Scotland V England Saturday 24th February. 4:45PM. BBC One Scotland v England renew their rivalry…
Tottenham Hotspur V Chelsea
Sunday 20th August. 4PM. Sky Sports
Week two of the new Premier League season brings the first huge showdown of the campaign as the top two of 2016-17 prepare for battle. Oh, and it’s a London derby. At Wembley. In front of a sell-out crowd.
Nothing else needs to be said to sell the importance of this clash and, if it lives up to the billing, it could be an early contender for game of the year. Will London be painted white or blue?
Whatever happens, it’s set to be a cracker.
Spurs To Set An Early Marker?
They had to work hard for it, but an opening weekend win against 10-man Newcastle has given Spurs a positive start. If they can follow it by opening their one-off season at Wembley with a win too, it may signal a real warning shot to their rivals – not least Sunday’s opponents.
Mauricio Pochettino masterminded a fantastic 2-0 win over Chelsea at White Hart Lane in 2016-17, and would love to give the home fans something to cheer in this massive early season showdown. Dele has already opened his scoring account while Harry Kane will look to capitalise on Chelsea’s defensive vulnerabilities also. It could be a very productive afternoon for their deadly duo.
Despite last weekend’s clean sheet, Spurs have got defensive issues of their own. Kyle Walker-Peters may have played well at St James’ Park, but this will be an entirely different test. Meanwhile, many Tottenham fans will hope to see Moussa Sissoko relegated to the bench.
The fact that Spurs enter this clash as the favourites highlights everything you need to know about
Conte Headaches Worsened By Suspensions
After an almost perfect maiden season at Stamford Bridge, Antonio Conte finds himself in his first difficult moment as Chelsea manager. Unhappiness in the squad, chiefly from Diego Costa, combined with noticeable summer losses have made it hard while the opening day shock loss against Burnley certainly hasn’t helped.
The red cards of Gary Cahill and Cesc Fabregas are sure to give Conte an even greater headache as he prepares to face one of the teams that did cause beat his Blues last season. Like Spurs, Chelsea have endured difficult times at Wembley, losing twice to Arsenal since they beating Tottenham in last season’s FA Cup semi-final.
Chelsea’s problems in front of goal come from not quite being used to the system without Costa or the injured Eden Hazard, but Michy Batshuayi and other attacking stars could put an end to those problems. Defensively, though, the loss of Cahill will be noticeable.
Nonetheless, you’d write the champions of at your peril. It should be a fascinating battle.
Tottenham Hotspur V Chelsea Betting
With home advantage technically on their side, Tottenham have been established as the 21/20 favourites with Coral. Chelsea, meanwhile, are available at 13/5 and the draw is priced 12/5.
There’s no denying that Spurs sit at the very top table of English football right now, and this is another fantastic chance for them to show it.
The Wembley factor may play a role but, given Chelsea’s problems, we’re backing the hosts to prevail. Moreover, we’re backing them to do it with at least a couple of goals.
If Spurs are going to win, there’s a good chance that Kane will open his account for the season. Last year’s top scorer hit 29 in 30 games, and he had no problem finding the net against strong opposition either.
With Chelsea’s big guns missing, 7/2 is a more than fair price for Kane to open the scoring.