Chelsea make the relatively short trip for West to North London to take on seventh-placed Tottenham in an intriguing New Year’s Day clash.
The home side’s only defeat in their last nine Premier League outings came against Chelsea in the reverse fixture at Stamford Bridge, so they should head into this with confidence as the race for a place in the top four begins to intensify.
However, they cannot expect to get away with as much here as they did in their last game against Manchester United, where desperate defending and fine goalkeeping from Hugo Lloris preserved a goalless draw. Federico Fazio and Jan Vertonghen are beginning to show signs of forming a defensive partnership, but neither seems totally reliable at present.
Jose Mourinho had plenty to say to the media after seeing his Chelsea side denied a penalty as they dropped points at Southampton, but will be relieved that nearest rivals Manchester City were unable to capitalise, ensuring that their lead still stands at three points.
Despite dominating possession in the second half on the South coast, it was a strangely blunt display from the Blues, but Eden Hazard starred again to score their equaliser, and the Belgian is showing no signs of relenting. His pace and trickery will pose the biggest threat to Spurs, whose midfield looks vulnerable against the top clubs.
Tottenham are likely to make changes to their starting XI, with Danny Rose, Erik Lamela, Aaron Lennon and Kyle Walker all pushing for recalls.
The visitors – who have no new injury concerns – may also decide to rotate, meaning Oscar, Cesar Azpilicueta and Willian could all return to the fold.
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