Just weeks after being tipped as dark horses for the title, Tottenham is in dire danger of failing to even make the top four, with the absence of star striker Harry Kane felt sorely during their meek 1-0 defeat to Brighton on Sunday. For the second Premier League (PL) match running, they succumbed to an HT/FT double after a first-half lost 1-0.
Tottenham’s home league record since the start of November reads well (W4, D1, L2), though the record therein vs fellow top-six clubs from 2019/20 is negative (W1, L2), with each such game featuring a two-goal margin. Meanwhile, six of the eight halves played across the last four fixtures in that sequence each produced a 1-0 scoreline.
‘One-nil’ has been an HT scoreline (in favour of the eventual winner) in three of the last seven PL H2Hs won/lost either way. So too was it the HT scoreline in Chelsea’s 2-0 victory over Burnley on Sunday, which ensured that they recorded clean sheets in each of a new permanent manager’s opening duo of home league games for the first time since November 2012?
In turn, the first scorer has won six (D1) of the Blues’ last seven PL games to produce over 0.5 goals, with HT/FT doubles being registered in five of those six games won/lost. However, that has worked against Chelsea when travelling, with the ‘Blues’ recovering just one point out of 18 from the last six away league games in which they’ve shipped the opener.
Players to watch: Harry Kane’s understudy, Carlos Vinicius, has seen each of his three prior goalscoring appearances for Spurs yield a decisive opener. Such a goal also came from Cesar Azpilicueta against Burnley on Sunday, and Chelsea is unbeaten in his goalscoring league games (W5, D4).
Hot stat: Tottenham has won just three of their past 13 PL games in which Harry Kane has not featured (W3, D4, L6).
Will not play
Alli D.(Tendon Injury)
Kane H.(Ankle Injury)
Lo Celso G.(Muscle Injury)
Reguilon S.(Muscle Injury)
Referee: Marriner A. (Eng),
Venue: Tottenham Hotspur Stadium (London)