Tottenham Hotspur vs Chelsea predictions, betting tips and preview: Blues could struggle to get off the mark for a second week
Score draw @ 10/3 with Betfair
Draw HT/Tottenham FT @ 4/1 with Betfair
Chelsea to win 2-1 @ 15/2 with Betfair
Without doubt, the shock result of the first Premier League weekend was Chelsea’s 3-2 defeat at home to Burnley. Doubts have arisen over Chelsea’s ability to defend their title this season, and that loss clearly showed the threadbare nature of Antonio Conte’s squad.
Conte will be without new club captain Gary Cahill and midfielder Cesc Fabregas, who were both sent off against the Clarets. New signing Antonio Rudiger started last week and may well do so again, and Alvaro Morata is likely to start having come off the bench to replace Michy Batshuayi on Saturday. In Fabregas’ absence, Tiemoue Bakayoko may well make his first Premier League start alongside N’Golo Kante in midfield. But the continued absence of Eden Hazard, who could miss up to a month, and Diego Costa’s exile in Brazil, will also give Spurs confidence going into the game.
Mauricio Pochettino’s men made a good start to life this season with a 2-0 win at newly-promoted Newcastle on Sunday. Issues at fullback, with no replacement yet found for Kyle Walker who joined Manchester City and Danny Rose still recovering from an issue suffered in the new year, mean there is an area for Chelsea to potentially exploit, though Kyle Walker-Peters and Ben Davies did perform excellently at St James’ Park.
Dele Alli picked up where he left off last season, after scoring 16 goals, by netting the opener against Newcastle. He and Christian Eriksen have become masters of both shrinking and stretching the pitch with free roles in behind Harry Kane, but Pochettino may look to start Son Heung-Min in order to be more direct, because that tactic certainly benefitted Burnley a lot.
Harry Kane, though, is still to score in nine games in the month of August and will be looking to break that duck.
In terms of the first team, Chelsea have one of the best in the league, but their squad lacks depth and that is why Spurs may think of themselves as favourites. Without Hazard, Chelsea lack that spark and will be much easier to patrol, especially given Walker-Peters’ severe lack of experience. But one of our betting tips is for Chelsea to win 2-1, which has rather long odds considering their ability to manage games and hit teams on the counter attack with or without Hazard, and the movement of Morata is vital to this working properly.
Our Spurs tip is a second half victory, just as against Newcastle on Sunday. Whatever can be said about Chelsea, they will be a tough nut to crack, and right now Spurs are the team with more offensive quality to force the issue. Finally, a score draw probably the safest bet of the three, because while Tottenham beat Chelsea at White Hart Lane last season and will look to force the issue again, their poor record at Wembley, where the game will take place, causes doubts over their ability to win the game.
Key battle: Mousa Dembele vs N’Golo Kante
Mousa Dembele is without doubt one of Spurs’ key men, but sometimes he doesn’t get the credit he deserves. His energy is the base of his game but it is added to by great technique and close control, making him the ideal player for Pochettino’s high pressing game.
Chelsea like to keep the tempo of the game quite slow, and Kante was mainly responsible for this last season because he would be close to the ball as soon as it reached his area of the pitch. Dembele will look to drive on and it is Kante’s responsibility to cut the source to the likes of Alli, Eriksen and Kane.