“It’s Tottenham vs Chelsea” Frank Lampard claimed in his press conference, as he was bombarded with questions about his relationship with his former manager, Jose Mourinho. Many are seeing this clash as the past vs the present, master vs apprentice or former foes turned enemies. However the media want to spin it, this is a highly important clash in both team’s season as we enter into the christmas period of football.
Chelsea come into the game in poor form losing four in five in the league. In contrast, Spurs are in good form thanks largely to their new manager Mourinho. As they have won four out of their last five which means this game will have the added spice of being a London derby with the added measure of Lampard vs Mourinho as well. The game on Sunday is a chance for the Blues to make their make in a big game and get back on track.
History and Respect
Last season, in Lampard’s managerial debut season with Derby County, he came up against Mourinho in the Carabao Cup as Derby edged out Manchester United at Old Trafford with a historic win. Certainly, it was a big moment for Lampard in his season as they went on to get to the Playoff final at Wembley only to be edged out by Aston Villa.
He knows all the qualities that the Portuguese manager possesses both as a player being managed by him and by managing against him. When asked if Mourinho adds to the spectacle on BBC’s Football Focus, he answered with “It will make a difference to him and it will make a difference to me, but it’s Tottenham-Chelsea, it has enough anyway but he is going to be desperate to win”
Spurs will be without long term absentees Ben Davies, Erik Lamela and captain Hugo Lloris. However, summer signing Tanguy Ndombele and keeper Michel Vorm are back in contention after recovering from injury. Other than that, Mourinho has pretty much a full choice squad to choose from.
For the Blues however, Ruben Loftus-Cheek was seen back in training on social media but apparently is ‘nowhere near’ in contention for matchplay as of right now Lampard claimed in his pre-match press conference. Having come through a tricky run of injuries, it seems there is good news regarding Ross Barkley, Fikayo Tomori and Olivier Giroud; as they are all available for the trip to the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
It will be Chelsea’s first visit to Tottenham’s new stadium and they go there with a poor record in big games this year. Losses to Liverpool, Manchester City and Manchester United (twice) have all been reality checks this season. Especially after what was a very good start to the season before they embarked on the current bad run of form that the Blues find themselves on.
Spurs themselves have had a strange season but quite clearly have found the winning touch of late. Draws away at both Arsenal and Manchester City were decent results and they were edged out away at Liverpool and Manchester United losing both of those by two goals to one.
This will be a ‘Super Sunday’ clash as both teams are desperate to win and get one over each other. There are subplots aplenty, bubbling within the surface from the managers to the players, in a clash that rarely ever disappoints. Spurs will be looking to continue their good form with another win here. Whilst Lampard’s men will look to step up in a big game for the first time in the league this season and look to stop the rot in the most satisfying and spectacular way. Bring on Sunday.