It is the FA Cup semifinal and Tottenham and Chelsea are set to go head to head in what is turning out to be a two-horse domestic race. Spurs and the Blues are fighting for the Premier League title and are now set to battle it out to win the world’s oldest Football cup competition.
In what is a war within London, the result of this game would go a long way in determining the winner of the Premier League title as well, as the outcome here would have an impact on the morale of both the teams.
It is surely going to be an intense battle and the winner will benefit largely because they will be in a cup final, and will be high on confidence for the rest of the Premier League games.
Thibaut Courtois and Marcos Alonso missed the game against Manchester United due to injuries. But they are expected to be fit for this tie, and it will be a massive boost for this Chelsea team trying to keep themselves together after an embarrassing 2-0 defeat at Old Trafford last weekend.
Expected Starting XI:
Manager: Antonio Conte
GK – Thibaut Courtois
Courtois missed the Premier League game against the Red Devils but he should be back for this tie in what is a crucial game for Chelsea.
RCB – Cesar Azpilicueta
The Spaniard played on the left-hand side of the midfield against Manchester United and did not contribute too much. But he cannot be blamed as the entire team went clueless in that game. However, he must be back in the central defence for this semifinal clash.
CB – David Luiz
The Brazilian was bullied by Marcus Rashford and it would have served as a wake-up call for him. He will need to be on his toes if he is to keep out Harry Kane & Co.
LCB – Gary Cahill
Cahill has been solid this season but the blip against United will surely be playing at the back of his mind when he takes on the best attacking team in the league right now. He needs to stay focused if Chelsea are to stand a chance against an in-form Tottenham.
RM – Victor Moses
Moses struggled against Manchester United but overall, he has been brilliant for Chelsea this campaign. He should start this important game against Spurs.
CM – Nemanja Matic
Conte might prefer Matic ahead of Fabregas to add more steel to the midfield. Tottenham’s midfield is a strong one and hence Matic will play a crucial role in Chelsea having control over the game.
CM – N’Golo Kante
Kante is one of the nominees for the PFA Player of the Year award and it goes without saying as to why he will start the game this weekend.
LM – Marcos Alonso
The Spaniard missed the weekend Premier League game due to illness. But he must be raring to go against the Lilywhites.
RW – Pedro
The Spanish winger has played perfect fiddle to Hazard and he should keep his place on the right-wing for this game. His experience will come in handy for Conte’s side.
LW – Eden Hazard
He was thoroughly outplayed by Ander Herrera as the Belgian was hardly even given space to breathe. But he will consider it as a one-off and will be itching to trouble the Tottenham defenders.
ST – Diego Costa
Though Chelsea did not manage even one shot on target against United, he cannot be held responsible as the Red Devils kept it tight in the midfield. He was not supplied enough and hence did not score. However, he will be eager to break the Spurs defence with a goal or two.