Chelsea v Tottenham Hotspur - Five key battles

Stamford Bridge

Cech v Lloris, Hazard v Dawson, Ramires v Paulinho and more.

Chelsea host Spurs in the pick of the Premier League fixtures this weekend.

It’s a massive match for both sides with Jose Mourinho’s team looking to maintain their lead at the top of the table while Tottenham are trying to close the gap on the top four with their first league win at Chelsea for 24 years.

There will be key battles breaking out all over the pitch and we’ve taken a look at five of the main ones to keep an eye on.

Petr Cech v Hugo Lloris

As always, the battle between the goalkeepers is going to be extremely important.

Lloris is a very proactive goalkeeper who encourages his defence to play a high defensive line, while Cech doesn’t seem to mind his back four dropping a little deeper on the pitch.

They’re both capable of making world class saves from a variety of positions.

Cesar Azpilicueta v Aaron Lennon

Lennon’s pace down the right hand side of Tottenham’s midfield is something Spurs will look to exploit when they get the chance to counter against the Blues.

The good news as far as Chelsea is concerned is that they have one of the most consistent full backs in the Premier League this season ready to take him on.

Azpilicueta’s reading of the game and positioning this season has been superb and Lennon could find it difficult to get into the game.

John Terry v Emmanuel Adebayor

Tottenham’s big front man will try and drift onto Terry, as he looks to exploit a lack of pace from the Chelsea captain.

Terry has plenty of experience and knows how to deal with strikers of Adebayor’s type and quality, for him it’ll be a case of dropping off quickly to try and deal with any pace and moment.

Ramires v Paulinho

This will be a midfield battle between two very similar players who can be effective at both ends of the pitch.

Ramires will probably see a little more of the ball through open play, which means it’s important for Paulinho to drop, hold and protect his defence when Spurs are under pressure.

Ramires can’t leave Nemanja Matic too exposed frequently on the counter attack because Tottenham have the pace to exploit any space.

Eden Hazard v Michael Dawson

Hazard has been world class for the Blues this season whether he stays out wide on the left hand side or drifts into central positions.

When the Belgian naturally drifts in, he’ll look to target Michael Dawson’s side of the defence. If whoever starts up front for the Blues can manipulate Tottenham’s centre back pairing, Hazard could frequently find pockets of space to run into.

image: © geetarchurchy

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