England Premier League Match Day 13
The top footballing league in the world returns to action this weekend and with the London Derby headlining the card, there are plenty of story lines as Match Day 13 arrives.
Manchester City took a 2 point lead into the International break. Now the Citizens look to build off their early season success, while fighting off the likes of Liverpool, Chelsea and Tottenham, who are all within 3 points of the defending EPL champs.
The remaining teams in the table have plenty to play for themselves and there should be no shortage of competitive fixtures, as England's top flight teams square off for the right to remain in the Premiership.
Tottenham vs Chelsea
Wembley Stadium, London, England
11-24-2018 - 12:30 pm ET - NBC
The Premier League continues to roll out marquee match-ups, and with the London Derby the star attraction this weekend, there will be a huge amount of attention placed on the capital city, with Wembley Stadium set as the famed back-drop.
Tottenham continue to gain steam after a sluggish start too their new campaign. After 3 straight defeats in September, Spurs have reeled off a record of 8-2-2 in all competitions, and look to be getting healthy at just the right time.
Mauricio Pochettino has been the perfect fit for this once under-performing club. The Argentine was brought into build a winning culture, and has not disappointed since arriving from Southampton in 2014. Pochettino has consistently delivered European qualifications while with the club, finishing in the top four of the Premier League over the past three seasons, he is now expected to deliver trophies, which has been the only knock against his brilliant accomplishments while in North London.
The Spurs head-man has had success against his West London rivals, picking up 3 victories during the last 7 encounters with the Blues, matching their win total over the past 49 meetings. Pochettino also removed the 28 year win-less spell at Stamford Bridge last April, walking away with 1-3 winner, behind Deli Alli's two second half goals.
Harry Kane hopes to be the man who lifts his side to victory this season, the English International is fresh off a late goal that helped lead the Three Lions past Croatia last weekend, now the informed striker seeks the spotlight once again, with 12 Goals and 3 Assists in all competitions, the Tottenham tally's man is always the main component for Spurs long-term success.
The Londoner's are still missing plenty of key figures, with Mousa Dembele, Davinson Sanchez and Danny Rose all scheduled to skip this weekends affair, Spurs were bolstered by the return of Christian Eriksen too the starting eleven, who looks to play further out on the wings within Tottenham's 4-2-3-1 formation, as he will be asked to surge down the flanks, and provide valuable service into his star striker.
Delli Alli also makes his way back from injury after several weeks on the sideline, the young Spurs midfielder provides the home side with another dynamic player within their midfield, allowing for Harry Kane to find more open space, as the defenders much account for Alli's own goal scoring presence while in the final third of the pitch.
Spurs have resisted the temptation to make excuses for their roller coaster season to date, even with a plethora of injuries and delays too their new stadium, the North London club have plugged away earning a record of 9-0-3, they now sit only 5 points adrift from Manchester City, and 3 points clear of arch rivals Arsenal, for the final spot in next seasons Champions League qualifications.
Chelsea make the short trip having seen their hot start too the season cool off as of late. The Blues sprinted out of the gate winning their first 5 domestic fixtures, but have since went 3-4-0, dropping them down too the 3rd spot in the Premier League standings.
Maurizio Sarri has been a instant hit while at Stamford Bridge, the Italian manager made his way to England in an effort to make the Blues a more attacking side, and provide the fan base with a attractive brand of football, more than what they experienced under Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte.
Sarri has lived up to his billing, bringing his patented 4-3-3 formation to Chelsea, the Blues have produced 39 Goals through their first 19 matches in all competitions. The visitors were left off the score-line in their most recent outing, as Everton proved too difficult to break down, fueling the Italian too get his free-flowing brand of football back in top gear.
The Blues are expected to be at full strength as the opening whistle arrives, with only Mateo Kovacic a slight doubt, Chelsea seem set to send out their strongest possible starting eleven, as the attempt to keep pace with Man City and Liverpool in the chase for a EPL title.
The main attacking figure atop the Blues front-line remains Eden Hazard, the Belgium play-maker continues to evolve as one of the best players in the world, now apart of Sarri's uptempo system, he seems to have found the perfect match to highlight his full skill-set. Hazard has accounted for 7 Goals and 4 Assists, setting him on a pace to collect double digits in each column, which will surely place his name in the conversation of EPL player of the year.
The Chelsea front-line is a formidable trio, but I firmly believe the true strength of this squad falls in the midfield, with Jorginho pulling the strings from his creative midfield position, and N'Golo Kanté erasing any mistakes made on Chelsea's side of the pitch. This talented combo have propelled the Londoner's to new heights, as they have learned to play off of one another seamlessly, allowing Sarri to be even more aggressive in his tactical approach, understanding this combination of players can make up for any deficiencies in the overall game-plan.
Chelsea are also reaping the benefits of Summer signing Kepa Arrizabalaga, the young Spanish goal keeper has continued to evolve in between the sticks, his super sharp reflexes and long passing abilities allows for another weapon on the pitch, as he will surely be tested in his first taste of this specific London derby.
Tottenham vs Chelsea - Match Prediction
This match-up of the 3rd and 4th place teams in the EPL table should be a must see event, with each team similar in many ways, we should be in store for a very entertaining affair to close out the first day of EPL action.
Tottenham will have plenty of decisions to make ahead of the opening whistle, Pochettino must decide if he wants his side to stay on the front foot with a possession based style of play, where Spurs average 56.2% per match heading into Saturdays showdown, or relinquish the ball and sit back looking to strike on the counter attack, where the Londoner's are highly efficient at shredding opposing defenses, using their wingers and full backs to flood the final third of the pitch, where the hosts can a turn a match in their favor in a moments notice.
Chelsea would seem the more likely of these two teams to control the tempo, the Blues are averaging 63.3% of the ball while under Sarri's reign, while completing 89% of their passes, as they generally push forward without much resistance. The visitors are also creating a plethora of shots on goal once they penetrate their opponents side of the pitch, getting off a impressive 18 per match, Chelsea will certainly have plenty of chances to light up the score board themselves.
These two teams have been hard pressed to keep clean sheets when placed together on the same pitch, I expect another high octane performance with plenty of offense being applied by these London rivals.
Tottenham vs Chelsea - Match Tips
Over 1 -135 / 1.74 - Total 1st Half Goal
Over 2.75 -110 / 1.91 - Total Full Time Goals
Both Teams To Score and Over 2.5 Goals -105 / 1.95
EPL - Bonus Match Tips
Everton vs Cardiff City
11-24-2018 - 10:00 am ET
Everton -0.5 -110 / 1.91 - 1st Half Spread
Everton -1.25 -115 / 1.87 - Full Time Spread
Manchester United vs Crystal Palace
11-24-2018 - 10:00 am ET
Over 1 -130 / 1.77 - Total 1st Half Goal
West Ham vs Manchester City
11-24-2018 - 10:00 am ET
Over 1.25 -125 / 1.8 - Total 1st Half Goals
Manchester City - Team Total Over 2.5 -115 / 1.87 - Goals
Fulham vs Southampton
11-24-2018 - 10:00 am ET
Both Teams To Score - YES -140 / 1.71
Bournemouth vs Arsenal
11-25-2018 - 8:30 am ET
Over 1.25 -110 / 1.91 - Total 1st Half Goals
Both Teams To Score In 1st Half +240 / 3.4
Both Teams To Score In 2nd Half +150 / 2.5
Both Teams To Score and Over 2.5 Goals -120 / 1.83
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