The notebook – Spurs v Chelsea
Sun 19 September 2021, 12:00|Tottenham Hotspur
After Thursday’s European outing to Rennes, we return to Premier League action this afternoon as Chelsea make the trip to N17 (4.30pm kick-off).
Here’s a look at all the key points of note ahead of the game...
1 – Three on the spin
We’re looking to make it three wins out of three at home at the start of a Premier League campaign for the first time since 2002/03. Back then, we beat Villa 1-0 (24 August), Southampton 2-1 (31 August) and took a five-goal thriller 3-2 against West Ham (15 September) before losing the fourth home game against Middlesbrough. This time around, we’ve 1-0 wins against Manchester City and Watford under our belts…
2 – Home sweet home
Speaking of home form, we’ve won eight of our last 10 at home in the Premier League stretching back to Chelsea’s win in N17 in February. The only losses since then are United (11 April) and Villa (19 May). We’ve kept six clean sheets in those eight wins as well. In fact, our home form in the Premier League so far this calendar year is only bettered by Manchester City – we have picked up 28 points at home in 2021 while City have collected 33.
3 – Team news – Changes afoot
With injuries and suspensions, there is expected to be several changes to our starting XI this afternoon. Japhet Tanganga, who has started each of our four league games this season, will be unavailable for selection against Chelsea as he serves his one-match ban following his red card last time out against Crystal Palace.
Meanwhile, a number of players are to be assessed ahead of the game including South American trio Davinson Sanchez, Giovani Lo Celso and Cristian Romero, Eric Dier, Heung-Min Son and Ryan Sessegnon, who all missed out on Thursday’s trip to Rennes through injury as well as Steven Bergwijn and Lucas Moura, who both picked up knocks in France.
4 – Net zero carbon
Our clash with Chelsea will make history as the world’s first net zero carbon football match at an elite level. Supported by COP26 and the Premier League, the match is being staged with the ambition of being net zero carbon. This is achieved when all direct emissions are reduced as much as possible, with the remainder offset through natural projects that remove emissions from the atmosphere.
5 – Remember, remember
The hoodoo against Chelsea in the Premier League era ended on Fireworks Night, 5 November, 2006, when Michael Dawson’s towering header and Aaron Lennon’s cute finish, cutting inside Ashley Cole before firing home, following Robbie Keane’s magical run, turning Khalid Boulahrouz inside out, secured a 2-1 victory at the Lane. It was the same match that Ledley King produced his famous challenge to deny Arjen Robben…
6 – That record…
Our record against Chelsea in the Premier League is well documented… however, we’ve seen an upturn at home in these matches in recent years. We were without a win against Chelsea for our first 14 meetings in N17 in the Premier League, but in the last 15, we’ve won six, drawn five and lost four.
7 – Nuno versus Tuchel
Nuno Espirito Santo has come up against Thomas Tuchel just once in his managerial career so far – and that was on Tuchel’s first day in his Stamford Bridge office back in January. Coming during his time at Wolves, Nuno took his side to Chelsea on 27 January - the day after Tuchel was announced as the new Blues boss - and came away with a point having held the west London side to a 0-0 draw. The result added to our Head Coach’s strong record against Chelsea with two wins and two draws to his name after six meetings.
8 – Pierre: Fan pressure key
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg also believes our fans will have a crucial role to play at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium today if we are to overcome the Blues.
“Chelsea are a fantastic team, they’ve showed that with the results, with the investments they’ve made, they’ve done incredible,” said Pierre. “But we are there, we are ready. We’re at home in our beautiful stadium with our fans, let’s say, putting on all the pressure they can, and we’ll do the same on the pitch. We’re ready for a massive fight."
9 - Harry’s home derby habit
When it comes to London’s derbies in the Premier League, Harry Kane regularly delivers. In the competition’s history, just one player has scored more goals in such fixtures than Harry (38) – that being Thierry Henry with 43 goals to his name. And at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, the striker has been involved in 12 goals (seven goals, five assists) in just nine London derbies at our N17 home.
10 – Nuno on Chelsea
Chelsea might be making the trip to Tottenham Hotspur Stadium unbeaten in all competitions, but Nuno Espirito Santo believes, with our quality and 60,000 Spurs fans behind us, we can take the spoils.
“It’s at home, and we’ll have our fans behind us. We’ll compete. It will be tough, but we’ll be ready for it,” Nuno said. “Chelsea are a very good team, of course, every team in the Premier League is tough. Tonight (Thursday) we proved football becomes harder and harder, because every place you go, teams give everything they have. So, we have to match these situations and try to improve on our quality. We are on the way. We want to build and become stronger.”