Tottenham host London rivals and European champions Chelsea on Sunday with Nuno Espirito Santo looking to bounce back from his first league defeat as Spurs boss.
The North London side go into the game on the back of a 3-0 loss at the hands of Crystal Palace having won their first three games on the bounce.
Chelsea, on the other hand, will be looking to extend their unbeaten run in the league with three wins and a draw to their name after four matches.
So after losing their 100 percent record last Saturday at Selhurst Park, is this just a bump in the road for Spurs or a sign of things to come under their new manager who is still yet to win over some of his doubters?
“But Palace was essentially an inevitable punishment for a problem that had existed in all four Premier League games.
“Yes, Spurs were without players, Dier went off injured, and Tanganga was sent off, but they struggled to create chances again.
“You can’t keep a clean sheet every week and you can’t win 1-0 every week. Spurs and Nuno needed to find a creative spark to take full advantage of Kane and Son.”
It had all looked so good for the new Spurs manager, who was far from the club’s first choice following the sacking of José Mourinho at the end of last season.
An opening day win at home against champions Manchester City was followed up by victories over Wolves and Watford as Nuno’s side topped the Premier League table after the first three games of the season.
But that humbling at the hands of the Eagles has led some Spurs fans to question whether it was just a one-off or if there are more serious issues for the man whose playstyle has been likened to his predecessor and fellow countryman.
“His style of play is similar to Mourinho and we have all seen how that story ends,” says Seb.
“It’s going to come down to whether Nuno can adapt to a big club and find a way of playing fast, fluid, attractive and free-scoring football.
“Results talk but Spurs fans will lose patience if they are forced to watch defeats in which the team creates nothing.”
As for Chelsea, they will be looking to make it three straight wins in all competitions when they travel to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
The Blues have picked up 10 points from their first four matches of the season to sit second in the table, while they also made the perfect start to their Champions League group-stage campaign on Tuesday.
But form counts for little in one of the most fiercely contested fixtures in English football, a rivalry which goes back years, but has become one of the most eagerly anticipated encounters in recent seasons.
“Although Chelsea are far ahead of Spurs at the moment, there were a good few years under Pochettino where Spurs versus Chelsea was more of a derby than even Arsenal,” explains Seb.
“There just seems to be bad blood between the fans and the players alike.
“Spurs and Chelsea don’t deal with each other, they don’t associate with each other and they certainly do not want to drop points to one another.
“While Arsenal are the other half of the North London Derby, Tottenham versus Chelsea is the London Derby for me.
“I don’t think anyone could look any further than the Battle of the Bridge a few seasons ago.
“It sounds like a Game of Thrones episode; Tottenham needed a win and Chelsea were determined to stop us.
“I still maintain that Leicester were winning the title no matter the result, but that attitude was not reflected on the pitch.
“Full-blooded tackles, four goals, cards galore, Poch running onto the pitch, a fight every five minutes. It was a proper old-school Premier League match set in the modern-day!”
Spurs will be without Japhet Tanganga, who received a red card against Crystal Palace, while Eric Dier is likely be sidelined for the game after sustaining an injury in the defeat at Selhurst Park last weekend.
As a result, Nuno Espirito Santo may be forced to throw Giovani Lo Celso, Cristian Romero and Davinson Sanchez straight into the matchday squad to face Chelsea – even though they only arrive back in the UK on Saturday.
They have spent the last 10 days in Croatia, training on their own to avoid the need to self-isolate in a Government-issued hotel back in England having travelled to join up with their country without the permission of Tottenham.
Far from ideal preparations for such a huge London derby with Spurs desperate to avoid two successive league defeats either side of a disappointing Europa Conference draw with Rennes on Thursday night.
“I was hoping that Chelsea would be a freebie after a Palace win,” says Seb. “Four wins on the bounce and coming up against a side we are not expected to beat.
“However, we do not want back-to-back losses. I think what Spurs fans want more than anything is a reaction.
“They want to see some positive steps forward, creating chances and going toe to toe, rather than sitting back and getting battered.
“The performance is more important than the result, I would say.
“I’m predicting, or perhaps hoping, for a well-fought 1-1 result, restricting Chelsea chances and creating a few of our own.
“My head says we are unlikely to walk away with anything but my heart is hoping for a repeat of the opening day Manchester City fixture.”
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