Everything you need to know about our London derby this weekend…
Just one point and one place in the Premier League table separates Frank Lampard’s Chelsea and Tottenham ahead of our London derby on Saturday.
The Blues are looking to record a league double over Jose Mourinho’s side for the first time in 14 years following our 2-0 win at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium back in December.
When and where
The match takes place on Saturday 22 February in the 12.30pm lunchtime slot at Stamford Bridge.
Press conference info
Frank Lampard will be speaking to the assembled journalists at Cobham on Friday afternoon from approximately 1.30pm. There will be full coverage on this website, the 5th Stand app and our official @chelseafc Twitter. Here’s a look at the topics that could be up for discussion…
There were two enforced changes made due to injury during our Monday night assignment against Manchester United, as well as the absence of Christian Pulisic, Tammy Abraham and Callum Hudson-Odoi.
Lampard is sure to be asked to provide an update on the fitness of his squad, particularly with another crunch game just three days after the visit of Tottenham in the form of our Champions League encounter with Bayern Munich.
Repeating December’s trick
The victory in north London before Christmas was one of the sweetest moments of Lampard’s reign as head coach so far, with Willian’s brace sealing the points on our first visit to Spurs’ new stadium.
Lampard had his side fired up for the fight on that December evening, battling for every second ball in midfield and covering every blade of grass. A similar effort will be required at the Bridge on Saturday and the boss could be asked how he is planning to instigate a league double over Mourinho’s men.
Home form frustrations
It’s been a familiar talking point but one that won’t go away until we can recover some consistent form on home turf. The Blues are 12th in the league based on home results alone with five wins, three draws and five defeats from our 13 matches played, and just 16 goals scored.
Lampard has fielded questions on the subject throughout most of the season but will probably be pushed again on why his team face such difficulties in SW6 and what is being done to turn things around.
‘When he decided to go to a direct competitor then love stories are over,’ said Mourinho after Lampard’s move to Manchester City in 2014. Since then, the Portuguese has managed Man United and now Tottenham, who he will be taking charge of in a game at Stamford Bridge for the first time this weekend.
Lampard and Mourinho’s relationship as player and manager is well-documented, with our record goalscorer previously paying tribute to his former boss’s influence on his career. Now they will be in opposite dugouts in familiar surroundings and Lampard is likely to be questioned on how that is going to feel for him on Saturday.
Latest Chelsea team news
In the aftermath of our frustrating defeat at the hands of United on Monday night, Lampard reported that both Pulisic and Hudson-Odoi would remain sidelined for the visit of Spurs, while the groin injury picked up by N’Golo Kante during the first half of the game would likely keep him out as well.
‘Tammy is probably a maybe,’ was the boss’s verdict on Abraham’s chances of returning in attack, which means there could be a decision to make between sticking with Michy Batshuayi or handing Olivier Giroud a first start since the end of November.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek has returned to training and recently played in a behind-closed-doors friendly at Cobham but won’t yet be considered for selection as he continues to build up fitness. Andreas Christensen was also withdrawn against United after suffering a blow to the head and will have to be assessed.
Latest Tottenham team news
The news this week that Son Heung-min required surgery on his arm and could be out for the rest of the season was a blow to Tottenham. The South Korean has scored six goals in his last five appearances for the club, stepping into the void vacated by Harry Kane’s own absence with a hamstring injury. Moussa Sissoko is also sidelined and will miss out.
How to follow live
Chelsea TV will be providing live audio commentary on the 5th Stand app and this website, plus there will also be live text commentary on both those platforms.
How to watch live
The game is being broadcast live on BT Sport in the UK. Highlights will be available on the 5th Stand app from two hours after the final whistle.
Matchday Live: Chelsea vs Tottenham will also be available exclusively on the app, with a mix of live reaction to the team news and the match action plus analysis and debate throughout the evening.
Referee and VAR
Michael Oliver is the referee. The whistler from Northumberland has previously taken charge of Chelsea matches this term at home to Liverpool and at Burnley. He was also the man in the middle for Mourinho’s first game as Spurs boss away at West Ham in November. David Coote is the VAR.