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Spurs seek to make most of Chelsea’s woes

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino

Tottenham Hotspur begin life at Wembley Stadium on Sunday when they take on Chelsea, hoping to quickly quash talk of discomfort at their temporary home by taking advantage of their rivals’ current problems.

Spurs, who finished runners-up to Antonio Conte’s champions, were unbeaten at White Hart Lane last season but managed just one win from five outings at Wembley, where they played in the Champions League group stage and lost in the FA Cup semi-final to Chelsea 4-2.

The North London club are building a new stadium next door to their old venue at White Hart Lane and will play all their home games at Wembley this campaign.

Since the new Wembley was opened in 2007, Spurs have won only twice in 10 games there.

While Chelsea looked a tough opener when the fixtures were announced, there is little of the swagger of champions about Chelsea at the moment.

Conte’s side lost their opening Premier League home game 3-2 to Burnley and will be without skipper and key defender Gary Cahill and Spanish midfielder Cesc Fabregas, who are suspended after earning red cards against in that defeat.

With winger Eden Hazard and forward Pedro still sidelined with injury, Chelsea will hope that new arrival Alvaro Morata can rise to the occasion after impressing during his substitute appearance on Saturday.

Chelsea have dominated the headlines this week with reports of a rift between Conte and the club’s hierachy over transfer targets, and with their striker Diego Costa firing critical comments from his exile in Brazil.

The decision to sell midfielder Nemanja Matic to Manchester United has also been questioned, particularly given the Serb’s impressive debut for Manchester United last week.

Tottenham brushed off talk of their own problems over transfers and wage demands with a 2-0 win at Newcastle on Sunday, and apart from right-back Kieran Trippier they should be at full strength.

Tripper is expected to be replaced again by Kyle Walker-Peters, who impressed at St. James’ Park.

Chelsea have an excellent record against Spurs in recent meetings, having lost just twice in the past 17 games in all competitions, though one of those defeats came in the last meeting at White Hart Lane in January.

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