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Premier League

  • 20 October 2012
  • • 12:45
  • • White Hart Lane, London
  • Referee: M. Dean
  • • Attendance: 36060
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FT
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Tottenham - Chelsea Preview: Villas-Boas set for reunion with former club as hosts bid to continue hot streak

Roberto Di Matteo's side have started the season in superb form and go into the game sitting top of the league, but they now face a stern examination of their title credentials

  PROBABLE LINEUPS

TOTTENHAM

Lloris
Walker, Caulker, Gallas, Vertonghen
Dembele, Sandro
Lennon, Dempsey, Bale
Defoe

Chelsea

Cech
Ivanovic, Cahill, Luiz, Cole
Mikel, Ramires
Mata, Oscar, Hazard
Torres


Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas comes up against Chelsea for the first time as a manager since being sacked after an unsuccessul spell at the helm last year and he could welcome the return of both Kyle Naughton and Jake Livermore from their foot and groin injuries in time for the fixture.

The trip looks as if it will come too early for Benoit Assou-Ekotto, though and he should miss out with a knee injury, while Younes Kaboul and Scott Parker remain long-term absentees.

Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo will be without captain John Terry for the game after he accepted his four-game ban for racially abusing Antono Ferdinand, but Daniel Sturridge could return from a hamstring injury.

Elsewhere, Frank Lampard and Ryan Bertrand remain doubtful having both missed England duty with a virus and calf complaint.
  DID YOU KNOW?
  • Tottenham are currently on a nine-game unbeaten run, having not tasted defeat since the opening day of the season away at Newcastle.
  • The side have won their last four league games on the bounce.
  • Their start of 14 points from their opening seven league games has only been bettered once, back in 2009-10 when they took 15 points from the same number of games.
  • White Hart Lane is becoming something of a fortress for Spurs of late, having won 15 of their last 21 home matches, losing just twice.
  • Andre Villas-Boas (pictured right) emerged victorious in exactly half of his 40 matches in charge of Chelsea.
  • Chelsea have not won at White Hart Lane in their last six visits.
  • Should they lose to Tottenham, they will be left with the same record that Villas-Boas had from his first eight league games in charge.
  • So far this season, they have yet to concede a goal in the second half of any match, the only side in the top flight to do so.
  • The Blues have kept four clean sheets already this term, whereas last season in total they managed just 10

Players to watch

M. Dembélé

Position: Midfielder

Games: 9

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
Winning that midfield battle and cutting off the supply line to the likes of Mata, Hazard and Oscar will be absolutely crucial for the hosts.

Dembele will come up against Ramires is a mouth-watering face-off which the energetic Belgain needs to win.

B. Ivanović

Position: Defender

Games: 16

  • 2
  • 4
  • 1
Has been lauded for his ability going forward so far this term, but this stands out as an afternoon where his defensive ability will be sorely put to the test coming up against an in-form Gareth Bale and the flying full-back that is Jan Vertonghen.

Editor's Prediction

Both teams come into this game in good form riding high near the top of the table. While Terry's absence and Villas-Boas' return will dominate the headlines, it promises to be a high-scoring match given all of the creative talent on show, with little to choose betweem both sides.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head

Tottenham Hotspur

Chelsea

Wins
0
2
3
Wins

Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

Tottenham Hotspur FC TOT
Tottenham Hotspur FC Tottenham Hotspur
Draw
Chelsea FC CHE
Chelsea FC Chelsea
24%
68%

Top 3 Predictions

Tottenham Hotspur FC TOT
1 - 3
Chelsea FC CHE
Tottenham Hotspur FC TOT
1 - 2
Chelsea FC CHE
Tottenham Hotspur FC TOT
2 - 1
Chelsea FC CHE

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