The first ever Premier League game to be held at Wembley takes place this afternoon and it is quite fitting that we have a blockbuster clash in store as last season’s top two clubs in the Premier League will look to earn some all important early bragging rights.
For Tottenham it will be a chance to earn a modicum of revenge for not only missing out on the title but also being dumped out of the F.A. Cup at the Semi Final stage. While Chelsea will be looking to bounce back after a shock defeat at Stamford Bridge last week.
Spurs will look at this game as the perfect opportunity in which to rid the Wembley millstone which is currently hanging around their necks. A win would almost rid talk of a difficult transitional season but on the other hand defeat would extend that topic of conversation.
Chelsea will come into this game heavily depleted due to a mixture of injury and suspension. Eden Hazard loses his race against fitness while both Gary Cahill and Cesc Fabregas are suspended after both picking up Red Cards in the 3-2 defeat to Burnley last Sunday.
Pedro is also a doubt after not quite recovering from an injury of his own, while Tiemoue Bakayoko may well be given his Premier League debut this afternoon after his signing from Ligue 1 champions Monaco earlier in the summer.
Tottenham will consider giving Kieran Trippier his first start of the season after he missed last week’s victory over Newcastle due to picking up an injury on this very ground just two weeks ago when the club beat Italian giants Juventus in a friendly.
The fact he limped off during that game and left the ground in a protective boot was not a welcome sight especially with the club selling Kyle Walker a couple of weeks prior and many raised the pertinent question of just who was going to play at right back last week.
Kyle Walker-Peters was bestowed with the task and allayed any concerns that anyone would have had after earning a Man Of The Match award after his impressive performance against Newcastle last week. As good as he was though a game of this magnitude may well end up being a bit too much too soon for the Under 20 World Cup winner.
Chelsea will have to shake off the embarrasment of that opening weekend defeat to Burnley, the sending off Gary Cahill was the pivotal moment of the encounter but even with them being a man short there is no legislating the level of performance that last season’s champions offered.
They looked better once record signing Alvaro Morata came off the bench and after scoring in the second half he would have done enough to warrant inclusion from the beginning. That will mean Belgian international Michy Batshuayi will have to make do with a place on the bench.
Tottenham were fortunate to gain from Jonjo Shelvey’s moment of idiocy last week as they put the on pitch numerical advantage to good use. They may have lacked a bit of spark when it was 11 vs 11 but once Christian Eriksen had more license to roam, Rafa Benitez’s men were suitably punished.
Harry Kane has never scored in August in the Premier League that is something that he would love to put right, he found the net in the F.A. Cup Semi Final clash last season but ultimately ended up on the losing side as Antonio Conte’s men ran out eventual 4-2 winners.
Whether there will be that many goals this afternoon I am not too sure but it does promise to be a highly entertaining encounter, Tottenham will fancy their chances but they cannot afford to take even a depleted Chelsea for granted. This one will be close to call, I’m sitting on the fence for this one.
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— Dan Tracey (@dantracey1983) August 19, 2017