Chelsea vs Tottenham Hotspur: A Combined XI
As Chelsea and Tottenham prepare to clash on Sunday, RealSport have drawn up a combined XI from both teams
With the battle for top four hotting up, Chelsea welcome Tottenham Hotspur to Stamford Bridge on Sunday.
Failure to win against Spurs on Sunday will leave qualification for next season’s Champions League a very tall order for Antonio Conte’s side.
The Blues sit five points adrift of fourth-placed Spurs and last season’s Premier League champions must beat a top-four rival for the first time since November to close the gap.
Spurs have failed to win Stamford Bridge in the Premier League era, Gary Lineker being the last player to score a winner in the league for the visitors, a run stretching back to February 10, 1990.
The Blues have suffered recent losses Manchester United and Manchester City, but remain the only team so far to topple Spurs at Wembley in the league this campaign.
Here is an XI of players combined for the two teams:
GK – Thibaut Courtois
Choosing between Courtois and Tottenham stopper Hugo Lloris proved a real tough decision, but the Belgian gets the nod.
Statistically, there isn’t much difference between the pair, both have eight Premier League clean sheets this season – however, Lloris, according to stats, has made three errors which have lead to a goal being scored, Courtois has made none.
Courtois all-round game is sublime, and he possesses several physical advantages over his French counterpart, including being several inches taller – meaning Chelsea’s man commands his area better than the Lloris.
RB – Cesar Azpilicueta
The Spaniard, hilariously nicknamed “Dave” by his teammates has become of the most under-valued defenders in world football, his work rate and versatility make Azpilicueta is one of the first names on the team sheet.
The 28-year-old is not only solid defensively but can turn provider if needs be and has built a productive partnership with countryman Alvaro Morata this season.
The former-Marseille man has six assists in 29 Premier League appearances so far this campaign, boasting an impressive 87% pass success percentage.
CBs – Toby Alderweireld & Jan Vertonghen
When on song there’s undoubtedly no better four-at-the-back better centre-half pairing in the Premier League than Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen.
The two Belgian defenders, who grew up together in the Ajax youth system, have formed an outstanding partnership for Tottenham which has provided Harry Kane with the platform to propel Spurs up the table.
Although Davinson Sánchez – another former Ajax player – has joined Mauricio Pochettino’s ranks this season, with defensive prodigy Juan Foyth also at the club, the pair remain an almost immovable defensive object.
LB – Marcos Alonso
No surprises here. Marcos Alonso has grown to become one of the classiest left-sided defenders in the world.
The writing was at the wall in a loan spell with lowly Sunderland, the Spaniard helping propel the North-East team to the 2014 Capital One Cup final and the “Great Escape” from relegation under Gus Poyet.
However, it wasn’t until Alonso came to Chelsea that he finally attained he deserved recognition in England.
With enough of an engine to push forward in attack and recover well enough to defend, Alonso is a real asset for a manager playing a wing-back system.
CDM – N’Golo Kante
N’Golo Kante is one of a select few players who has won the Premier League in consecutive seasons with different clubs.
The little midfielder provided a sublime midfield base for Chelsea’s title-winning side last year, and Ranieri’s Leicester City the year before.
The Frenchman has an unreal capacity to win the ball back from the opposition before launching his side into an attack, Kante is one of the best players in his position in the world.
Although, he will not win a third Premier League trophy this season his inclusion into this combined XI was an easy decision.
CM – Moussa Dembele
Former Fulham centre-back Brede Hangeland once described Moussa Dembele as: “The best player I’ve played with.”
It’s easy to see why. The Belgian can do most things with a football, he can dribble and passes the ball well.
Off the ball, his acceleration is superb, and he tackles with precision, although British football was slow to appreciate the former Fulham man’s talents at first, he remains a force in Tottenham’s midfield.
The envy of many Premier League managers.
CM – Dele Alli
He might have had a poor campaign so far, a point underlined by England manager Gareth Southgate’s comments that the young midfielder place in the team is not set in stone, but Dele Alli is a player tailor-made for Premier League action.
Alli regularly displays physicality with just the right amount of aggression, the former MK Dons man combines a love of yellow cards with a Frank Lampard-esque ability to arrive late into the box.
He definitely offers more than Cesc Fabregas.
RF – Son Heung-min
Son-Heung Min is one classy forward and regularly smashes the Ji Sung Park preconception of Korean players being just hard workers
The former Seoul man has scored 12 goals and nabbed six assists already this campaign, relieving some of the goal-scoring responsibilities placed on Harry Kane’s shoulders.
At just 25-years-old, Son has a lot of time to improve and grow. He could feasibly get even better in years to come!
CF – Harry Kane
Although injured at the moment, Harry Kane remains the best striker in the Premier League by a country mile and is rivalled by only Luis Suarez and Robert Lewandowski as the best out-and-out forward on the world stage.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger agrees, dubbing Kane the “best striker in the world.”
His inclusion in this team is a must, Alvaro Morata just hasn’t done it for Chelsea this season, despite a £70 million price tag and Olivier Giroud just isn’t anywhere near Kane’s class.
England’s main man has netted 35 goals in 39 games in all competitions so far this season, an absolute shoe in to feature in this combined XI.
LF – Eden Hazard
Eden Hazard is having a stellar season, and while Chelsea haven’t been at their best this year, the sulky Belgian forward has been a standout player regardless of how the rest of his team perform.
The 27-year-old has once again been linked with Real Madrid in the summer, so Blues fans will savour every moment while the little man remains in London.
Easily one of the most exciting players in the Premier League, the Belgian is setting the standard for attacking players and is a joy to watch when in full flow.
What do you make of RealSport’s combined XI? Let us know in the comments below!