Chelsea host Tottenham in the late kick-off on Saturday aiming to maintain their 26-year unbeaten home record against their London rivals. Here are five potential match-ups we think could be crucial in deciding the result.
Victor Moses v Jan Vertonghen
Spurs have real issues in defence, with centre-back Toby Alderweireld ruled out and two left-backs missing – Danny Rose is suspended and Ben Davies injured. That will require Vertonghen moving across to cover at full-back, and although he is very capable in that position, the in-form Moses will fancy his chances.
Diego Costa v Kevin Wimmer
With Alderweireld injured and Vertonghen required elsewhere, Wimmer will again play alongside Eric Dier in the middle, as he did in the 2-1 Champions League defeat to Monaco on Tuesday. The Austrian has only started one Premier League game this season, at Arsenal earlier this month, and has the unenviable task of keeping 10-goal Costa quiet.
Gary Cahill v Harry Kane
At the other end of the pitch, two England team-mates will fight for supremacy in the Chelsea box. Kane has scored four goals in his last three games for Spurs since returning from injury, but three of those have come from the penalty spot – so the discipline of Cahill, not to mention David Luiz and Cesar Azpilicueta, will be important.
N’Golo Kante v Victor Wanyama
Two workhorses, whose efforts often go unseen, will hope to establish a platform for their more glamorous team-mates further forward. Kante covers every blade of grass and is crucial to the success of both of Chelsea’s formations this season – Wanyama, alongside Mousa Dembele, is also instrumental for Spurs.
Marcos Alonso v Son Heung-Min
Alonso has earned rave reviews from a lot of Chelsea fans since establishing himself in the left wing-back role. On Saturday he will come up against Korean Son, who scored to put Spurs 2-0 up in April’s 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge. It’s worth remembering, though, that the Blues have not conceded in the Premier League with Alonso starting.