How will Tottenham, Chelsea line up?
Tottenham Hotspur host Chelsea in a big London derby on Saturday (Watch live, 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC and online via NBCSports.com) as supreme tacticians Mauricio Pochettino and Maurizio Sarri lock horns.
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Battles between these London rivals haven’t been for the faint-hearted in recent seasons, and this encounter will be no different as fourth-place Spurs host third-place Chelsea.
With plenty of injuries for Spurs and plenty of selection dilemmas for Chelsea, it will be intriguing to see the decision both managers line up their teams. Could Spurs go all-out attack? Will Chelsea be more defensive than usual?
Here’s a look at how Spurs and Chelsea could line up tomorrow.
Projected starting lineup: Tottenham
---- Lloris ----
---- Aurier --- Alderweireld --- Vertonghen --- Davies ---
---- Dier ---- Winks ----
---- Alli ---- Eriksen ---- Lamela ----
---- Kane ----
Projected starting lineup: Chelsea
---- Kepa ----
--- Azpilicueta --- Rudiger --- Luiz --- Alonso ---
---- Kante ---- Jorginho ---- Barkley ----
---- Hazard ---- Morata ---- Willian ----
When it comes to Spurs, they are pretty threadbare right now. Danny Rose, Davinson Sanchez and Mousa Dembele are all missing, while the likes of Christian Eriksen and Heung-min Son are working their way back to full fitness. In defense they don’t have many players to choose from, but the big selection decision for Pochettino appears to be in attack. With Eriksen almost fully fit, does he come in for Lucas Moura and play in a three with Lamela and Alli behind Kane? With Wanyama and Dembele out, Winks seems the most likely to play alongside Dier in midfield but then Mousa Sissoko has been superb in recent weeks. Even with their injury issues, Poch has plenty of options in midfield and attack.
For Chelsea, the selection dilemmas are a little straight forward. The back four picks itself and both Jorginho and N’Golo Kante are automatic starters. But with Kovacic back fit, does he start ahead of Ross Barkley? And will Morata or Giroud get the nod up top? Given his recent good form, Morata should start with Eden Hazard and either Willian or Pedro in support of him.