Chelsea welcome Tottenham Hotspur to Stamford Bridge on Thursday in the Carabao Cup semi-final second leg.
Spurs go into the game with a slender 1-0 lead, with Harry Kane’s penalty the only thing separating the two sides.
The winners are almost certain to face Manchester City in the final, with Pep Guardiola’s side taking a 9-0 advantage into their second leg against Burton Albion on Wednesday.
This will be the third time the two sides have met this season with Spurs winning both of the previous meetings, at Wembley.
So how will they line up? Read on for Chelsea v Spurs predicted XIs from several media outlets.
1. Llorente to continue up front
One of the biggest talking points with regards to team news for Chelsea’s game against Tottenham is whether the Blues will be able to call upon Gonzalo Higuain.
The Argentine forward was pictured travelling to London ahead of his medical, though Maurizio Sarri has since admitted it was “impossible” for them to get the deal over the line in time.
As a result, we believe Sarri is likely to continue with Eden Hazard as a false No.9 with Willian and Pedro either side.
On the other side of things, Tottenham have some selection problems of their own, having to face Chelsea without the injured Harry Kane and Dele Alli, in addition to Son Heung-min, who is away on international duty with South Korea.
Against Fulham on Sunday, Spurs went with Fernando Llorente up front and, though the Spaniard did not have the best of games – scoring an own goal – Pochettino may opt to continue with the frontman to cause aerial problems against David Luiz and Antonio Rudiger.
2. Christensen and Barkley to start
With the game so big for Chelsea and Sarri, the Italian is unlikely to make too many changes from his favoured starting XI.
But the Evening Standard believes Sarri will make three changes from the defeat against Arsenal with Andreas Christensen and Ross Barkley coming in for David Luiz and Matteo Kovacic.
The Evening Standard did tip Higuain for an unexpected start, but Sarri has since quashed this rumour with Chelsea unable to get the deal completed in time.
Evening Standard‘s predicted Chelsea XI (4-3-3): Arrizabalaga; Azpilicueta, Rudiger, Christensen, Alonso; Kante, Jorginho, Barkley; Willian, Higuain, Hazard.
3. Tottenham to mimic false No.9
While we have gone for Llorente to start up front for Tottenham, the Evening Standard believe Pochettino will have lost faith in the Spaniard after his disastrous display on Sunday.
Lucas Moura is the man expected to lead the line for Spurs, should he be fit enough to start, with Pochettino telling reporters: “I hope that Lucas Moura is going to be good.
“He was training today at the training ground but today we didn’t want to take a risk with him so we will wait until he is 100 per cent. Maybe for the bench, maybe he will start the game.”
It has also been predicted Paulo Gazzaniga will continue in goal having kept a clean sheet against Chelsea in the first leg.
Evening Standard’s predicted Tottenham XI (3-4-3): Gazzaniga; Sanchez, Alderweireld, Vertonghen; Trippier, Winks, Dier, Davies; Eriksen, Lamela, Lucas.
4. Callum Hudson-Odoi to get his chance
Another Chelsea transfer rumour to have dominated this month has been the future of Callum Hudson-Odoi.
The teenager has been linked with a move to Bayern Munich amid fears he may become the latest on a long list of Chelsea youngsters to stall at the club.
With Chelsea giving their all to keep the highly-rated teenager, Hudson-Odoi has featured more in Sarri’s sides since the start of 2019. And the Express believe he will be given the chance to start against Tottenham on Thursday ahead of both Willian and Pedro.