I find the game on Sunday pretty difficult to predict because of the inconsistency of our opponents.
Certainly Chelsea have performed a lot worse this season, and it’s clear all is not well at the club, but they are always up for the big games, and this is a big one for both them and us.
We can go eight points clear with a win, and it would go along way to securing a top four finish. So what are the areas we need to look out for at the weekend?
1. Son Against Christensen
The Blues defender is still a relative novice in the Premier League and has made a number of mistakes in recent months. He also struggled a bit against Harry in the first game at Wembley earlier this season
If, as expected, Pochettino opt to play our South Korean through the middle, the Dane could be in for a torrid time. His pace and work rate are going to cause major issues for the relatively inexperienced centre half
2. The Midfield Battle
Conte went with three holding midfielders in Bakayoko, Kante and David Luiz in the last league game, and the ploy did work for a significant portion of the match, restricting the space in between the lines for Christian Eriksen in particular.
With the Italian under pressure to get a win, it’s unlikely he’ll do the same this time around, and I would expect both our no.23 and Dele to get some joy with some space in the middle in front of their back three. They are nowhere near as defensively sound as last season so we could have some joy creating chances.
3.Using Dele Out Wide
Remember those two crosses for our no.20 to head in last season? Poch could well employ a similar tactic with Cesar Azpilicueta remaining in a centre back role this season.
It maybe an unsubtle manoeuvre, but it has proved effective in the past so it could be something our manager considers once again.
With the Blues needing a win, I would predict this to be a pretty open contest. However, with an Italian manager in the other dugout, he may still play conservatively. We’ll just have to wait and see.
What will the result be against Chelsea? Let me know in the poll.