Chelsea will know anything less than a win over Tottenham on Sunday will leave qualification for next season’s Champions League a very tall order.
Currently sitting five points off fourth-placed Spurs, the Premier League champions must beat a top-four rival for the first time since November to close the sizeable gap.
Spurs have not won at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League era with Gary Lineker the last player to score a winner in the league for the visitors, a run stretching back to February 10, 1990.
Chelsea have recently lost to Manchester United and Manchester City but are the only team to win at Spurs’ temporary home in the league this season, a Marcos Alonso double downing Wembley’s temporary inhabitants in August.
Chelsea have question marks over the fitness of both Thibaut Courtois (hamstring) and Andreas Christensen (fatigue) but both are expected to be fit for Sunday.
Antonio Conte could opt for Eden Hazard in the ‘false nine’ role again, though Alvaro Morata scored his first goal of 2018 against Leicester while Olivier Giroud found the target for France during the international break.
Tottenham will be without talisman Harry Kane, meaning Heung-min Son will lead the line at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea likely starting XI:
Courtois; Azpilicueta, Christensen, Rudiger; Moses, Fabregas, Kante, Alonso; Willian, Hazard, Pedro
Tottenham likely starting XI:
Lloris; Trippier, Sanchez, Vertonghen, Davies; Dembele, Dier; Eriksen, Alli, Lamela; Son
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