Tottenham have the chance to set a new club record of 13 Premier League games unbeaten when they take on a Chelsea side which is determined to string together their third successive win in all competitions.
The home side come into this having played away in Azerbaijan in the Europa League as recently as Thursday evening, but the momentum with which they are playing at present means they are unlikely to be hampered by such a quick turnaround. Striker Harry Kane also seems to have regained his red hot goalscoring form of last season, so there is every reason for Spurs to come into this game in high spirits as they seek to move closer to the top of the Premier League.
Kane was on target twice in the club’s last league outing against another London rival in West Ham United, who fell victim to Tottenham’s most polished performance of the season so far. A late consolation goal for Slaven Bilic’s side was they only blemish on what was a fine afternoon that showcased the fact that Spurs are now very much a team rather than a collection of strong individuals. The man who emphasised that most was Mousa Dembele, who is in a supremely rich vain of form.
Seeing of the challenge of Norwich City was understandably a nervy affair for a Chelsea team which had suffered a demoralising run of results in the weeks leading up to the international break, but after appearing lackadaisical for much of the first half striker Diego Costa produced the moment that the Stamford Bridge crowd had all been waiting for on 64 minutes when he latched on to Cesc Fabregas’ fine piece of quick thinking to curl the ball home.
For Fabregas, it was a long overdue moment of inspiration in a campaign in which so far he has played well below his capablilities. Eden Hazard also seems to be on the up on that front, and overall the team will have been boosted by their commanding success away to Maccabi Tel-Aviv in the Champions League on Tuesday. This represents a much different test and will provide plenty of proof as to whether the Blues really are about to turn the corner.
Several players will be recalled by Spurs after they were rested for the Europa League match, but Dele Alli misses out having picked up five yellow cards. Erik Lamela is back after being suspended for the same reason.
Chelsea are highly likely to be without John Terry because of an ankle injury, while Ramires is doubtful after picking up a muscle problem.
Played for both – Carlo Cudicini: The charismatic Italian goalkeeper spent nine years at Chelsea from 2000 and was first-choice goalkeeper under Claudio Ranieri, starring as they came second in 2003-04. The arrival of Petr Cech the following summer limited his appearances from then on and so he joined Spurs, who he helped qualify for the Champions League in 2010.