Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The latest edition of a classic Premier League rivalry sees Chelsea host Tottenham Hotspur at Stamford Bridge on the evening of Sunday 29 November 2020.
Chelsea come into the game on the back of a third successive Premier League win, having comfortably defeated Newcastle United 2-0 away from home this past weekend, thanks to an own goal from Federico Fernandez and a strike from Tammy Abraham.
“But it’s always a team effort and I’m happy with where we are at the moment – but there is room for improvement still,” said manager Frank Lampard, who added: “You have to work to solve problems and issues, and the players on the pitch are working to do that.
“It’s great for their confidence; you can see the smiles on their faces, particularly at the back end of the pitch when they get their clean sheets. And it isn’t easy to do that here. They had to work hard for it, especially with the physical play of Newcastle at times. And I was pleased with the players’ reaction.”
Tottenham also continued their fine form, racking up a fourth successive league win with a 2-0 home triumph over Manchester City. Son Heung-min and Giovani Lo Celso netted for the Lilywhites.
“It was very important to respect [City] and not to forget the team they are. If we follow people speaking about them as being not as good as before, if we follow the fake table because they have one match in hand, we would probably be playing in a different way. City is a fantastic team that lost against a team that strategically was very good but City is still City,” said manager Jose Mourinho.
“Of course, you have to score and we didn’t have many chances. You need a top goalkeeper to make crucial saves in crucial moments, but we knew they would have more of the ball but we would be very comfortable playing that way because we knew the way to do it.”
Hakim Ziyech – The Moroccan attacking midfielder has made a huge impact since regaining fitness and establishing himself in the Chelsea line-up. His passing, creativity and keen eye for goal has given the Blues’ attacking play a sharper edge, and he’ll be keen to impose himself against Spurs.
Son Heung-min – The Korean international continues to go from strength to strength – especially when Harry Kane is teeing him up so consistently. Son’s pace, relentless work off the ball and intelligent movement make him a dynamic and dangerous forward.
In head-to-head terms, Chelsea and Tottenham have met in 167 matches across all competitions since their first clash back in 1909. The Blues have claimed 72 wins compared to 55 for the Lilywhites, while 40 games have been drawn.
The teams’ two Premier League meetings last season saw Chelsea complete a ‘double’, as they won 2-0 away in December 2019 – thanks to a brace from Willian – and 2-1 at home in the return game in February 2020, with strikes from Olivier Giroud and Marcos Alonso.
Battles to watch
Frank Lampard v Jose Mourinho – It’s the classic case of the student and the master, with Lampard once one of Mourinho’s generals when he was in charge of Chelsea. Now the up-and-coming manager will be looking to establish his own tactical credentials by taking down ‘The Special One’.
N’Golo Kante v Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg – Two of the Premier League’s finest central midfielders will go head-to-head in this clash. Both are relentless runners and selfless, team-oriented players, but their individual battle could have a seismic effect on the ultimate result of the match.
Timo Werner v Hugo Lloris – The speedy German forward has become more and more of a threat in Chelsea’s attack, but he’ll have to be at his best to get anything beyond Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, who has shown consistency and confidence behind a well-organised defence.