A Thursday night game at Baku, Azerbaijan is not in any way close to an easy fixture before facing Chelsea on the weekend, but unfortunately for Tottenham the fixture list is not kind to them. Spurs are high flying currently and sit comfortably in the 5th position and there is a talk of not finishing in top 4 but of being dark horses for the title if they can keep this up. But that’s quite far fetched even for the most optimistic of Spurs faithful, but being optimistic about 3 points against Chelsea has quite good odds of happening.
In goal will be club captain, Hugo Lloris, who Pochetino says is not interested in a transfer away from the club and very much wants to achieve BIG things at Spurs. A good performance from him against Chelsea on Sunday could be a very important step in reaching that goal.
The backline is set in stone. The combination does not look like changing in the near future. Kyle Walker, who has rediscovered himself this season, makes fewer errors than before will be partnered along with the solid Belgians, Alderweireld and Vertonghen, the former will be a goal threat once again. Danny Rose will continue his role as the left back. He offers more up attacking and having being rested against Qarabag last night, he is the obvious choice to start.
The midfield is where Pochetino will have a dilemma. 19-year-old English international, Delle Alli is suspended for this fixture and he has simply been in scintillating form and is a HUGE miss. If I were Pochetino, I would start with Dier and Dembele in CM roles. Both will not let the Chelsea attack bulldoze them and provide adequate cover against Diego Costa who may be out of form, but his physicality will play a key role in opening up Spurs. Eriksen and Son played against Qarabag, but Pochetino is confident that the duo will be fully fit and raring to go against Chelsea, all guns blazing. He better hopes his gamble is right. Lamela will play on the right flank, probably the only change in the line-up that faced West Ham.
Harry Kane scored his 9th goal in 6 games last night. Many would have preferred him to rest, but Pochetino again felt that the English striker would benefit from game time. He will look to make it 10 in 7 games come Saturday or even better, emulate the New Years day performance of Chelsea last year. Terry and Cahill probably still have nightmares of that game and hopefully they have newer ones after Sunday