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How we expect Tottenham to line up against Chelsea

J

ose Mourinho faces big selection decisions across the pitch for the crunch visit of Chelsea on Thursday.

Since Harry Kane was replaced at half-time of the defeat to Liverpool, Mourinho’s Tottenham have barely threatened the opposition goal in 135 minutes of football.

Carlos Vinicius sparked an improvement when he came off the bench at the interval against Brighton and the Brazilian could be handed his first Premier League start at the expense of Gareth Bale, who was ineffective in the defeat at the Amex Stadium.

Mourinho’s selections will be determined by his formation and it will be intriguing to see whether he persists with a 3-4-3 system, which would match up with Thomas Tuchle’s likely Chelsea line-up but is less impactful in the absence of the injured Sergio Reguilon.

Spurs were overrun in midfield against Brighton, so a switch to a more familiar 4-2-3-1, with Vinicius adding a focal point in attack, may be on the cards.

Toby Alderweireld should keep his place at centre-half after a goal-saving challenge against Brighton while Eric Dier’s experience may give him the nod over Joe Rodon, who struggled slightly at Stamford Bridge.

Mourinho has said Serge Aurier is in contention to return after being dropped against the Seagulls but the Ivorian is likely have to settle for a place on the bench, while Erik Lamela, who is nothing if not a big-game player, could also be handed a first start since November.

As well as Kane and Reguilon, Giovani Lo Celso and Dele Alli will both be absent for Spurs.

Spurs’ probable 4-2-3-1: Lloris; Doherty, Alderweireld, Dier, Davies; Hojbjerg, Sissoko; Lamela, Ndombele, Son; Vinicius.

Venue: The Tottenham Hotspur Stadium; Thursday, 4 February; 8pm; BT Sport

Spurs squad from: Lloris, Hart, Whiteman, Aurier, Doherty, Tanganga, Dier, Alderweireld, Sanchez, Rodon, Davies, Hojbjerg, Dele, Sissoko, Winks, Ndombele, Devine, Lamela, Bergwijn, Lucas, Bale, Son, Vinicius.

Injured: Lo Celso (hamstring), Reguilon (hamstring), Kane (ankles), Alli (calf)

Last meeting: Chelsea 0-0 Spurs


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