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Premier League

  • September 28, 2013
  • • 7:45 AM
  • • White Hart Lane, London
  • Referee: M. Dean
  • • Attendance: 35857
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Premier League Preview: Tottenham - Chelsea

Andre Villas-Boas, whose side has won eight of its nine games this season, worked under Jose Mourinho for several years, and takes on the club he was sacked by in 2012.

Joint leader Tottenham goes in search of just its fourth Premier League win over Chelsea when it hosts its London rival on Saturday.

The White Hart Lane club has a wretched record against its Stamford Bridge counterpart, having posted only three wins in 42 previous meetings since the division's inception in 1992.

Spurs have failed to beat Chelsea in their last six top-flight encounters, with their last victory coming courtesy of goals from Jermain Defoe and Gareth Bale in a 2-1 home success in April 2010.

However, Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas can feel confident of ending that sequence against the club he managed between June 2011 and March 2012.

His side has picked up four wins from its first five Premier League games this season and sits joint top with arch-rival Arsenal.

Tottenham's only loss in its last 13 top-flight outings came at the Emirates Stadium earlier this month and it has the best defensive record in Europe's top five leagues, having conceded just one goal so far.

However, Villas-Boas - who also worked under Jose Mourinho at Chelsea during his compatriot’s first spell at Stamford Bridge between 2004 and 2007 - has played down talk of a title challenge.

"What is happening to us now puts us in a positive mood... but it can change very, very quickly," said the Portuguese. "At the moment we are on a good run, but there are no clubs on maximum points and this year will be very tight at the top."

Villas-Boas has an almost fully-fit squad to choose from for the visit of his former mentor, with only Etienne Capoue (knee) and Younes Kaboul (thigh) definitely unavailable. Fullback Danny Rose (ankle) is expected to return.

Chelsea, meanwhile, goes into the clash having collected just one point from two away Premier League matches this season, after drawing 0-0 at Manchester United and losing 1-0 at Everton.

However, in keeping with its incredible record against Tottenham, it ran out 4-2 winners in the corresponding fixture last season.

Juan Mata was the architect of that victory, scoring two goals and claiming an assist, but the Spanish playmaker appears unlikely to start this time around after falling out of favor since Mourinho’s return.

The former Real Madrid boss also has a largely fit squad available, but he will definitely be without Marco van Ginkel after the Dutchman suffered a cruciate knee ligament injury in the League Cup win at Swindon Town on Tuesday that will rule him out for at least six months. Brazilian midfielder Ramires (hip) is also a doubt.

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25Hugo LlorisGoalkeeper
2Kyle WalkerDefender
5Jan VertonghenDefender
16Kyle NaughtonDefender
5Michael DawsonDefender
8PaulinhoMidfielder
17Andros TownsendMidfielder
19Mousa DembeleStriker
-Gylfi SigurdssonMidfielder
23Christian EriksenMidfielder
9Roberto SoldadoStriker
24Brad FriedelGoalkeeper
6Vlad Iulian ChiricheşDefender
7Lewis HoltbyMidfielder
21Nacer ChadliMidfielder
15SandroMidfielder
18Jermain DefoeStriker
11Erik LamelaStriker
1Petr CechGoalkeeper
2Branislav IvanovicDefender
3Ashley ColeDefender
23David LuizDefender
26John TerryDefender
7RamiresMidfielder
8Frank LampardMidfielder
11OscarMidfielder
12John Obi MikelMidfielder
17Eden HazardMidfielder
9Fernando TorresStriker
23Mark SchwarzerGoalkeeper
24Gary CahillDefender
28César AzpilicuetaDefender
-Michael EssienMidfielder
8Juan MataStriker
14Andre SchürrleStriker
9Samuel Eto'oStriker

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