Sunday, March 26, 2023

Chelsea: Chilwell must be unleashed v Spurs

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Chelsea face a crunch Premier League encounter on Sunday afternoon, with the west London strugglers travelling to face capital rivals Tottenham Hotspur to try and veer back on course after a woeful run of form under Graham Potter.

Indeed, the two teams hold contrasting fortunes at present, with Spurs perched in fourth place and a remarkable 11 points above their neighbours, who are stranded all the way down in tenth.

Chelsea have won just two of their last 14 matches across all competitions, with owner Todd Boehly and technical director Christopher Vivell organising a crisis meeting earlier this week to devise a solution to the ongoing misfortune.

If any hope of Champions League football next season is to remain, the Blues must look to continue their marvellous record against Spurs – the Blues are eight top-flight games without defeat against the Lilywhites, having won six times and drawn twice.

In order to ensure that his grip on the Stamford Bridge reins does not become even more tenuous, Potter must drop “liability” Marc Cucurella – as dubbed by journalist Josh Bunting – and unleash Ben Chilwell at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium today, as his dynamic and robust approach could pay dividends.

Should Chilwell be unleashed v Tottenham?

Chilwell has enjoyed much success at Stamford Bridge since signing from Leicester City in a £50m move  in 2020, but in recent months his progress has been blighted by long-term injury issues, and he has only started five times in the current league campaign.

However, during his time with the Blues, the 26-year-old has made 72 appearances, scoring eight goals and registering ten assists, with a notable triumph in the 2020/21 Champions League, playing a vital role in that success as he started nine times en route to lifting the trophy.

Should Ben Chilwell start today?

In his first start following his extensive layoff, which came against Southampton last week, the “creative” Chilwell – as dubbed by Nick Emms – impressed despite his team falling to a chastening home defeat against the league’s bottom club, making one tackle and two interceptions and winning six of his eight duels, as per Sofascore.

That vigorous and combative approach could be crucial for Chelsea against Spurs; with the fixture often fiery and tempers flaring, a composed figure to offer an assurance in their challenges will be most welcome for Potter.

Considering that the £190k-per-week Chilwell ranks among the top 18% of full-backs in Europe’s five main leagues for goals per 90, the offensive element of his game could bolster his side’s chances of victory even further.

Should Chelsea fail to secure victory over Tottenham, their run of form would stretch to a mere two wins in 15 games, while defeat would see Spurs move 14 points clear of their London rivals in the Premier League, all but eradicating any slim hope of the Blues mounting a late charge towards Champions League qualification for 2023/24.

It will be tough, and it will require tenacity, but with Chilwell – who has been hailed by some podcasters in the past for his “superlative” ball distribution – potentially offering such an attribute in abundance,  including him might just bear fruit for the Blues as they look to turn the tide on their recent travails.



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