Born in the south east of Ireland, Simon put his life-long love of football to good use when he started a successful independent blog in 2010. That opened up an alternative route to a career in journalism, and having had work published across a number of sites and publications, Simon joined the staff at Spotlight Sports Group in 2018.
Two of the Premier League’s biggest clubs collide in the capital on Saturday evening, when Tottenham Hotspur host Chelsea at Wembley Stadium in the most fascinating looking top-flight fixture of the weekend.
Traditionally, Spurs vs Chelsea is one of the most exciting games in the Premier League calendar. A staggering 43 goals were scored in the last 12 league clashes between white and blue, which breaks down to an average of 3.58 goals per game.
The clubs’ simmering inter-city rivalry and the rich history of highly competitive battles between them, combine to give Saturday’s fixture a razor-sharp edge.
That edge will be honed further by the fact that Tottenham sit one place and one point behind Chelsea in the Premier League table ahead of their latest meeting.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the most important individual battles that are could play a key role in deciding the outcome of Tottenham Hotspur’s showdown with Chelsea on Saturday.
Make sure to check out our expert match previews, predictions and betting tips for the rest of the Premier League fixtures this weekend.
Dele Alli vs N’golo Kanté
Dele Alli hasn’t quite been at his effective best for Tottenham this season. The 22-year old has started just 5 Premier League games and scored only once for Spurs in 2018/19 so far, and he is yet to create a goal for any of his Tottenham teammates.
Even when Alli is in the groove, his performances are generally more peripheral than central, though the midfielder’s contribution in terms of goals and assists has always made him one of Spurs’ most important game changers.
Even though Dele Alli hasn’t quite been hitting the heights, Chelsea will still mark him out as one of Tottenham’s biggest threats this weekend. The former MK Dons youngster has scored 5 goals in his last 4 appearances against the Blues.
The job of tracking Alli’s dangerous runs from deep is likely to be handed to N’Golo Kante. The Frenchman has been deployed in a slightly less defensive role this season, though Kante could find himself in the same spaces that Alli tends to drift in to.
Serge Aurier vs Eden Hazard
Tottenham’s first choice right back and most potent crosser Kieran Trippier misses this weekend’s game against Chelsea though injury. The 28-year old suffered a small groin tear against Crystal Palace just before the international break, though he is expected to return to training before the end of the month.
Unfortunately for Spurs, Trippier’s usual defensive zone is where Chelsea’s best player, Eden Hazard, is routinely deployed by Maurizio Sarri.
Favourite to replace Tripper in the right back slot is inconsistent Frenchman Serge Aurier. Aurier has started only once in the Premier League this season for Tottenham, and that solitary start came all the way back on August 11th against Newcastle.
Aurier is likely to be more than a little ring rusty as he prepares to face Chelsea’s talismanic winger Eden Hazard. The Belgian superstar has 7 goals and 3 assists in just 8 Premier League starts this season.
Anyone who has Eden Hazard in their Fantasy Football team for this weekend could be in for a sizeable points haul. Make sure to check out our Fantasy Football Gamweek 13 tips ahead of the weekend’s Premier League action.
Harry Kane vs Antonio Rudiger
Fresh from his heroics as England captain in the Nations League against Croatia, Harry Kane will be aiming to score only his second goal in six Premier League games this weekend.
Kane is still straining for top form this season, with the effects of post-World Cup fatigue, both physical and emotional, almost certainly playing a part.
The 25-year old has only hit the net once in his last 6 Premier League appearances against Chelsea, and on Saturday he will have to win a daunting looking individual battle with Antonio Rudiger if he is to improve that record.
Chelsea’s German centre half has been an ever-present for the Blues this season and the former Roma and Stuttgart defender has developed into an authoritative, robust cog in Chelsea’s defensive machine.
Check out the best Premier League betting offers ahead of this weekend’s schedule.
Lucas Moura vs Marcos Alonso
Chelsea’s Marcos Alonso is a composed, technically gifted full back. Alonso can run all day – his stamina and staying power allows him to have an impact at both ends of the pitch, though the speed in which he reaches both ends is a different debate entirely.
The Spaniard has many positive attributes, but his biggest weakness will be his antagonist’s biggest strength on Saturday. Against Spurs this weekend, Alonso is likely to be positioned in direct opposition to the lightning quick Brazilian Lucas Moura.
Unlike Alonso, Moura’s game is almost exclusively built around his explosive sprinting and movement. The rapid winger has been one of Tottenham’s best players this season and he is currently the club’s joint highest scorer alongside Erik Lamela with 4 goals.
Lucas Moura was an unused substitute for Spurs in their last meeting with Chelsea in April, though the 26-year old is almost certain to play a much more important role on Saturday evening.
Eric Dier vs Jorginho
With Mousa Dembele out injured and Vincent Wanyama out of favour, the bite in Tottenham’s midfield this weekend will provided by Eric Dier. With an average of 1.8 tackles per game this season, Dier has been Spurs’ hardest hitting midfielder (check out our Premier League cards and corners betting tips and predictions for this weekend’s games)
Dier’s aggression and ability to recover possession will be tested to the full against his Chelsea counterparts on Saturday, especially the Blues’ metronomic passer and tempo setter, Jorginho.
The 13-times capped Italian international tops the charts in the Premier League for average passes played per game in 2018/19 and his pass completion rate of 91% is also one of the highest figures in the division.
Jorginho is the conductor of Maurizio Sarri’s unique football orchestration, and the majority of the Blues’ build up play flows through the 26-year old creative conduit.
Tottenham vs Chelsea Betting Offers
Mansion Bet are pushing the odds to 70/1 for Tottenham to win and 66/1 for Chelsea to emerge victorious. Minimum £10 depost required. Qualifying bet must be placed at normal odds. Max Stake is £1 and additional winnings are paid in free bets. (T&Cs apply)
Betfair also have an enhanced offer for new customers for Spurs top of the table tussle with Chelsea. They’re giving new signups 40/1 for a Chelsea win at Wembley. Max Stake is £1 and the winnings are paid in free bets. (T&Cs apply)
With 888sport, new customers can get enhanced odds of 16/1 for Tottenham to win or 14/1 for Chelsea to come out on top. Minimum deposit of £10 is required. A qualifying bet must be placed at normal odds. The max stake for the enhanced odds offer is £5. (T&Cs apply)
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