By Harry Sykes
Chelsea are set to name an unchanged team for the seventh consecutive Premier League match when they host Tottenham on Saturday.
Antonio Conte is likely to stick with the same starting XI that has secured six wins on the trot and catapulted his side to the top of the table.
The showdown against Spurs at Stamford Bridge will be a major test of Chelsea’s title credentials despite the opposition’s midweek Champions League exit.
Mauricio Pochettino’s side are the Premier League’s only unbeaten side and will narrow the gap on Chelsea to a single point if they are able to emerge triumphant from the trip to their bitter rivals.
Nevertheless, Conte’s team will be favourites given their home advantage and excellent form in the last six league matches, which have yielded 15 goals scored and none conceded.
Barring any injuries in the build-up to the clash, the Italian manager is almost certain to stick with the players who have thrived in the 3-4-3 formation that has paid such dividends.
This means there will be no place for attacker duo Willian and Oscar, who were regulars last season and earlier on in the campaign.
Intriguingly, Willian did not even make the substitute’s bench for last weekend’s 1-0 win over Middlesbrough, while Oscar was only a late replacement for Eden Hazard in stoppage time.
Diego Costa is set to spearhead the Chelsea attack, flanked by Hazard and Pedro. N’Golo Kante and Nemanja Matic will be paired in central midfield, with wing-backs Victor Moses and Marco Alonso bombing forward on the flanks.
At the back, John Terry is expected to be overlooked once again, with Conte sticking with David Luiz, Gary Cahill and Cesar Azpilicueta.
In other Chelsea news, Tottenham have made a formal complaint about a senior Blues figure.