Tottenham host Chelsea tomorrow evening in what could prove to be one of the most pivotal fixtures this season.
Liverpool had the chance to close the gap on league leaders Chelsea yesterday, but were held to a 2-2 draw by Sunderland. The Blues could subsequently storm into an eight-point lead with a victory at White Hart Lane.
Antonio Conte’s side have won 13 consecutive Premier League games, and thus our combined XI of the two sides is, predictably, dominated by Chelsea.
Formation – 343: Since switching to a back-three, Chelsea have won 13 games on the trot, scoring 32 and conceding just four. Our side is lined up in a similar manner.
GK – Thibaut Courtois: Hugo Lloris is one of the Premier League’s top shot-stoppers, but no goalkeeper in Europe’s top five leagues has kept more clean sheets than the eleven Courtois has to his name this season.
RWB – Victor Moses: Moses’ electric form this campaign defies all reasonable logic. He was deemed not good enough by Conte’s predecessor Jose Mourinho, but is now a stalwart in the Chelsea side.
CB – Cesar Azpilicueta: Converting Azpilicueta into a centre-back has been a masterstroke. He is one of the most dependable defenders in Europe at this current time.
CB – David Luiz: Often a laughing stock, Luiz has scarcely put a foot wrong since his return to Stamford Bridge in the summer. His good form has earned him a spot at the heart of our defence.
CB – Toby Alderweireld: Alderweireld emerged as one of the Premier League’s top defenders during his time at Southampton, he has replicated that good form for Tottenham.
LWB – Danny Rose: Rose has progressed considerably and is now one of the most well-rounded full-backs in the league. He is also a worthy starter for the England national team.
CM – N’Golo Kante: There can be few arguments with this one. Kante was the Premier League’s top performer in 2016, and is well on his way to winning a second consecutive winners medal.
CM – Cesc Fabregas: Though he has only featured sporadically since Conte took the reigns at the Bridge in the summer, Fabregas remains one of the most inventive midfielders in the league. His two assists against Stoke on New Year’s Eve were testament to that.
LW – Eden Hazard: Hazard looks well rested after taking the entirety of the 2015/16 campaign off. He has been on fire this season, finding the back of the net on nine occasions in the league already. If he keeps his current form up, it may well fire Chelsea to another league title.
RW – Harry Kane: There may be a few raised eyebrows at Harry Kane being pushed out wide, but it’s no more absurd than him taking corners at Euro 2016. Kane has established himself as one of the most prolific strikers around, and he simply had to be included.
ST – Diego Costa: Who else? Costa has already scored 14 goals so far this season. Harry Kane would undoubtedly feel aggrieved to have missed out, but Chelsea’s frontman has been unstoppable this season.
Manager – Antonio Conte: Conte has taken the Premier League by storm since his arrival in the summer. He has revolutionised a faltering Chelsea side and could well win the title in his first season at the club.
Bench: Hugo Lloris, Eric Dier, Gary Cahill, Dele Alli, Nemanja Matic, Christian Eriksen, Pedro.