Chelsea have too much quality, must be weary of Tottenham hacking

Tottenham Hotspur's Eric Dier is pulled away by referee Mark Clattenburg after fouling Chelsea's Eden Hazard (Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images)
Tottenham Hotspur's Eric Dier is pulled away by referee Mark Clattenburg after fouling Chelsea's Eden Hazard (Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images) /
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The last fixture between Tottenham and Chelsea saw the former try to hack down the Blues. Antonio Conte’s men should expect no different this time out.

In arguably the highlight of their 2015/16 campaign, Chelsea ruined Tottenham’s Premier League title hopes last May. After pegging back Spurs’ 2-0 lead, the Blues were subjected to some vicious challenges from frustrated Tottenham players.

With Stamford Bridge once again being the venue this Saturday evening, will Tottenham employ the same bullying tactics? Appearing on The Blue Lions podcast, Ajitesh Rasgotra (site expert at The Pride Of London) stated that Chelsea should be primed for the same physical approach.

"[Tottenham] don’t have the quality to match Chelsea man for man, so if they are going to do something, they have to bully the Blues and try to get some sort of upper-hand in that way."

Chelsea have been in scintillating form over the last two months. Since changing to the back three, the Blues are undefeated in Premier League play and are yet to concede a goal during that period.

The likes of Eden Hazard and Diego Costa are in form and are being ably supported by their colleagues. With that, there are few Spurs players who could lay a claim to be in Conte’s starting eleven.

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Given that Chelsea are in a purple patch, they simply have too much for quality for Spurs to match them on a skills basis.

Hence, Mauricio Pochettino may instruct his players to again adopt the physical tactics that were more born out of frustration last time. Eric Dier would be a prime candidate for this; his aggressive play has been noted.

While Eden Hazard will be a prime target for this aggression, Diego Costa may be a secondary scalp. However, Daniel McClue (contributor to POL and Puck Prose), told The Blue Lions that Costa would keep his cool in a charged atmosphere.

"Last season, Tottenham literally poked him in the eye and he didn’t retaliate, so I think Costa is going to be OK. He may pick up a silly yellow, but you would have that thought that being poked in the eye is the perfect time to grab [the player] by the neck, or bite a chunk out of his shoulder."

Dan went on to remind us that Costa has only picked up one red card in his Chelsea career. Hence, perceptions of his discipline may not reflect reality.

How do you think Tottenham will approach the tie? Will they try to play Chelsea off the park? Or bully them off it? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!