Chelsea’s unbeaten league record against Tottenham should continue this weekend but with a team packed with new players Saturday’s game perhaps represents Spurs’ best chance of taking three points off us.
The glut of new signings since Roman Abramovich sensationally bought the club in July, have a long way to go before the team can settle down and start playing consistently attractive, attacking football. On paper, Leicester City and Blackburn Rovers should have been comfortable home victories but instead we only beat the Foxes by one goal and could only muster a draw against Rovers.
Failure to secure all three points tomorrow would be seen as something of a setback for us as a £100 million summer spending spree inevitably leads to a huge rise in expectations, among the fans and the media.
There’s no doubting the talent of new signings Adrian Mutu, Hernan Crespo, Juan Veron, Damien Duff and Claude Makelele as well as the ‘old’ guard such as Petit, Lampard, Hasselbaink and Gallas so we should be capable of putting in solid performances every week. Last season we struggled with a lack of squad depth but this time round that should not be a problem for us, such is the quality of the cover on the subs’ bench and in the squad generally.
Tottenham do appear to have more potential up front this season, with Postiga, Zamora and Kanoute but our defence should be able to cope with whatever combination Hoddle selects.
There are few Tottenham players I believe we have to fear but Jamie Redknapp, when he’s fit and on form, is still one to keep an eye on. Cudicini may well have to be alert to keep out his free-kicks and long range shots.
London derby’s are always fiercely competitive, hard fought games but I believe we have just the kind of players who can mix it physically but who also have the talent to play quality football.
On their day Tottenham can be a match for most teams in the Premiership but at Stamford Bridge, despite the need for our players to gel, we will simply be too strong.
Predicted scoreline: Chelsea 4 Tottenham 1.