Chelsea vs Tottenham Hotspur: Preview and Prediction

Tottenham Hotspur cannot afford to drop points when they lock horns with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Thursday.

The games continue to come thick and fast across Europe, with a few clubs catching up on postponed matches. Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur are two such teams, and they will be eager to clinch three points when they clash at Stamford Bridge on Thursday.

Chelsea would have hoped for better fortunes when Mauricio Pochettino took charge of the first team ahead of the 2023/24 season. However, the Argentine tactician has failed to take the West London club back to the top four. But the results have improved in the last few weeks, with the 5-0 defeat to Arsenal the only failure for the Blues in 11 Premier League outings. The run of results has lifted the hosts to ninth in the standings.

As for Tottenham, they have started faltering as they have been closing in on the finishing line. The North London giants have shown positive signs under the tutelage of Ange Postecoglou, who has overseen a positive change in mindset and fortunes. However, two successive defeats have left Tottenham seven points behind Aston Villa while having two games in hand.

The reverse fixture saw Chelsea come from a goal down to beat Tottenham 4-1, with Nicolas Jackson scoring a match-winning hat-trick and two Tottenham players seeing red. The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at the encounter ahead of the latest meeting between the two sides.

Team News & Tactics


Mauricio Pochettino has new injury concerns hampering his preparations ahead of his side’s latest fixture. Against Tottenham on Thursday, the Chelsea manager might be bereft of the services of as many as 14 first-team players.

Axel Disasi (knock) and the outgoing Thiago Silva (groin) are the latest absentees, with the duo picking up minor issues this past weekend. Raheem Sterling (back) and Ben Chilwell (knee) are close to returning, while Robert Sanchez has resumed partial training. But Thursday’s game has come too soon for the trio.

Reece James (hamstring), Wesley Fofana (knee), Levi Colwill (ankle), Malo Gusto (knee), Carney Chukwuemeka (knee), Enzo Fernandez (groin), Romeo Lavia (hamstring), Lesley Ugochukwu (thigh), and Christopher Nkunku (hamstring) remain on the sidelines.

Djordje Petrovic picks himself between the sticks, with Chelsea lining up in a 4-2-3-1 formation in front of him against Tottenham. Alfie Gilchrist will make a rare start in the absence of James, Gusto, and Disasi. The youngster will join Trevoh Chalobah, Benoit Badiashile, and Marc Cucurella in the backline.

As for the midfield unit, Moises Caicedo and Conor Gallagher are automatic picks in the double pivot in the middle of the park. Cole Palmer will reprise the no. 10 role, with Noni Madueke and Mykhailo Mudryk being the two wide attackers. Finally, Nicolas Jackson will lead the line for Chelsea on Thursday.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Petrovic; Gilchrist, Chalobah, Badiashile, Cucurella; Caicedo, Gallagher; Madueke, Palmer, Mudryk; Jackson

Tottenham Hotspur

Like his counterpart in the Chelsea dugout, Ange Postecoglou has new issues to deal with ahead of the trip to Stamford Bridge. The Tottenham manager will be without seven first-team players on Thursday.

Ben Davies (calf) and former Chelsea striker Timo Werner (hamstring) picked up season-ending injuries in the North London Derby this past weekend, with the defeat adding further blow. The duo has joined Fraser Forster (foot), Destiny Udogie (hamstring), Ryan Sessegnon (thigh), Oliver Skipp (knock), and Manor Solomon (knee) on the sidelines.

Tottenham will line up in a 4-2-3-1 formation against Chelsea, with Guglielmo Vicario taking his spot between the sticks. Davies and Udogie’s absence means Emerson Royal will start as the left-back, with the Brazilian international joining Pedro Porro, Cristian Romero, and Micky van de Ven in the backline.

As for the midfield unit, there is no looking past Pape Matar Sarr and Yves Bissouma in the double pivot. James Maddison will aim to pull the strings from the advanced areas, with Son Heung-min and Dejan Kulusevski being the two wide attackers. Finally, Richarlison will spearhead the Tottenham attack on Thursday.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Vicario; Porro, Romero, van de Ven, Emerson; Sarr, Bissouma; Kulusevski, Maddison, Son; Richarlison

Key Stats

  • Chelsea have lost just one of their last 33 home league games against Tottenham, going down 3-1 in April 2018 when Mauricio Pochettino managed the other side.
  • Chelsea have done the Premier League double over Tottenham nine times, only doing so more against Manchester City (10). Meanwhile, the North London giants have only lost twice in the same season more often against Manchester United (10) than they have against the Blues.
  • Tottenham have lost two of their last three league away games, as many as they had in their 14 preceding outings. They have failed to score in both defeats, having only managed not to find the back of the net in two of their previous 34 away league matches.
  • Mauricio Pochettino can become the first manager to complete a Premier League double over Tottenham, having previously managed them in the competition.
  • Cole Palmer has scored a hat-trick in his two most recent home league games, netting three against Manchester United and four against Everton. The only player to score three or more goals in three consecutive home matches in the competition is Erling Haaland, who did so last season.

Player to Watch

Son Heung-min

Embed from Getty Images

While Cole Palmer and Richarlison are candidates for this section for different reasons, we have picked Son Heung-min. With the fourth spot on the Premier League table slipping from Tottenham’s grasp, the club captain needs to step up.

Son has bounced back well after the sub-par showings in the 2022/23 season. However, he must bring his A-Game in the final stretch of the 2023/24 campaign to guide Tottenham to the top four. The visitors cannot afford to drop points in any of the remaining games, meaning the onus is on the South Korean international to deliver the goods in the final third.


Chelsea 2-1 Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham’s away form has been sub-par in the last few weeks after Ange Postecoglou’s men made their mark on the road. On the other hand, Chelsea’s recent results at home have been superb, apart from the game in which they nearly lost to Manchester United.

Cole Palmer has driven Chelsea’s excellent run at Stamford Bridge, and the Englishman will rise to the occasion again. Expect the home side to take the lead before conceding a late goal to Tottenham, thus setting up an enthralling finale. But Chelsea should have the quality to hold on to the slender lead and clinch the three points. The Hard Tackle predicts a 2-1 win for Mauricio Pochettino and his charges.

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