Paul Merson predicts Chelsea v Tottenham, expects tactical switch
By Dominic Toner
Paul Merson believes that Tottenham will lose to Chelsea on Saturday and try to match their 3-4-3 formation.
Antonio Conte’s side have found great success in recent games and won their last six league matches without conceding since switching to a three-man defence.
Chelsea have moved to the top of the Premier League as a result and are the in-form team in the division.
Spurs travel to Stamford Bridge for the Premier League clash and confidence will be low after their exit from the Champions League on Tuesday.
Sky Sports pundit Merson claims that Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino will try to match Chelsea’s system and will find it too difficult in a 3-1 defeat.
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“I’m going to go for Chelsea because I think Tottenham will play the same way as Chelsea and set up with three at the back,” Merson wrote on Sky Sports. “That’s a very difficult system to play off-the-cuff. I know they did it at Arsenal and did well but they’re playing against a team who are brilliant at it.
“I just think Tottenham are going to try and play the way that Chelsea play and I don’t think it will work.”
Spurs will be forced into a change in defence as first-choice left-back Danny Rose is suspended against Chelsea.
Merson mentioned the fact that Spurs have used a three-man defence already this season, which earned them a point in the away match with Arsenal.
Eric Dier, Kevin Wimmer and Jan Vertonghen started that game in defence and would be the most probable combination again, with senior option Toby Alderweireld still absent through injury.
Chelsea’s wing-backs Marcos Alonso and Victor Moses have been crucial to the club’s recent form, providing great energy up and down the flanks.
Kyle Walker could fill in as Spurs’ right wing-back in a 3-4-3 set-up, but the side could struggle without Danny Rose on the left.
The north London club are the only unbeaten side in the Premier League and will be hoping to extend that record against Chelsea.
In other Tottenham news, Harry Wiks has revealed the pressures of being in the first-team after his breakthrough.