Apr 1, 2018 at 4pm UK at ​Stamford Bridge
Attendance: 41,364
Chelsea
1-3
SpursTottenham Hotspur
Morata (30')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Eriksen (45'), Alli (62', 66')
Davies (70')

Combined XI: Chelsea vs. Tottenham Hotspur

Sports Mole selects a strongest combined XI from Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur ahead of Sunday's clash at Stamford Bridge.

Tottenham Hotspur can take a giant stride forward in the race for Champions League football, as they head to Chelsea looking to maintain - or indeed extend - the five-point advantage they have on their opponents.

The Lilywhites sit in fourth place and look good value to once again finish in the higher reaches of the division, having won nine and drawn three of their last 12 matches.

Chelsea, by comparison, have lost four of their last six top-flight matches and have failed to win back-to-back games since the turn of the year.

Here, Sports Mole selects the strongest combined XI from both squads, using only the players available for selection this weekend.


Chelsea vs. Tottenham Combined XI

The toughest call to make comes in goal, where Thibaut Courtois and Hugo Lloris can hold claim to being arguably the best two goalkeepers in the division outside of Old Trafford. Courtois is not 100% fit after returning from international duty with Belgium, however, and Spurs also have a marginally better defensive record this term, meaning that sweeper keeper Lloris gets the nod.

Both teams are comfortable playing with a five-man defence, though in order to cram in more midfield and attacking players, this hybrid side is comprised of a four-man defence. Marcos Alonso and Kieran Trippier have both excelled once again this season in terms of goals and assists - a combined nine and seven respectively in all competitions - seeing them selected at full-back over the likes of Ben Davies, Danny Rose, Serge Aurier and Victor Moses.

The return from injury of Toby Alderweireld gives Mauricio Pochettino a chance to potentially reignite one of European football's finest defensive partnerships, but Davinson Sanchez looks likely to start alongside Jan Vertonghen this weekend. Vertonghen remains a consistent presence in Tottenham's backline, featuring 39 times overall this term, while Cesar Azpilicueta is arguably the most reliable - and versatile - player in Chelsea's ranks.

Voted PFA Player of the Year last time around, N'Golo Kante remains a real force in defensive midfield for Chelsea and produced a superb display last time out against former club Leicester City. Much like Kante, Spurs man Mousa Dembele does not tend to chip in with goals and assists - none whatsoever in 2017-18 so far - but he is one of the finest deep-lying midfielders on the continent and would get into most sides.

In the likely absence of Harry Kane, and the mixed fortunes of Olivier Giroud and Alvaro Morata, choosing Son Heung-min as a false nine of sorts seems the obvious choice as the South Korean has seven goals and one assist in his last five matches. Selecting three players from a possible six or seven to join him is a tough choice, though one man that has to feature in any combined XI side is Eden Hazard.

An inconsistent campaign for Chelsea it may have been, but Hazard has impressed pretty much throughout. Willian, too, has stood out in recent weeks to force his way into the side, seeing him given the nod over the likes of Dele Alli, Erik Lamela, Pedro and Lucas Moura, while Christian Eriksen can add even more creativity from a central position.

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Eden Hazard and Gerard Pique in action during the Champions League group game between Chelsea and Barcelona on February 20, 2018
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Combined XI: Barcelona vs. Chelsea
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CManchester CityMan City3832421062779100
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd38256768284081
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs38238774363877
4Liverpool382112584384675
5Chelsea382171062382470
6Arsenal381961374512363
7Burnley381412123639-354
8Everton381310154458-1449
9Leicester CityLeicester381211155660-447
10Newcastle UnitedNewcastle38128183947-844
11Crystal Palace381111164555-1044
12Bournemouth381111164561-1644
13West Ham UnitedWest Ham381012164868-2042
14Watford38118194464-2041
15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton38913163454-2040
16Huddersfield TownHuddersfield38910192858-3037
17Southampton38715163756-1936
RSwansea CitySwansea3889212856-2833
RStoke CityStoke38712193568-3333
RWest Bromwich AlbionWest Brom38613193156-2531

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