Chelsea taking on Tottenham at the Stamford Bridge has a lot riding on it. It is looking like a potential title six-pointer based on the forms of both teams. Jose Mourinho takes on his former player Frank Lampard, against his former team – Chelsea.
Top class Pundits – Joseph Bassey, Edwin Onyebolise and Patrick Echatah joins us for a comprehensive preview.
GB: How do you expect the tie to shape up tactically?
Joseph: The dynamics of this game is a bit hard to predict because Mourinho places emphasis on defensive structure especially in big games while Lampard’s defensive line is finally looks right with six clean sheets in eight games. Both managers could adopt a more pragmatic line-up.
Patrick: This season, Mourinho has found a way to galvanize this Spurs side with so much tactical flexibility (depending on the game) and two of his preferred formations have been 4-4-2 and 4-3-3, while Lampard has stuck with 4-3-3 which gives his midfielders more leeway to stamp their authority in the middle of the park.
Edwin: It’s clearly contrasting styles from both managers. Jose’s teams sits deep and hits you on the counter.
Lampard can mix it. Possession, playing between the lines and hitting on the counter-attack.
GB: Both sides have had good starts. Do you think they are both in the title race?
Joseph: Hard to come up with any reason why they are not title contenders; the season has been anything but straightforward. Liverpool’s injury crisis has automatically opened up a title race.
Patrick: Of course, Chelsea have been all guns blazing while Spurs look absolutely unstoppable. Early days yet, but these two sides are arguably the best teams in the league on current form.
Edwin: Yes both are. They’ve built momentum with some very good wins. It breeds confidence. Also, there’s quality in both teams.
GB: Lampard has had the better of Mourinho on head-to-head. Do you think this will be playing out on Mourinho’s mind?
Joseph: Not just playing in his mind, probably giving Mourinho sleepless nights. Jose Mourinho is the most competitive manager in the game, winning is all that is important to him and a bad head-to-head against a player he coached would be an unbearable pain.
Patrick: No, Mourinho is a top manager who knows that it’s only a matter of time before he gets one over Lampard.
Edwin: It will. There was a fallout between both managers during the League Cup match earlier in the season. There’s a subtle feud brewing. Lampard did the double last season and Jose will want his revenge.
GB: Key battles
Joseph: Timo Werner and Harry Kane is an interesting battle- arguably the most important piece of both teams’ attack, playing like a de-facto number 10, dropping deep to create spaces for the other forwards. How well both players execute that role will be a big determinant of the result.
Patrick: Werner Vs Aurier, Hojberg Vs. Kante, Kane Vs. Zouma, Ziyech Vs. Reguilon and Son Vs. Chilwell.
Edwin: The real battle is in the midfield. Spurs have grit and power. Chelsea have technique and finesse. The team that controls the midfield controls the game.
GB: Call it
Joseph: This looks like a draw written all over it.
Patrick: Two-nil in favor of Spurs.
Edwin: Chelsea to win. They have extra depth in attack than Spurs