This weekend, the Premier League’s top two will meet in a game which could have huge consequences in the league as well as the cup, whilst it will deny one team the opportunity of a potential league and cup double and dent their chances of a successful campaign.
With eight of the eleven players in the PFA team of the year belonging to these two teams, there could be some exciting match ups on the Wembley turf on Saturday, and here we take a look at some that could be the most decisive.
Harry Kane vs David Luiz
Tottenham’s top goalscorer will undoubtedly be their biggest threat to Chelsea’s back four, with the Blues not having kept a clean sheet in the Premier League since mid-January when they beat Hull by two goals to nil. With David Luiz having struggled at Old Trafford last weekend, it could be an intense battle.
Both are strong in the air and won’t be afraid of getting stuck into a physical battle, Kane hasn’t scored against Antonio Conte’s side yet this season but he will undoubtedly fancy his chances this time around having seen them easily dismantled by his England team-mate Marcus Rashford.
With Heung Min Son and Christian Eriksen offering support and keeping Cesar Azpilicueta and Ake occupied, this one could be a decisive battle with which Luiz won’t be able to afford to slip up.
Dele Alli vs N’Golo Kante
Having scored both goals at White Hart Lane when Tottenham ended Chelsea’s unbeaten run earlier this season, the young midfielder will be a huge threat to the Blues and will have to be shackled in midfield. Fortunately for Antonio Conte, there are few better players to do that than N’Golo Kante.
The Frenchman is an expert at applying pressure and not allowing creative midfielders an inch of room to create an opportunity, which will be much needed given Alli’s recent goalscoring form.
However, it will almost certainly mean that the diminutive former Leicester man will not be able to roam forwards as he has done to devastating effect at times this season.
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That said, Dele Alli was anonymous in Tottenham’s thrashing of Bournemouth last weekend, and Chelsea will be hoping that his form deserts him yet again this weekend.
Eden Hazard vs Kyle Walker and Toby Alderweireld
To put it simply, keeping Eden Hazard quiet is not a one man job. Whilst at times he will bomb down the wing and look to cut back inside or deliver crosses into the box, at other times he will be equally as dangerous when drifting inside and exploiting the spaces created by Diego Costa.
In Walker and Alderweireld, Tottenham arguably have the best two right sided defenders in the Premier League, but both will have their work cut out if they are to silence the Belgian and stop Chelsea from scoring on Saturday.
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The other concern for Mauricio Pochettino will be what it means for his team’s attacking intent with Walker likely to be pinned back by Hazard and Marcos Alonso, restricting their ability to overlap and get forward down the wings as they like to.