Can Spurs Break Chelsea Hoodoo in Season’s First London Derby?
Having lost five successive games against Chelsea and failed to defeat the Blues in the Premier League since 2018, Tottenham Hotspur would be hoping to complement their impressive start in the season opener as they visit Stamford Bridge in season’s first London derby tomorrow
Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur square off at Stamford Bridge on Sunday afternoon looking to build on their victories on the first weekend of the new Premier League season.
Spurs comprehensively defeated Southampton by a 4-1 scoreline before Chelsea edged a closer game away at Everton later in the day.
With Chelsea still looking to move players in and out of the club, there was a vulnerability about the Blues as they faced Everton at Goodison Park.
Nevertheless, Thomas Tuchel watched his side come through by a 1-0 scoreline, Jorginho scoring the only goal of the game from the penalty spot.
There were aspects of Chelsea’s performance which would have disappointed their head coach, but this was a fixture where only the end result mattered as Chelsea look to keep pace in the title race.
In terms of new arrivals, little has changed ahead of this London derby aside from Marc Cucurella being provided with a full week alongside his new teammates.
That said, Tuchel will expect a far more efficient display from his team, who will be aware that they have to develop a ruthless streak in their game similar to that of their opponents.
Under the guidance of Antonio Conte, Spurs have been transformed from a club struggling to secure Europa League football to a team which look the most capable of challenging Manchester City and Liverpool this season.
Fulfilling that potential is far easier said than done, but Conte has assembled a squad that will be bitterly disappointed if they do not finish in the top three or achieve silverware come the end of the campaign.
Despite making a slow start against Southampton last weekend, Spurs responded by netting four times without either of Son Heung-min or Harry Kane getting on the scoresheet.
While Conte will take a certain level of satisfaction out of that, he will acknowledge internally that a game of this magnitude will test the credentials of his players.
Spurs head into this contest having lost five successive games against Chelsea and failed to defeat their rivals in the Premier League since 2018.
Meanwhile, having both enjoyed 2-0 successes on the opening weekend of the Premier League season, champions Manchester City and newly-promoted Bournemouth prepare for battle at the Etihad Stadium this afternoon. The Citizens got the better of West Ham United at the London Stadium last time out, while the Cherries ran out convincing.
Erling Braut Haaland won and converted a penalty in the 36th minute of the contest before latching onto a perfectly-weighted pass from Keven De Bruyne in the second half, and he did the rest to kick off life back in England with a brace.
The Norwegian staked an early claim for the Golden Boot with his efforts at the London Stadium as City began the defence of their top-flight title in perfect fashion, and the opening home games of Premier League seasons are generally kind to Guardiola’s side.
Indeed, the reigning champions have won each of their last four Premier League games at the Etihad and have racked up at least two goals in each of their last eight, which spells optimism for Haaland and danger for Bournemouth.
Last Saturday’s contest at the Vitality Stadium pitted a rather frugal Bournemouth against big-spending Aston Villa, but the two teams’ respective signings list counted for nothing as Scott Parker’s side put another blot on Steven Gerrard’s managerial notebook.
Jefferson Lerma struck within just two minutes for the quickest goal ever scored by a newly-promoted side on the first weekend of the season, and in the second half, Kieffer Moore headed home past Emiliano Martinez at a bouncing South Coast stadium.
Maintaining that momentum at home against the champions will be a tall order indeed for the Cherries.
Bournemouth did end the 2021-22 Championship season unbeaten in four away games – keeping clean sheets in three of them – but Parker is still awaiting his first scalp against City as a manager after four successive defeats while in charge of Fulham.
Furthermore, Man City head into the game aiming to claim an 11th win from 11 Premier League clashes with Bournemouth, which represents the best such 100 pe cent winning streak for a club against a single Premier League opponent in the tournament’s history.
Meanwhile, Manchester United will be bidding to bounce back from their opening-weekend defeat to Brighton & Hove Albion when they resume their Premier League campaign against Brentford in today’s late start.
The Red Devils lost 2-1 at home to the Seagulls in their campaign opener last Sunday, while Brentford came from two goals behind to draw 2-2 with Leicester City in their first match on the same afternoon.
Brentford looked to be heading for a loss at King Power Stadium last weekend, with Thy Castagne and Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall on the scoresheet for Leicester, who led 2-0 in the 46th minute, but van Toney halved the deficit just past the hour before Josh Dasilva came up with a late leveller for the Bees.
Thomas Frank’s side will now play their first home game of the season, while a busy end to the month will also see the team take on Fulham, Everton and Crystal Palace in the Premier League, in addition to a trip to Colchester United in the EFL Cup.
The Bees were excellent in the Premier League last season, picking up 46 points from 38 matches to claim 13th, 11 points clear of the relegation zone, and they will now be bidding to consolidate at this level of football.
Last season, Man United won both league fixtures between the two sides, recording a 3-1 victory in London before winning 3-0 at Old Trafford towards the end of the campaign.
Man United were looking to get off to the best possible start in their season opener against Brighton last weekend, but the Red Devils suffered a 2-1 defeat, with Pascal Gross’s first-half double proving crucial for the Seagulls, who were deserving of the three points in Manchester.
There is now pressure on new head coach Erik ten Hag to deliver a positive result today, especially as this match comes just nine days before a home fixture against Liverpool in the Premier League.
Man United had a largely impressive pre-season, but their issues from last term were on display again against Brighton, and there will need to be huge improvements if they are to challenge for a return to the top four, with Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur all winning last weekend.
All three of their new signings, Lisandro Martinez, Tyrell Malacia and Eriksen, were involved against Brighton; the club continue to work on more new additions, with Juventus’ Adrien Rabiot and PSV Eindhoven’s Cody Gakpo the latest players to be linked with switches to Old Trafford, but there remains uncertainty surrounding the future of a certain Crstiano Ronaldo.