Why Christian Eriksen could be key for Tottenham against Chelsea
Much has been made of Tottenham Hotspur’s struggles at Wembley, but they have the chance to make a real statement when Chelsea visit their temporary home this weekend.
The Blues will be without the suspended Gary Cahill and Cesc Fabregas, as well as Eden Hazard, Diego Costa, Tiemoue Bakayoko and potentially Pedro too.
Antonio Conte will have to field a reshuffled side, which could give Christian Eriksen the opportunity to shine.
One of Chelsea’s major strengths last season was that Conte was able to consistently select the same side, which allowed the starting eleven to form a great understanding.
That understanding will be disrupted against Spurs, as David Luiz is likely to move into midfield, with Cesar Azpilicueta lining up alongside Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen in a new-look back three.
The unfamiliar Chelsea backline is likely to leave gaps and there aren’t many players around who can exploit space as well as Eriksen.
Tottenham’s pressing style requires plenty of energy and speed but it’s Eriksen’s guile that knits it all together.
He sets the tempo of their attacking play, exposes opposition weaknesses and he’s got the vision and quality to find the runs of Harry Kane and Deli Alli.
N’Golo Kante or Luiz will be tasked with watching him closely, but it’s easier said than done.
In this fixture last year, Eriksen lost his marker and drew Gary Cahill out of position twice before delivering pinpoint crosses for Alli to convert in a 2-0 win.
Kane and Alli will both look at that Chelsea defence and fancy their chances of scoring, especially with Eriksen providing the ammunition.
If Eriksen does get on the ball and control the game, Tottenham should get an important win.
They’ve only won two of their 11 games at the new Wembley and an early season victory over the champions would give them a real confidence boost.
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