Chelsea V Tottenham Hotspur at Stamford Bridge : Match Preview

By
25 November 2016
Chelsea V Tottenham Hotspur - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.


Chelsea captain John Terry facing around two weeks out with muscular problem

Chelsea captain John Terry faces more than two weeks out injured and will miss Saturday's Premier League clash with Tottenham, head coach Antonio Conte says.

The defender, 36 next month, has made one substitute appearance since Chelsea began a six-match winning run in the Premier League, scoring 17 goals without reply.

His only start since returning from an ankle injury was in the EFL Cup loss at West Ham in October.

"For tomorrow I don't have available John Terry and (John) Obi Mikel," Conte said.

"John has a muscular problem and Obi is recovering from a muscular problem."

While Mikel is expected to return to training next week, Terry faces an absence of "two, three weeks, maybe", Conte says, with a gluteus (buttocks) problem.

Given his lack of game time, Terry featured for Chelsea's development squad in Monday afternoon's 3-2 win over Southampton.

"I'm not sure if the injury was in the under-23 game or the day after," Conte said.

Terry played 70 minutes of the game, which also saw Kurt Zouma, Cesc Fabregas, Marco van Ginkel and Michy Batshuayi feature.

That shows the strength in depth at Chelsea, who lead the Premier League standings entering this weekend's fixtures.

The Blues finished 10th in their woeful title defence last season but had a say in the championship by drawing 2-2 with Tottenham in May.

The bad-tempered clash saw Spurs concede a two-goal lead, extending their 26-year wait for a win over the Blues at Stamford Bridge, and handed Leicester the Premier League title.

There were 12 yellow cards - nine for Spurs - and both clubs were fined by the Football Association for failure to control their players.

And Spurs midfielder Mousa Dembele was retrospectively banned for six matches, missing the start of this season, for an apparent eye gouge on Chelsea striker Diego Costa.

Conte told Chelsea to channel their emotions in Saturday's London derby, just as he does as an animated presence in the technical area.

"Now it's important to think in the present," Conte said.

"Our behaviour, our attitude, must always be perfect and to think only about the game.

"It's right to put your passion, but in the right way, not in a bad way.

"It's important to be always in the right way and to respect your players, the opponents' players, your fans and the other fans.

"They've improved compared to last season with their squad. For this reason, we have to pay great attention.

"(It is) a tricky game. For this reason I'm pushing my players to be focused. I think they are ready."

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino will be without both his first-choice left-backs.

Danny Rose is suspended and Ben Davies is out with an ankle injury, meaning Jan Vertonghen is likely to fill in, with Kevin Wimmer continuing at centre-half.

Erik Lamela remains out with a hip problem while Toby Alderweireld is back in training following his knee injury but will not be ready to play this weekend.

Pochettino's Tottenham finished third in the Premier League last season after their title bid fell away over the final stretch, and the north London club are up among the frontrunners again this campaign.

They are fifth with 24 points, four behind leaders Chelsea.

Pochettino said: "We're fighting, with the addition of a new experience such as the Champions League, which we must learn from despite the blow of elimination.

"We could be better, but we're happy."


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