'All over the place' - Mark Lawrenson predicts Tottenham v Chelsea
By Harry Sykes
Mark Lawrenson believes Tottenham will beat title rivals Chelsea 2-0 in their opening home league fixture at Wembley on Sunday.
The mouthwatering fixture at the 90,000-capacity stadium pits last season’s champions against Spurs, who finished second with their highest points tally of the Premier League era.
Mauricio Pochettino’s side comfortably brushed aside Newcastle United with a 2-0 victory in their season opener last Sunday, while Chelsea suffered a shock 3-2 home defeat to Burnley at Stamford Bridge.
Speaking to the BBC Sport website, former defender Lawrenson predicted that Spurs will secure a 2-0 win against a side that they lost to twice last season in the league and the semi-final of the FA Cup.
“This is Tottenham’s first Premier League game at Wembley but it will not be quite the test that people were expecting when the fixtures came out,” Lawrenson said.
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“I just think Chelsea are all over the place, as we saw against Burnley last week. I am going to go for a Spurs win – if I am right, then Chelsea really are in crisis, aren’t they?”
Chelsea will be without Gary Cahill and Cesc Fabregas after they were both sent off against Burnley last Saturday, while Eden Hazard, Pedro and Tiemoue Bakayoko all remain sidelined through injury.
Tottenham are not without their injury problems either, as Georges N’Koudou, Erik Lamela and Danny Rose are all expected to miss the match, while Kieran Trippier is a doubt with an ankle problem.
Pochettino’s side will open up a six-point gap over the bitter rivals if they can secure what would be a notable victory.