Friday Football Feature: AVB looks for revenge against Chelsea


If Spurs do beat Chelsea, Andre Villas-Boas may very well gain the respect from those fans who are still uncertain about his credentials as manager.


By Luke Gardener

The Premier League returns this weekend to the delight of football fans across the country. And what a weekend it is.

There is a massive Tyne-Wear derby between Sunderland and Newcastle at the Stadium of Light; the champions, Manchester City face a tough trip to West Brom, but without doubt the tie of the weekend is at White Hart Lane as Spurs face table-toppers Chelsea.

Andre Villas-Boas will face his former club who sacked him mercilessly in March and put Roberto Di Matteo in his place. The former Chelsea player achieved an unthinkable FA Cup and Champions League double. With both teams arguably in the best form they could be, the Saturday lunchtime kick-off is a mouth-watering tie.

With John Terry finally accepting his four-match ban, and therefore missing from the Chelsea defence, Tottenham could well be the favourites to gain all three points. They have found an effective balance with the speed of Aaron Lennon and Gareth Bale on the wings, the creativity of Moussa Dembele and Gylfi Sigurdsson in midfield, and the potent Jermain Defoe as the lone striker.

Spurs have won their previous four matches, defeating Aston Villa and finally beating Manchester United at Old Trafford. League leaders Chelsea are not to be underestimated as they have won their last three games defeating Arsenal at the Emirates and destroying Norwich 4-1.

Villas-Boas is determined to remove the spotlight from himself and the fact that this time last season he was in charge at Stamford Bridge. He is more concerned with Spurs gaining revenge after Chelsea took their Champions League place by winning the competition last year, and the fact that they lost 5-1 in an FA Cup semi-final to their rivals.

There is still one issue for the White Hart Lane club to deal with. Who is their first choice goalkeeper?

It appears Hugo Lloris; the French number one has taken the place of 41-year-old Brad Friedel as he played in their premier league win against Aston Villa. This brought to an end the American’s run of 310 consecutive premier league games in goal.

However, this week AVB has insisted that Friedel is still the number one goalkeeper at the Lane and he will start against Chelsea tomorrow lunchtime. Spurs have also heard that Scott Parker is unlikely to be fit before Christmas which is a blow, but they do have plenty of options who can do a good job of filling that gap.

Chelsea go into the match without Frank Lampard but Roberto Di Matteo will be satisfied with the other midfield options he has at his disposal. Eden Hazard, Juan Mata and Fernando Torres will look to link with each other at every opportunity and cause huge problems for the Tottenham defence.

Spurs have not lost to Chelsea at White Hart Lane in the Premier League since 2005 and they will be looking to continue that run tomorrow. A win would take them to second in the league albeit probably for just a few hours as both Manchester clubs kick off at 3pm.

If Spurs do beat Chelsea, Andre Villas-Boas may very well gain the respect from those fans who are still uncertain about his credentials as manager.

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