Tottenham v Chelsea | It is Mauricio v Maurizio Part 2

Tottenham Hotspur [Photo: BBC]
Tottenham Hotspur [Photo: BBC]

The Blues were beaten black and blue in their last visit to Wembley, in November, against Tottenham.

They’ll return on Tuesday in the first leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final, hoping to get a better result.

Mauricio Pochettino got the better of Maurizio Sarri by shutting down Jorginho and his players being the more aggressive.

In the last two confrontations between these London teams, Spurs have gotten the better of their neighbours by an identical score line – 3-1.

In the runup to a first meeting in 2019, both Pochettino and Sarri have been discrete in their pronouncements leading to the game. But one thing is sure, London is set to rumble again.

Tottenham will be without Lucas Moura with doubts over the fitness of Erik Lamela, Mousa Dembele, and Jan Vertonghen, who have all returned to team training.

“Chelsea is a great team, a team that will be tough to beat. The tie is 50-50. It will be a very exciting game,” Pochettino said in the pre-match press conference.

“We hope to have the possibility to win and go to Stamford Bridge in a very good position.”

Meanwhile, Sarri revealed why Chelsea were thrashed in November, on his club’s website, “I saw my players in the dressing room after the match. They were destroyed.

“They needed only to realise why the match was so bad. It was very easy.

“The video of the first 15 minutes was clear. There was a big difference in mentality, aggressiveness, and determination. It was clear for me and also the players,” he added.

The game plan for Spurs is straightforward – target Jorginho in the high press and render N’Golo Kante ineffective in offensive areas.

Sarri added, “We need to approach the match in another way because they were more aggressive than us and more determined than us. So we know very well if the approach is the same there is no solution for us.

“We can speak about tactics but only if we are at the same level of application and determination.

His solution is also simple, “In that match, we needed to play more outside than inside because the space was there, and we understood that later.”

Whether Spurs will allow Chelsea that space is another matter entirely.

Three duels to watch

Dele Alli v Jorginho

To stop Chelsea, stop the metronomic passing of Jorginho and attack the Italy international at speed and there is every probability that the weakest chink in Chelsea’s armour will be exposed. Alli did that to great value in November and also at Stamford Bridge last season when he used the space between the central defenders to devastating effect.


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