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Premier League

  • April 30, 2011
  • • 17:30
  • • Stamford Bridge, London
  • Referee: A. Marriner
  • • Attendance: 41681
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Premier League Preview: Chelsea - Tottenham

Premier League Preview: Chelsea - Tottenham

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Ancelotti set to revert to 4-4-2 despite success of 4-3-3 in recent weeks, with Essien likely to recover from knee injury, whilst Redknapp left with injury-hit squad for clash


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PROBABLE LINE-UPS
Chelsea (4-4-2): Cech; Ivanovic, Luiz, Terry, Cole; Essien, Mikel, Lampard, Malouda; Drogba, Torres.
Carlo Ancelotti has insisted both Fernando Torres and Didier Drogba can work together against Tottenham on Saturday, with the Italian likely to convert to a 4-4-2 formation.

Brazilian duo Ramires and Alex both remain sidelined through hamstring injuries, but Michael Essien looks set to recover from the knee problem he sustained at Stamford Bridge last weekend.
Tottenham (4-4-1-1): Gomes; Kaboul, Gallas, Dawson, Bassong; Lennon, Huddlestone, Sandro, Modric; Van der Vaart; Crouch.
The away side are once again struggling on the injury front, with Benoit Assou-Ekotto, Gareth Bale and Vedran Corluka, joining Alan Hutton, Ledley King and Jonathan Woodgate on the sidelines. Expect Sebastien Bassong to fill in at left-back and Aaron Lennon to slot in on the wing.

Although Jermain Defoe has recently made signs he is coming back into form, Harry Redknapp may look to use Peter Crouch up top to hold up play and relieve the pressure from an on-song Chelsea side.


DID YOU KNOW?

  • Tottenham have a good record against Chelsea in recent years, having won two and drawn two of the side’s last five encounters in the Premier League.
  • Blues forward Florent Malouda leads the way in the goal scoring charts between the two clubs with 13.
  • Dutchman Rafael van der Vaart is a close second as Spurs' top goalscorer, having scored 12 so far in the campaign.
  • Under-fire Tottenham keeper Heurelho Gomes had best be on his toes on Saturday, with Didier Drogba (pictured right) having fired the most shots this season with 91.
  • Chelsea as a team have also taken the most shots, with 472 in total so far, while although only having a shot accuracy of 43 per cent, they have bagged 58 goals this term, the second highest to Manchester United.
  • Had only second-half results counted in the table this season, Chelsea would be top of the pile on 57 points whilst Tottenham would be sat in a lowly 12th with 39.
  • A similar pattern follows in the form guide, 16 points from 18 for the home side leaving them on top, and Spurs in 11th having won one and drawn five of their last six games.

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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
1Petr CechGoalkeeper
26John TerryDefender
23David LuizDefender
3Ashley ColeDefender
2Branislav IvanovicDefender
8Frank LampardMidfielder
-Michael EssienMidfielder
15Florent MaloudaMidfielder
12John Obi MikelMidfielder
11Didier DrogbaStriker
9Fernando TorresStriker
21Ross TurnbullGoalkeeper
33AlexDefender
7RamiresMidfielder
18Yuri ZhirkovMidfielder
30Yossi BenayounMidfielder
8Salomon KalouStriker
21Nicolas AnelkaStriker
1GomesGoalkeeper
22Vedran CorlukaDefender
20Michael DawsonDefender
4Younes KaboulDefender
13William GallasDefender
7Aaron LennonMidfielder
19Luka ModricMidfielder
30SandroMidfielder
11Gareth BaleMidfielder
23Rafael van der VaartMidfielder
9Roman PavlyuchenkoStriker
23Carlo CudiciniGoalkeeper
3Danny RoseMidfielder
5S. BassongDefender
22Steven PienaarMidfielder
8Jermaine JenasMidfielder
18Jermain DefoeStriker
25Peter CrouchStriker
Players to Watch
Didier Drogba
Didier Drogba
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 11
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
The forward’s return to form and subsequently bullish performances in recent games leading the Chelsea front line have stood in stark contrast to the efforts of Fernando Torres, who still may have sceptics to convince.

Whilst a return of 11 goals so far this campaign may be deemed below par for the 33-year-old, he looks to have renewed vigour towards the end of a season plagued by injury and malaria.
Luka Modric
Luka Modric
Position: Midfielder
Squad Number: 19
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
Speculation continues to be rife linking the Croatian with a move away from White Hart Lane, and whilst Modric has asserted his immediate future is in north London, it would bring little surprise if Europe’s elite had been alerted by his fine midfield performances this season.

Despite having only bagged two goals in the league this season, the 25-year-old’s vision and passing could be a key element in unlocking the Chelsea defence.
Prediction
If Ancelotti does decide to revert to 4-4-2, it could be a laboured start from the home side, with the formation showing little sign of working in previous outings.

Yet with a less than full strength Tottenham side that have stuttered in recent weeks, I expect the quality of what should be an upbeat Chelsea team to be the difference in a hard-fought encounter.
Editor's Prediction

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