Both Tottenham and Chelsea will try to bounce back from disappointing draws in the Premier League when they face off on Tuesday night in the Carabao Cup.
The game will be Spurs’ second in a spell of three in five days, a gruelling early-season schedule already stretching Jose Mourinho’s squad to its limits.
Chelsea recovered from a disastrous opening 30 minutes at the Hawthorns on Sunday to rescue a point, but Frank Lampard will be hoping to see a much-improved performance in mid-week. The seven summer singings have yet to click for the Stamford Bridge side (or, in some cases, even play) and this London derby could be the perfect game to kick-start their debut campaigns.
Where to Watch on TV
When Is Kick Off? Tuesday 29 September
What Time Is Kick Off? 19:45 (BST)
Where Is it Being Played? Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
TV Channel/Live Stream? Sky Sports Main Event
Tottenham will be without Son Heung-min for ‘a while’ after the South Korean forward was substituted at half time against Newcastle due to a hamstring problem.
The club’s top scorer so far this season will be joining Gareth Bale and Japhet Tanganga on the sidelines, with the pair yet to make an appearance in 2020/21. Mourinho’s only other potential absentee is midfielder Moussa Sissoko, who was due to take his place on the bench at the weekend but withdrew due to illness.
Spurs’ fixture congestion should mean squad rotation is essential over the coming weeks, and that could see new signing Sergio Reguilon being handed his debut against Chelsea. Tanguy Ndombele will be hoping for another chance to impress after a strong start to the season, despite only being given limited opportunities.
Chelsea could hand debuts to Edouard Mendy and Ben Chilwell, as the task to transform their leaky defence continues.
The likes of Cesar Azpilicueta, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Olivier Giroud may be expecting starts after playing key roles in the Blues’ fightback against West Brom, but this match will come too soon for Hakim Ziyech, Christian Pulisic and Billy Gilmour.
Tottenham: Hart; Aurier, Alderweireld, Dier, Reguilon; Ndombele, Fernandes, Alli; Sessegnon, Bergwijn, Moura.
Chelsea: Mendy, Azpilicueta, Zouma, Silva, Chilwell; Jorginho, Barkley, Mount; Hudson-Odoi, Loftus-Cheek, Giroud.
Mourinho’s men may have won three of their opening five matches of the new campaign, but only one of those has come in the Premier League. Their performances against Southampton and Newcastle were much improved in comparison to their lifeless opening day display versus Everton, and Spurs will be keen to maintain that momentum.
That will be a tough ask though, and with one eye on their Europa League qualifier against Maccabi Haifa just two days after, this Carabao Cup encounter may not be Tottenham’s priority.
Chelsea have also made a stuttering start to the 2020/21 season. They were fortunate to come away from the Amex Stadium with three points in their first league fixture, and a 6-0 thrashing of League One’s Barnsley has been sandwiched between unsatisfactory displays against Liverpool and West Brom since.
Here’s how the two sides have fared in their last five fixtures…
Tottenham 0-1 Everton (13/9)
Lokomotiv Plovdiv 1-2 Tottenham (17/9)
Southampton 2-5 Tottenham (20/9)
Shkendija 1-3 Tottenham (24/9)
Tottenham 1-1 Newcastle (27/9)
Bayern Munich 4-1 Chelsea (8/8)
Brighton 1-3 Chelsea (14/9)
Chelsea 0-2 Liverpool (20/9)
Chelsea 6-0 Barnsley (23/9)
West Brom 3-3 Chelsea (26/9)
Tottenham will likely be without two of their key men in Son and Harry Kane. Their absence will make an already tricky task even harder, and coupled with their lack of rest, it will be an uphill struggle for Spurs.
Chelsea have a bigger squad to choose from and more time to prepare, so…
Prediction: Tottenham 1-2 Chelsea