Tottenham Hotspur v Chelsea preview: Antonio Conte wants Blues to emulate London rivals
Last Updated: 20/08/17 6:16pm
Chelsea head coach Antonio Conte says the Premier League champions must try to emulate Tottenham Hotspur ahead of their meeting at Wembley, live on Super Sunday on Sky Sports Premier League from 3.30pm.
Tottenham, who are now in their fourth season under Mauricio Pochettino, have challenged for the title in the last two campaigns, only for Leicester City and then Chelsea to triumph.
And Conte says he has huge admiration for the Spurs manager's work.
"I think Tottenham is doing a great job in these years," Conte said. "I think Pochettino is doing a great job. He created a good foundation for his club.
"I think we must do the same, because now we don't have this base, this foundation, like Tottenham. Now we don't have this. We need time. Chelsea needs time to work, to improve, to create this.
"We must have patience to build something important for the present, but above all for the future."
There was some good news for Conte after it emerged that midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko could make his Blues debut at the home of football following a knee injury.
"He's not at the top of physical condition, but he could be in contention for the game because at this moment I don't have other midfielders available," Conte said.
However, this match has come too soon for Eden Hazard to feature after the Belgian broke his ankle while on international duty in June.
"We must have patience with him," Conte said of the playmaker.
His opposite number, meanwhile, has challenged his players to make Wembley home and insists their poor record at the national stadium is nothing to do with the unfamiliar surroundings.
Wembley will play host to Spurs this season as their new stadium on the site of White Hart Lane is completed - and Sunday afternoon's fixture with their London rivals will be the first Premier League match to be staged there.
Pochettino's side had a woeful record at Wembley last term as they played their ill-fated Champions League campaign under the arch, losing to Monaco and Bayer Leverkusen before beating CSKA Moscow having already been eliminated.
That poor form saw Spurs drop into the Europa League - and they were dumped out of that competition after being held to a draw at Wembley by Gent.
Since beating Chelsea in the 2008 League Cup final, that win over CSKA remains their only success in nine competitive outings - with three defeats coming at the hands of the Blues.
Conte's champions, even on the back of an opening-day defeat by Burnley at Stamford Bridge last weekend, will therefore provide a fitting first challenge for Pochettino and Spurs at their temporary home.
And the Argentinian insists Spurs will have nobody to blame but themselves if they do not hit the ground running.
"Wembley is not a problem. We are the problem if we don't win like last season," he said.
"Wembley is the most important place in the world and if we are not able to win there it is not because of Wembley, it is because of us. It is the most exciting place to play football.
"It is where football is born. For me, in Argentina and Spain, Wembley was a big dream and now a possibility to play there every two weeks, or maybe every week, or maybe three times in one week.
"A problem? Oh, come on, I love Wembley. Wembley is not the problem. We need to make Wembley our home. There's no excuse. Okay it was difficult to move from White Hart Lane to Wembley and it was a perfect excuse for everyone. Now it's not an excuse."
Kieran Trippier could be fit for Sunday's encounter having missed the win at Newcastle due to an ankle injury, with the right-back being assessed on Saturday.
However, fellow England international Danny Rose (knee) remains sidelined, as does Erik Lamela (hip). Georges-Kevin Nkoudou (foot) is another absentee as striker Harry Kane goes in search of his first-ever Premier League goal in the month of August.
Bakayoko may feature for the visitors, while Victor Moses is back from a ban, but defender Gary Cahill and midfielder Cesc Fabregas are both suspended following their dismissals against Burnley.
Pedro (ankle) is a major doubt, Hazard remains out and striker Diego Costa is still in exile.
This will be the first Premier League match played at Wembley Stadium and it will be the 58th different stadium to host a game in the competition.
Tottenham went an entire campaign unbeaten at home in the league last season - the first time they've done this since 1964-65.
Chelsea have lost just two of their last 17 games in all competitions against Tottenham (W8 D7 L2).
Spurs haven't lost a Premier League London derby at home under Pochettino (W9 D4 L0).
Spurs have won 14 consecutive home league games; their joint-longest ever winning run at home in league competition (also 14 wins in October 1987). The longest home winning run by a top-flight team was set by Liverpool between January and December 1972 (21 wins).
Chelsea haven't suffered a defeat in both of their opening two games to a league season since 1973-74, with one of those two defeats also coming against Burnley.
The last reigning top-flight champions to lose their opening two league games of the following season were Aston Villa in 1981-82.
Chelsea won't lose here. I think both teams will be more than happy with a draw. You have to remember that the last thing Tottenham want to do is lose this game - their first at Wembley this season - and Chelsea can't afford to lose a second game on the bounce.
Both teams will be nervous and I think it will be quite cagey.
If not a draw I would probably go Chelsea. I was not impressed with Tottenham at Newcastle, I thought they were poor.
PAUL PREDICTS: 1-1 (5/1 with Sky Bet)
Tottenham have been backed into 21/10 favourites with Sky Bet ahead of Super Sunday's showdown, with Chelsea drifting out to 5/2, the same price as the draw. The champions had their title odds doubled from 7/2 to 7/1 following their opening-weekend loss, while Pochettino's men were trimmed from 9/1 to 8/1. Kane heads the first goalscorer betting at 7/2, with Alvaro Morata considered the Blues' main threat at 6/1 to break the deadlock.