Their game at the start of the season produced plenty of drama and tension on the sidelines, but what can we expect to see this Sunday lunchtime? We preview the game between Tottenham and Chelsea and give our pre-match prediction.
Tottenham vs. Chelsea: The Quick Hits
- Tottenham will beat Chelsea in the Sunday lunchtime kick-off according to our Opta pre-match prediction
- Chelsea will make it eight Premier League away games without a victory with the pressure continuing to build on Graham Potter
- Harry Kane could build upon his impressive league form since November which has seen him score more goals than the Blues
There’s a lot of things that Tottenham Hotspur fans miss about White Hart Lane. Their new stadium might be in roughly the same spot, so much of the pre-match routine is the same. But the one thing they will really have missed is beating Chelsea at home.
Spurs have lost all three of their home Premier League games against their London rivals since moving into the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Even worse, they’ve yet to score a goal against the Blues at their new home, losing by an aggregate score of 6-0 across these matches.
They’d only lost two of their previous 13 at home prior to their move (W6 D5). Did a Chelsea fan secretly stash an old Kerry Dixon jersey into the foundations to bring some voodoo to the Lillywhites? Who knows. But Graham Potter’s side could become just the third team to win four consecutive league away games against them, after Arsenal (four between 1952-1955) and Manchester United (six between 2001-2007).
They might have won more games against Tottenham than any other side in their Premier League’s history (33) but this feels a very different Chelsea at present. And with rumours that former Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino turned down an opportunity to join the Stamford Bridge side in the past few weeks, the pressure is building on Potter to wave his magic wand and turn their fortunes around.
Chelsea 2-2 Tottenham Hotspur: 14 August 2022
Sadly, neither manager from the side’s initial London derby this season will be in the dugout for this one meaning we shouldn’t see a reprisal of their Strictly Come Dancing audition at the final whistle.
That flashpoint, which resulted in both Antonio Conte and Thomas Tuchel being shown red cards after an earlier bust-up on the sidelines, followed a dramatic late equaliser from Harry Kane six minutes into second half stoppage time.
For him and Pierre-Emile Hojbjeg, who also netted an earlier equaliser, there’s a chance they could become the first Spurs players to score home and away league goals against the Blues in the same season since Gary Lineker back in 1990-1991 season – you know, before the Premier League begun.
The draw also means Tottenham are looking to avoid defeat in either Premier League meetings against Chelsea for the first time since 2015-16, but only once have they taken as many as four points from the Blues in a single season (2008-2009).
You must think though that Spurs will be fancy their chances against Chelsea, right? Shellshocked by their defeat on home soil against Southampton last time out, it doesn’t get much better for them when it comes to matches away from Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea are without a win in each of their last seven away games in the Premier League (D4, L3), scoring just four goals across that run as well. That just showcases the woes that Graham Potter’s side have had in front of goal recently, netting just six in their last 11 Premier League games which, unsurprisingly, is the fewest of any team during this run of games.
And it hasn’t been for the lack of trying with the Blues achieving a total xG of 13.2 during this period – showcasing how the forward line have failed to convert the chances created for them, a seemingly continuous headache for the former Brighton & Hove Albion manager.
Compare Chelsea’s fortune to those of Tottenham and you can see why hopes are high of ending their home hoodoo. Spurs’ three victories in their last four matches in the league is as many as they’d recorded across their previous 10 combined (W3 D1 L6).
There was a 4-1 blip against Leicester City in the midst of this winning run but adding their 2-0 triumph over West Ham last weekend to the 1-0 success against Manchester City – they’ve got a chance to make it three wins without conceding a goal at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium for the first time since April 2019 – which just happened to be the first matches at their new ground.
A lot of that can be put down to the form of Harry Kane. If it wasn’t for the exploits of a certain Norwegian in Manchester, much more would be made of the Spurs’ captain’s incredible 17 goals so far this campaign. And in the same timespan as we just mentioned for Chelsea, he’s outscored them all by himself.
Players to Watch
Chelsea: Raheem Sterling
It does seem almost bizarre, with the plethora of attacking options at their disposal, why Chelsea are struggling in front of goal. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang might be the only fit and recognised striker in the squad, with the likes of Joao Felix and Mykhailo Mudryk still settling into life in England following their January moves. But perhaps the most welcome return to action will be that of Raheem Sterling, who’s endured an injury blighted start to his life at the club.
His appearance against Southampton last Saturday came from off the bench, as he continues to recover from the latest setback via a knee knock that ruled him out of their UEFA Champions League defeat against Borussia Dortmund, and arguably produced the best opportunity to spare their blushes against the league’s bottom side. He couldn’t add to the four goals he’s scored in the Premier League so far this campaign, but that’s still good enough to be the club’s second top scorer in the competition. (Kai Havertz: five).
With six Premier League goals to his name against Tottenham Hotspur already, he’s got a chance to join a duo with a unique bit of history. He could become the third player to score against Spurs at each of their three home venues in the competition after Aleksandar Mitrovic and Jamie Vardy having netted at both White Hart Lane (two) and Wembley (one).
Tottenham Hotspur: Son Heung-min
Have Spurs found the new Adam Le Fondre?
Okay, that might be a little harsh on Son Heung-min, but after sharing the Premier League’s Golden Boot with Mohamed Salah last season, the South Korean has struggled for form at times.
With just one goal in 20 starts this campaign, Son might have found the perfect role for himself right now as an impact substitute, having scored four goals in two such appearances including against West Ham last time out.
No Spurs player has ever scored five from the bench in a single Premier League campaign, and he’s still some way off the record set by Le Fondre for Reading in 2012-2013 (eight), but stand-in boss Cristian Stellini will be delighted if Son continues to make him look a genius each time he enters the fray.
Tottenham vs Chelsea Prediction
Maybe the winning goal will come from Son, or maybe it will be Kane continuing his goalscoring form. Either way, the Opta supercomputer is predicting that Spurs will take a first victory at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium against Chelsea on Sunday.
Having lost four of their previous five at home, before the victories against West Ham and Man City, the 41.1% chance of taking the win here is a welcome boost for a side who are still without Antonio Conte as he continues to recover from surgery. Fraser Forster will continue to deputise for Hugo Lloris with Rodrigo Bentancur’s also expected to still be side-lined for this game, whilst Emerson Royal will be hoping to add to his Spurs tally after netting the opener against West Ham, converting a smart cross from Ben Davies
Chelsea will be hopeful for some positive team news if they are to convert their 30.1% chance of victory. Cesar Azpilicueta will be a huge loss at the heart of their defence, putting pressure on Kalidou Koulibaly and Ben Chilwell. Help might come in front of them in the lineup soon through N’Golo Kante, although this game might be a little too early for him.
Victory over both sides is a must, but for various reasons when it comes to the league table. According to our Premier League predictions, Liverpool are still favourites to overtake Tottenham Hotspur and join Arsenal, Manchester City and Man Utd in next season’s UEFA Champions League.
Chelsea meanwhile might still have some hopes of continental trips, but it won’t be to the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona, RB Leipzig, or even Porto. Instead, it looks like a head-to-head battle between them and Fulham for who will finish 8th and 9th in the Premier League table, alongside the likes of Crystal Palace. With EFL Cup and FA Cup dreams well set aside, Graham Potter is going to need something to raise a smile at Stamford Bridge. A victory against the odds against Tottenham might just be one way of doing that.