Wednesday night brings another London derby in the form of a ChelseaTottenham clash at Stamford Bridge. The Blues are six points clear at the top, with the Lilywhites struggling in 7th but enjoying a mini-resurgence after back-to-back wins. We take a look at where the match could be won or lost for either team:

An inexperienced midfield vs. a well-oiled machine

In Matic and Fabregas, Chelsea have arguably the best two-man centre midfield pairing, combining creativity and physical presence. Fabregas is, by his own admission, playing the best football of his life and Matic will perhaps go down as one of the shrewdest signings made by Jose Mourinho.

On Wednesday, the Chelsea duo will face off against the pairing of Ryan Mason and Nabil Bentaleb, 20 and 23 years old respectively. While Bentaleb did enjoy game time last season under interim manager Tim Sherwood, this is Mason’s first season in the Premier League.

After a poor start to the season, Pochettino has tweaked the midfield around, putting his faith in the likes of Mason and Bentaleb. The gamble paid off against Hull and Everton, but Chelsea are a totally different beast.

It could all go horribly wrong for Spurs tonight if they get beat in the midfield zone.

No Costa, no problem?

Diego Costa showed questionable temperament when suffocated by a well-drilled Sunderland side, and was lucky to not be sent off for lashing out at John O’Shea. He was not so lucky when he hit Wes Brown with his arm, and the deserved yellow means Chelsea are without their top goalscorer going into the London Derby.

Loic Remy and Didier Drogba are able replacements, no doubt, but Chelsea will miss Costa’s constant physical presence and ability to get under the opponents’ skin.

True, there is more than enough firepower in this Chelsea side to not overcome a Spurs defense that has already conceded 18 goals in 13 games. But Costa’s absence means the burden of scoring would fall on the shoulders of Hazard, Oscar, Willian, Remy and Drogba. Between them, they have managed 9 goals collectively this season in the Premier League. Hardly a threatening stat.

Spurs will have to be at their best defensively to keep Chelsea at bay, but their job has certainly been made considerably easy with Costa’s absence.

Stop Eriksen and Lamela, Stop Spurs

Between them, Eriksen and Lamela have scored more than 60% of Spurs’ goals in the Premier League. In the absence of a consistent striker, the burden of creativity and goalscoring has fallen on the young shoulders of Eriksen and Lamela.

Eriksen averages 2 key passes per game, which signifies how many chances he creates for his team. Lamela, on the other hand, averages 3.3 dribbles per game, as demonstrated by the Argentinian’s propensity to run at the defense with the ball.

With no other significant out-field threats, the mandate for Mourinho’s men is pretty clear – Stop Eriksen and Lamela by crowding them out, and you effectively halt Spurs’ progress in the attacking third.

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