STAR PREVIEW: Spurs v Chelsea

Both Tottenham and Chelsea received draws that enhance their prospects of FA Cup success but they have a more immediate chance of silverware as they face each-other in the first leg of the Carabao (or League Cup) semi-final, with Spurs taken to give themselves a first leg advantage.

Spurs dominated their clash with Chelsea in the league when inflicting a first defeat of the campaign on Maurizio Sarri and whilst this clash ought to be closer the hosts still make much more appeal. That night in November Hueng-Min Son tore through an unbalanced Chelsea defence with David Luiz having one of his worst days in the shirt, as Jorginho was man marked and pressed out of the game and Eden Hazard was so rarely kept quiet.

It’s unlikely that Luiz will be so bad again, or that Kepa Arrizabalaga will be so wrong footed by Harry Kane, but what is unlikely to have changed in the six weeks since that is that they still have key weak points. The Blues are still overly reliant upon Jorginho in midfield and even more so on Eden Hazard upfront. Alvaro Morata scored his first goals in over a month against Nottingham Forest at the weekend but he was a dejected picture leaving the field and made one of the misses of the season in the first half, suggesting that he may not find a new lease of life against Spurs.

There’s no obvious fix for the targeting of Jorginho in midfield until the summer and we can expect Dele Alli, so good against Arsenal in the quarter-final, to man mark him once again. Tottenham sailed past Tranmere in the FA Cup and can now bring back Harry Kane into the starting XI alongside Christian Eriksen, Toby Alderweireld, Kieran Trippier, Danny Rose and Moussa Sissoko.

Tottenham Hotspur v Chelsea
Carabao Cup Semi-Final 1st Leg
20:00 Sky Sports Football / Sky Sports Main Event

(Maximum 10 matches)
NOV 2018 PREMIER LEAGUE Tottenham 3-1 Chelsea
APR 2018 PREMIER LEAGUE Chelsea 1-3 Tottenham
AUG 2017 PREMIER LEAGUE Tottenham 1-2 Chelsea
APR 2017 FA CUP Chelsea 4-2 Tottenham
JAN 2017 PREMIER LEAGUE Tottenham 2-0 Chelsea
NOV 2016 PREMIER LEAGUE Chelsea 2-1 Tottenham
MAY 2016 PREMIER LEAGUE Chelsea 2-2 Tottenham
NOV 2015 PREMIER LEAGUE Tottenham 0-0 Chelsea
MAR 2015 CAPITAL ONE CUP Chelsea 2-0 Tottenham
JAN 2015 EPREMIER LEAGUE Tottenham 5-3 Chelsea
DEC 2014 PREMIER LEAGUE Chelsea 3-0 Tottenham

Tottenham have 14 wins from their last 17 matches and 22 goals in their last five fixtures – 14 if you take away their seven against Tranmere – and they still look like a better balanced and more advanced side than Chelsea. They can take a lead to Stamford Bridge.

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