After an interesting and action-packed international break, Premier League is back with a bang as there are some high-profile clashes this weekend.
The greatest of them all is the one that will take place at Wembley stadium where Tottenham will lock horns with Chelsea by 5 pm.
What’s at stake
In recent seasons – precisely two seasons ago, the North London club have grown up in strength and quality that they now give their West London rivals huge test of character.
In the 2016-17 season, Chelsea’s 13-match winning streak was brought to an end by Mauricio Pochettino’s men.
Though the Blues also recorded victory in the reverse fixture, that didn’t make many headlines as there was nothing tangible at stake.
In the 2017-18 season, the Lilywhites created another club record as they defeated Chelsea at Stamford Bridge for the first time in 28 years.
All of these historic achievements, coupled with their long-term rivalry makes Saturday’s encounter an interesting game to look out for.
Chelsea unbeaten run
If there is one thing at stake in this fixture, it is Chelsea’s 12-match unbeaten record. Since the start of this season, Maurizio Sarri’s men have never tasted defeat and they will be hoping to continue their impressive run at Wembley stadium.
Just as they did two seasons ago, Tottenham, who are fourth behind Chelsea, will be looking to end their opponent’s bright start to the season.
Manchester City and Liverpool — who are first and second on the log respectively, are yet to lose maximum points in all the games played this season. Hence, Sarri must ensure his players maintain their unbeaten run against their London rivals so as to keep up with Liverpool and City’s pace in the race for the title.
With one point separating both clubs, and two points separating Chelsea and Liverpool, maximum points are desperately needed by both clubs.
Should Tottenham make Chelsea suffer their first defeat of the season, the North London club would move up to the third position, two points above the Blues.
Should Chelsea went on to carry the day, they move a point above of Liverpool to the second position — depending on the result between Liverpool and Watford earlier in the day.
Both clubs are willing and preparing hard to pick maximum points as that will go along way to determine the fate of each club in the race for the season’s Premier League title.
Since the start of the Premier League many years ago, Spurs and Chelsea have met in 160 matches. The Blues have the upper hand as they have won 68 matches from the encounters.
As for Tottenham, they have won 52 matches, losing 16 games to their London rivals.
Both teams have settled for a draw in 40 League matches. However, Saturday’s encounter offers both teams to increase their stats.
Kieran Trippier, Danny Rose and Davinson Sanchez are yet to return to full fitness after picking up injuries before the recent international break.
Belgian star Mousa Dembele is still out injured while his compatriot Jan Vertonghen is back in contention for a place in Pochettino’s starting XI against the Blues.
Sarri has all, but one, of his players in perfect condition. Croatia midfielder Kovacic picked up a minor leg injury while in action for his fatherland on Tuesday but he’s expected to return to the substitute bench on Saturday.
Lloris; Aurier, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Davies; Dier, Winks; Alli,
Eriksen; Lucas, Kane.
Arrizabalaga; Azpilicueta, Rudiger, Luiz, Alonso; Jorginho; Kante, Barkley; Willian, Morata, Hazard