Tagged in: Jose Mourinho

Tottenham against Chelsea weekend preview

Jose Mourinho and Frank Lampard meet again as Tottenham and Chelsea face off in a Premier League London derby on Sunday.

Just a few weeks ago, it looked as though the top four was beyond Tottenham: now, a victory over Chelsea would see them leapfrog the Blues into the Champions League qualification places.

Mourinho’s return to Premier League football has seen Spurs close in on the top four, with Chelsea’s run of four defeats in their last five League matches cause for alarm at Stamford Bridge.

The Special One would dearly love a win against his former club, especially since the fans turned on him when he joined Manchester United. Lampard, meanwhile, needs a result – and beating his mentor on the road is exactly what he needs right now

Lampard’s Blues remain fourth in the table, but their poor recent run has shown up a few limitations in the squad – particularly in defence.

Mourinho is likely to target those ruthlessly, and Chelsea will need to be at their best to keep the likes of Harry Kane out.

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Hugo Lloris (elbow) and Michel Vorm (calf) remain out of action for Spurs. Tanguy Ndombele (groin), Erik Lamela (thigh) and Ben Davies (ankle) are all out as well, so Mourinho is unlikely to make huge changes.

As for Chelsea, Ruben Loftus-Cheek is still some way off match fitness, while Fikayo Tomori (hip) and Olivier Giroud (ankle) are doubts.

Tottenham have a poor Premier League record versus Chelsea, winning just seven of their 54 meetings. Chelsea boast 28 victories along with 19 draws.

Both sides won at home in the League last season, with Spurs collecting a 3-1 victory last November before losing 2-0 at the Bridge in February.

As for the managers, Mourinho and Lampard have already faced off once as coaches, with Lampard’s Derby stunning Mourinho’s Manchester United with a Carabo Cup penalty shootout win at Old Trafford in September 2018.

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Manchester United defeats Tottenham in Mourinho´s return

This was a return to the Theatre of Dreams that Jose Mourinho will not have wanted to imagine but one that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer must have fantasised about.

Mourinho’s re-appearance, a year to the month he was dismissed by Manchester United, ended in a limp loss as Tottenham Hotspur lost for the first time since he was appointed.

The Humble One did not expect to be humbled and although he remained restrained throughout how he will have dreamt of getting one over the club that felt he was not that special any more.

There would be no knee slide, no fist pump, no tapping of his chest for Mourinho as he watched Marcus Rashford inspire United to victory and in doing so went a long way towards relieving the mounting pressure on Solskjaer in what feels like a defining week for him ahead of Saturday’s Manchester derby.

United also had the bonus of going above Spurs in a Premier League table which suddenly looks far more healthy for them.

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At the end, Mourinho sought out each United player, as well as those from Spurs, but maybe it was telling that he lingered longest with the impressive Scott McTominay who was something of a project for him.

Bizarrely, United have now defeated Chelsea, Leicester City and Tottenham in winning just five of their 15 league matches so far this campaign and are the only team to have taken points off Liverpool, while Spurs will have felt this was a reality check – “a wake-up call,” Alli said – after the euphoria of Mourinho’s initial impact.

It was their first loss after three victories but in every match they have conceded two goals which is very un-Mourinho-like and something he has little time to work on with fixtures coming thick and fast.

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