|Tottenham vs. Chelsea – Pre-Match Analysis
Gone are the days, when our neighbors were mocked with chants that referred to their home as ” Three-Point Lane”. Apart from being a fierce London Derby, the importance of this game has risen since ” Special One 2.0″ moved across the city.
5-1 was the scoreline, when the two teams last met and the teams have changed drastically since then.
Here’s my Chelsea lineup for the game –
Before you start wondering why I included Moses, Azpilicueta and Bertrand, lets see the probable Tottenham lineup.
Talking points on the way the team’s play –
This is where I explain the awkward inclusion of Bertrand and Moses.
Dembele is a huge threat whereas Sandro drives forward to help out in attack. AVB”s philosophy is simple. Mess up the defensive line. Aston Villa’s defender’s were in shambles when Tottenham were done with them. Dembele plays a huge role in carrying out the duty of dragging defenders away from their position.
This where Oscar usually comes into play. He kept Pirlo quiet against Juventus, and denied any kind of space for Arteta at the Emirates. By doing so he allows Hazard-Mata to cut in and Torres to play deeper , with Cole and Brana pushing forward and Oscar playing as deep lying play-maker. When Oscar goes deep, it further helps Mikel to go even more deeper and helps Ramires hold the right flank.
This is how it looks like –
One of the main reasons why we’re still being accused of parking the bus. Mikel and Ramires push back, whereas Cole and Ivan are bit in the front.
But Tottenham have Dembele, who is different. He is a more mobile kind off player. Oscar cannot spend his entire time on him as he has to handle attacking duties as well. This gives Lampard a chance. You could say that Ramires might be able to control him or Mikel, but with Ramires or Mikel on him, Gareth Bale will burst past our flanks, cut in and create an opportunity to score. Without Mikel our defense is very vulnerable.
Thats why I chose Bertrand.
Obviously he should not play for the entire 90 minutes but if needed we can bring him on. He has previously shifted into central midfield and covered for left flank. Thus giving us a triple pivot of Mikel-Ramires-Bertrand. Thats how Di Matteo countered against Cabaye and Arfa against Newcastle.
Bertrand covered for Hatem Ben Arfa, thus giving Cole plenty of time to get up front. When our pivot players attacked he drifted center, so as to prevent counter-attacks.
Here’s how it looks like –
A nice touch by Di Matteo. But seeing that the gaffer will focus more on his strengths than to defend against his opposition’s strength just like against Arsenal, expect MAZACAR to play the entire 90 minutes.
Now on to Moses and Dave. Once again I don’t expect them to play the entire 90 minutes expect for maybe Dave. Lets take it that, Mikel and Ramires start in double pivot. Gareth Bale as always charges on in the right flank and keeps cutting in. With Azpilicueta, we have pace and pin-point crossing ability. Ivanovic can handle Bale’s trickery, but the pace is a problem.
Bale has humiliated right-backs before, with Maicon being a living testament. Azpilicueta can use his pace against him and get forward. Vertonghen loves to move forward. This gives us a chance to exploit this area. Moreover Mikel HAS to play, as he can stop threatening counter-attacks and control Bale with his strength when the Welshman cuts inside.
So what if Di Matteo goes with Brana at right? We can then depend on Moses. Moses has pace and he loves to cut inside. He can use his trickery to get past Vertonghen. Moreover, among our midfielders and wingers, Moses is willing to handle defensive duties more. He can come back to help out Ivanovic with Bale.
With everything said and done, the game comes down to the one who makes a good chance out of every counter-attack and one who exploits the flanks. Both the team’s don’t have a Modri
c type player (except Oscar, if he moves deeper), who can change the pace of the game at will and the team’s will try to control possession Hopefully Chelsea can come out with a win.
Come on Chelsea ! Carefree since 1905.
Sherry Philips (@bluebloodSherry), Deputy Editor