Chelsea v Tottenham: Key battles

Alli
Alli PHOTOS: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
Azpilicueta
AzpilicuetaPHOTOS: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

CESAR AZPILICUETA V DELE ALLI

Alli  was Tottenham's January match-winner, twice heading in Christian Eriksen crosses at the far post. It offers Spurs further encouragement to direct diagonal balls towards the 1.88m 21-year-old, who is 10cm taller than Azpilicueta. Others have tried to exploit the Spaniard's comparatively short stature. Alli, with six goals in eight games, could.

DAVID LUIZ V HARRY KANE

Luiz endured a traumatic afternoon against Marcus Rashford last week. He may be relieved that Kane is not quite as quick as the teenager but the Spurs striker, who made a scoring return to the starting XI last week, is a specialist on such occasions. He has 23 goals in 30 London derbies. Tottenham will look to isolate him against Luiz.

MARCOS ALONSO V KYLE WALKER

If both sides play with wing- backs, it will be a pivotal area of battle. Chelsea's duo have been crucial to success, while Tottenham's are arguably the most dynamic in England. An ill Alonso was not adequately replaced for the United game, whereas Walker has a terrific deputy in Kieran Trippier so has to stay in form.

Richard Jolly

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 22, 2017, with the headline 'Chelsea v Tottenham: Key battles'. Print Edition | Subscribe