Tottenham vs Chelsea: Four ways Spurs can stop Antonio Conte's men
Here's how Tottenham Hotspur can end their opponents' sensational winning run. Anotonio Conte's Chelsea side have won their last 13 Premier League matches, but they do have vulnerabilities which Spurs can exploit.
1. Stop Diego Costa
The most obvious and yet probably the most difficult task facing Tottenham is trying to handle the Premier League’s top scorer Costa. The striker has scored nine goals during Chelsea’s 13-game winning run, although Spurs did manage to keep him out during their defeat at Stamford Bridge in November. Eric Dier has done well in his recent duels with Costa, which is why Pochettino could employ him in a three-man defence.
2. Close down David Luiz
The Brazilian has defended superbly since his surprise return to Chelsea in the summer, but his passing has also been a key element for Antonio Conte’s team. Luiz is often the man the Blues rely upon to start attacks with his range of passing out from the back, so Tottenham need to put pressure on the 29-year-old whenever he gets the ball in a bid to stop him finding his team-mates.
3. Target the left side of Chelsea’s defence
Gary Cahill’s performances have improved markedly during Chelsea’s winning run, but, as was proved at Manchester City, the England international can still be prone to an error. Harry Kane gave Cahill nightmares when Tottenham beat Chelsea 5-3 on New Year’s Day in 2015 and will no doubt look for a repeat performance. Left wing-back Marcos Alonso is fit and has won every game he has started for the Blues, but he is not always convincing in a defensive capacity.
4. Hit them with pace
Chelsea were taken apart by the pace of Liverpool and Arsenal before Antonio Conte switched to his successful back three. But even since the change and the turnaround in form, Conte’s team have looked vulnerable against genuine pace.
Manchester City should have been out of sight before the Blues managed to hit back and Tottenham could have been more than one goal ahead at Stamford Bridge. Full-backs Danny Rose and Kyle Walker could be key for Spurs if they can get forwards.