Tottenham bemoan injury issues
Tottenham boss Nuno Espirito Santo cursed his side’s “terrible” luck with injuries as Spurs lost more players in their Europa Conference League draw at Rennes on Thursday night. Already without Son Heung-min and Eric Dier, Lucas Moura and Steven Bergwijn limped off as the Lilywhites came from behind to earn a 2-2 stalemate against the Ligue 1 side.
Giovani lo Celso, Cristian Romero and Davinson Sanchez are expecting to return to the fold this weekend after defying Premier League guidelines and travelling to South America for World Cup qualifiers. However, Nuno will be unable to call upon the suspended Japhet Tanganga for Super Sunday’s showdown following last weekend’s red card.
Speaking after the midweek Europa Conference League encounter, the Spurs supremo said: “After the Watford game, everything that has happened has not been very good for us. But this is football. And we know it’s a moment we have to overcome.” The hosts are hoping to have Son and Dier fit and available again although their participation remains 50-50.
Lukaku fires Chelsea to narrow victory
Chelsea opened their defence of the Champions League with a 1-0 victory as Romelu Lukaku finally pierced Zenit St Petersburg’s stubborn resistance at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday night. The Belgian was on the mark again with his first goal for the Blues in Europe’s premier club competition, although the West Londoners were made to work.
Zenit dug in and frustrated Chelsea during the opening half, although Thomas Tuchel‘s side stepped up the pace after the interval, Lukaku breaking the deadlock when he headed in Cesar Azpilicueta’s cross in the 69th minute. The holders deserved the victory but Zenit missed a glorious chance to snatch a point when Artem Dzyuba slid wide late on.
Tuchel made five changes to his starting XI with Andreas Christensen, Jorginho, Mason Mount, Reece James and Cesar Azpilicueta returning to the side and the German coach was pleased with his team’s endeavour post-match, saying: “It was a deserved win. Hard earned. It took us a while to make them tired but I liked what I saw.”
Blues odds-on favourites
Tottenham has traditionally proven a tricky ground for Chelsea to navigate in the Premier League but the Blues have enjoyed their most recent trips to North London, taking top honours in their past two visits, as well as earning maximum points in four of the duo’s last five head-to-head league battles. Spurs have also lost four of their last six derby matches.
Tottenham 5.204/1 have won eight of their last 10 league games at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium (L2), keeping six clean sheets in the process. But key injuries could hamper Nuno Espirito Santo’s side on Sunday, whilst the home side are also averaging just 9.5 shots-per-game in the Premier League, the lowest average on record for the club in the competition
Chelsea 1.824/5 have won each of their last five away league London derbies and command complete respect following their eye-catching turnaround under Thomas Tuchel.
The Blues have kept a clean sheet in 61% of their Premier League under the German’s watch – the best clean sheet ratio any manager has at a specific club in the competition’s history.
Chelsea to claim top honours
Goals could be at a premium on Sunday considering the likely tactical set-ups and approaches from both camps, and therefore it’s no surprise to see Under 2.5 Goals trading at odds-on 1.814/5 quotes. It’s already paid out in five of the pair’s collective eight Premier League outings in 2021/22 with matches averaging just 2.00 goals per-game.
The smarter value selection is therefore to support Chelsea to win and Under 3.5 Goals at an appealing 2.305/4 on the Sportsbook Bet Builder. A whopping 33 of the Blues’ 35 fixtures across all competitions under Thomas Tuchel have seen Under 3.5 Goals bank, while all bar one of the visitors’ Premier League triumphs in that time have seen this wager click.