In the eyes of the Tottenham faithful, this is even more anticipated than the North London Derby because of the unbelievable run the White Hart Lane residents have helped themselves to. This is an old-school, teacher vs. Pupil grudge match. Andre Villas-Boas against his former mentor Jose Mourinho. Tottenham versus Chelsea.
We take on the Blues at White Hart Lane in our third London derby this season already, Live on BT Sport and fortunately, I have a ticket for the game! We are the early Kick-Off this Saturday at 12:45pm. Andre Villas-Boas has a mixed record against his former employers with a loss and a draw in last season’s fixtures with Chelsea however it’s his first outing against his former boss. AVB has spent the week with mixed comments on the man who taught him his footballing knowledge including comments indicating that their ‘split’ after Inter Milan was due to Mourinho not wanting further input from AVB on the sidelines whom was eager to take on more duties. Andre Villas-Boas was assistant manager to Jose Mourinho between 2002 and 2009 at Porto, Chelsea and Inter Milan. Although there is enormous amounts of respect between the two, AVB sees this as the chance to foil the title chances of his former teacher.
Chelsea’s 4-2 victory over Tottenham last season was their first win in seven Premier League visits to White Hart Lane since a 2-0 win in August 2005 to which Spurs will hope to return to the former statistic this weekend. But Spurs’ recent record against the Blues has improved – after failing to win any of their first 28 Premier League clashes with Chelsea, they have only lost five of the last 14.
The game at hand is another discussion altogether. Never has there been a time during Chelsea’s partnership with Mourinho that the man has come under such scrutiny from fans. As of course, he is the ‘Special One’. There is an air of uncertainty from fans over his belief in his new midfield system with of course his exclusion of Juan Mata (arguably Chelsea’s best player) making the headlines. Tottenham however enter the game with much anticipation. They are new, fresh, winning and determined to finish in the top four and their ruthless demolition of teams as of late has signified their intentions for the campaign. AVB has found a home at the Lane and he has been given the backing he deserves. As the two former colleagues face up against each-other, it’s time to question…has the student become the master?
For Spurs, this is only the second time since the 1960s that Tottenham have won four out of their opening five league matches. The only other instance came in the 2009-10 season in which they finished fourth and qualified for the Champions League. With debates over whom shall lead the Chelsea front line this weekend, it’s no wonder there is uncertainty, in fact, none of Chelsea’s strikers have scored a Premier League goal yet this season.
Tottenham Hotspur manager Andre Villas-Boas has rated left-back Danny Rose’s chances of returning from his toe problem in time for their London derby with Chelsea on Saturday as “90%”. Juan Mata’s role tomorrow is debatable however Samuel Eto’o looks set to retain his place for the visitors.
It’s sure to be a testing fixture for Spurs, no doubt about it. I am travelling to the Lane and will be in full voice for the fixture. It’s sure to excite fans and will have pundits licking their lips. It’s an old fashioned derby with many a question begin asked. But who will come out on top?
Predicted Lineup – Lloris, Walker, Dawson, Vertonghen, Rose; Dembélé, Paulinho; Townsend, Eriksen, Sigurdsson; Soldado.
Predicted Score: Tottenham 2-1 Chelsea (Paulinho, Soldado & Oscar)
We hope you’ve enjoyed another Match Preview. Special shout to @ModernFooty whom are now our Official Match Preview graphic providers. Check out their first design for us below. As I said, I am at WHL this weekend. We will not be conducting our usual Match commentary as a result. #COYS