Tottenham will return to Wembley on Sunday, and will look to kick the ‘Wembley curse’, as they host bitter rivals Chelsea
Chelsea boss Antonio Conte will have to face several issues when it comes to selecting squad for their encounter against Tottenham. Eden Hazard and Pedro will undergo late fitness tests to determine their availability. While Hazard could be fit, Pedro might not be as lucky.
In the pre-match press conference, Conte remained unsure about Pedro. “About Pedro, today he trained with us and he felt pain in his ankle. I don’t know about Pedro. His situation is very difficult. I don’t know if he is available for the bench on Sunday.”
The manager also went on to add that the lack of players will not hamper their performance on field. “We are preparing for this game very well. We must be focused on the pitch, on the game and try to do our best against Tottenham and not find excuses, but only focus on the game.”
Tiemoue Bakayoko looks likely to make his debut and possibly even start but Conte did admit that rushing him back means risking re-injuring him. Meanwhile, the curious case of Diego Costa continues as the player is refusing to come back and train with Chelsea despite being ordered to do so several times.
The rebel player is expected to join Atletico Madrid, and is trying to force an exit from the Blues this summer.
On a positive note, Victor Moses is back after missing the Burnley game due to a red card he picked up against Arsenal in the FA Cup final last season. However, Gary Cahill and Cesc Fabregas are out of the weekend’s action as Chelsea went down to nine men versus Burnley.
As far as Spurs are concerned, manager Mauricio Pochettino was offered a significant boost last weekend in the form of Heung-Min Son. The attacker is likely to start against Chelsea, and could prove to be vital for the squad.
The Argentine boss seems to be optimistic about the match, as was evident in the pre-match press conference. “We’re focusing on trying to improve ourselves. It’s true that maybe Chelsea will miss some players, but they have a great squad and great players and it will be a very tough game.”
Kieran Trippier remains injured, which means that Pochettino might opt to deploy Kyle Walker-Peters after his superb debut against the Magpies last weekend. Georges-Kevin Nkoudou remains on the sidelines with a foot injury, meanwhile, with Erik Lamela also sidelined with a long-term hip injury.
Danny Rose is also ruled out with a knee ligament injury. Dele Alli will also feature in the game since his ongoing three-match ban is only valid for European competition.