because mentally we spent a lot in the match on Sunday.’

Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino's pre-match quotes

‘The history is the history, last season we were capable to win. It is going to be tough to play Chelsea at Stamford Bridge for Tottenham but our mentality is to go there and win.’

Matchday weather outlook

The warm, sunny weather goes on in London.


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