Ahead of Sunday's London derby between Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea, Sports Mole selects its strongest combined XI from both squads.

Combined XI: Tottenham Hotspur vs. Chelsea

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  • 2019-12-20 22:10:31 3 months ago
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Jose Mourinho welcomes his former club Chelsea to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in the final Premier League match before Christmas as Spurs host the Blues in a festive London derby.

Tottenham have won four of their five Premier League outings since Mourinho took over from Mauricio Pochettino and would move level on points with their visitors if they chalk up another victory this weekend.

The hosts will be favourites to do just that too considering Chelsea have lost four of their last five league games to allow the chasing pack to close the deficit in the top-four race.

Here, Sports Mole selects its strongest combined XI from both squads, using only players available for this match.

Combined XI: TOT vs. CHE

With first-choice Spurs keeper Hugo Lloris still sidelined by an elbow injury, it is a fairly easy decision to give the gloves to Kepa Arrizabalaga ahead of Paulo Gazzaniga in this team. The world's most expensive keeper has not always been afforded the best protection by his defence this season, though, with Chelsea conceding one more goal than Spurs going into this match.

It is perhaps not a surprise that Spurs provide the bulk of the back line, then, with Toby Alderweireld and Davinson Sanchez in the middle and Jan Vertonghen at left-back, where he has shone under Mourinho so far.

The match comes too soon for Antonio Rudiger to have worked his way into this team given that he has only just returned from a long-term injury, while Kurt Zouma and fitness doubt Fikayo Tomori also miss out, but there is a Chelsea representative in the form of Cesar Azpilicueta, who beats Serge Aurier to a place at right-back.

Chelsea provide both holding midfielders in N'Golo Kante and Jorginho, with Mateo Kovacic coming close to being selected too following a spell of good form. Tanguy Ndombele is an injury doubt for Spurs and is yet to enjoy a prolonged period of his best form since his summer move, while the likes of Harry Winks, Eric Dier and Moussa Sissoko have not had quite the impact of their Chelsea counterparts on games this term.

One Spurs player who is having a growing influence is Dele Alli, who seems to have benefitted more than most from Mourinho's appointment. The England international has scored four goals in Mourinho's six games at the helm so far, earning the number 10 role ahead of Mason Mount and teammate Christian Eriksen.

Indeed, it is a Tottenham-heavy front line, with the effervescent Son Heung-min selected ahead of Willian and Harry Kane predictably leading the line, although the Spurs striker did face serious competition from Tammy Abraham, who has outscored his compatriot in the Premier League so far this season.

Christian Pulisic does make the cut, though, having worked his way into Frank Lampard's first team on a regular basis now. The 21-year-old American's pace and dribbling is always likely to cause defences problems, and with five goals to his name only Abraham has netted more than him for Chelsea this term.

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Combined XI: Tottenham Hotspur vs. Chelsea
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