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Thomas Tuchel has made instant changes at Chelsea with a switch to a back three and his side have responded with back-to-back clean sheets against Wolves and Burnley, becoming the first Blues boss since Rafa Benitez to register shutouts in his first two Premier League games.
The German appears to want his side to control games first and foremost, and with that approach up against Jose Mourinho, entertainment could be on short supply here.
That’s especially true given Mourinho will feel his side are lacking in the attacking department without talisman Harry Kane, who was already up to double figures for both goals and assists before injuring both ankles against Liverpool recently.
The England captain has failed to start 10 league games since the start of last season, with Tottenham just W3-D3-L4 across these, while their output has decreased by 31% in his absence.
Spurs were insipid in attack against Brighton last time out and deservedly lost that game, with Gareth Bale underwhelming yet again, though just as concerning were the chances they gave up down the other end as they were deservedly beaten.
That leaves them with back-to-back defeats as their title bid has completely evaporated, and another defeat here would plunge them into crisis mode.
The hosts are also without Sergio Reguilon, Giovani Lo Celso and Dele Alli, whereas Tuchel has a clean bill of health after N’Golo Kante shrugged off a hamstring complaint to make the bench last time out.
Under 2.5 Goals
Tuchel has had time now to take a look at his squad and following a more experienced team in his first game against Wolves, followed by some changes against Burnley, he should have a better idea of the make up of his first-choice options.
Marcos Alonso certainly boosted his chances last time out, but with goalkeeper Edouard Mendy and centre-back trio Cesar Azpilicueta, Thiago Silva and Antonio Rudiger starting both games, there appears a solid foundation for another clean sheet.
Four of the last five head-to-heads in all competitions have seen fewer than three goals, with the exception breaching that threshold with an 89th-minute strike.
Both encounters this season in the League Cup and the reverse fixture ended in stalemates, and despite home advantage it’s rather fanciful to expect Mourinho to unleash an attacking team here.
Each of Chelsea’s past four league outings have seen fewer than three goals now, while that’s also been the case in nine of Tottenham’s last 13 in this competition since early November.
Mourinho first and foremost needs to stop the rot and is the type to accept a point in these games, while Tuchel will likely be satisfied with another clean sheet as he seeks to drag Chelsea back towards the top four.