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Sport How Nuno Espirito Santo can help Spurs end poor run against Chelsea

14:25  19 september  2021
14:25  19 september  2021 Source:   dailymail.co.uk

Michail Antonio and Nuno Espirito Santo claim Premier League awards

  Michail Antonio and Nuno Espirito Santo claim Premier League awards Antonio (left) scored four goals in August and became West Ham's all-time Premier League top scorer, while Nuno led Spurs to the top of the table with three wins in three games.The duo have enjoyed an impressive start to the season so far. Antonio scored four goals and contributed three assists as West Ham recorded wins against Newcastle United and Leicester City in the opening two games of the campaign, before drawing against Crystal Palace ahead of the international break.

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Tottenham haven't enjoyed the best of fortunes in recent times when compared with their London rivals Chelsea.

Since 2019, the north London side have slid from being Champions League finalists and regulars in the competition to scrapping for qualification into UEFA's new tertiary tournament, the Europa Conference League.

The Blues meanwhile in that same period have broken back into the top four as the teams prepare to meet at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Sunday, and head into the derby as European champions.

Nuno Espírito Santo holding a ball: Nuno Espirito Santo will hope to get Tottenham back to winning ways in the Premier League © Provided by Daily Mail Nuno Espirito Santo will hope to get Tottenham back to winning ways in the Premier League a group of men playing a game of football: Spurs slumped to a 3-0 defeat at Crystal Palace last time out, ending their unbeaten start © Provided by Daily Mail Spurs slumped to a 3-0 defeat at Crystal Palace last time out, ending their unbeaten start

Even in matches between the teams, Spurs have suffered, failing to win any of their last seven outside of a penalty shootout.

Nuno curses Tottenham's 'terrible' luck with injuries

  Nuno curses Tottenham's 'terrible' luck with injuries The Spurs manager could feel pleased with his side's resolve in rescuing a point in their Europa Conference League opener against the French side, but he could not hide his fury at losing more attackers to the injury list. Steven Bergwijn was first to leave on the half-hour mark after turning his ankle, an issue that has already seen him miss several Spurs games. © Provided by Daily Mail ( © Provided by Daily Mail ( With Nuno having dealt with the Dutchman's knock, he saw winger Lucas Moura limp off the pitch in the second half after a heavy challenge. 'It's been terrible. I must be honest.

But they may have a handy operator in new manager Nuno Espirito Santo to end that barren run, given the former Wolves boss has an impressive record against the Blues.

Sportsmail looks at how Nuno and Tottenham's record stacks up against Chelsea, and how the Spurs boss can get one over Thomas Tuchel's side once more.

Nuno vs Chelsea

After guiding Wolves into the top flight, Nuno has since faced Chelsea six times and has only tasted defeat twice.

Tottenham boss Nuno calls for 'patience' with Ndombele

  Tottenham boss Nuno calls for 'patience' with Ndombele The Frenchman made his first appearance of the season in Thursday's 2-2 Europa Conference League draw with Rennes, having asked to leave the club before the campaign started. The club's record buy has been inconsistent since his £60million-plus move from Lyon two years ago and found himself frustrated at being left out of the side by interim boss Ryan Mason at the end of last season.

Both came during the 2019-20 season, and one proved to be one of his poorer days at Molineux as in a September 5-2 loss his side were 4-0 down before the hour mark - with Tammy Abraham scoring a hat-trick.

A minute amount of respectably to the scoreline was restored the following July in Project Restart as they went down 2-0 at Stamford Bridge, with Mason Mount and Olivier Giroud scoring on the cusp of half-time.

Nuno though will be happier with his side's display in the seasons either side of that Blues double.

a man playing a game of football: Tammy Abraham netted a hat-trick when Chelsea won 5-2 at Wolves back in September 2019 © Provided by Daily Mail Tammy Abraham netted a hat-trick when Chelsea won 5-2 at Wolves back in September 2019 a man with a football ball: Pedro Neto struck a last gasp winner to help Nuno's Wolves defeat Chelsea last season © Provided by Daily Mail Pedro Neto struck a last gasp winner to help Nuno's Wolves defeat Chelsea last season

In December 2018, goals from Raul Jimenez and Diogo Jota helped Wolves come from behind following a Ruben Loftus-Cheek opener to win at Molineux, and they were on course to win at Stamford Bridge later in the season through another Jimenez effort only for Eden Hazard to score a last-gasp equaliser.

Nuno says Tottenham's 'many problems' can't be solved in training

  Nuno says Tottenham's 'many problems' can't be solved in training Nuno complained about their lack of wins, levels of performance and absent players, with Lucas Moura and Steven Bergwijn currently doubts for Sunday's north London derby.Nuno complained about their lack of wins, levels of performance and absent players, with Lucas Moura and Steven Bergwijn currently doubts for Sunday's north London derby.

Last term, they produced another comeback to defeat Chelsea at home with Giroud's opener cancelled out by Daniel Podence before Pedro Neto hit a last minute winner against Frank Lampard's outfit.

By the time the reverse fixture was played a month later back in January, Tuchel was in the hot seat for his first game in charge, but his side were unable to break down a stubborn Wolves defence despite boasting nearly 80 per cent of possession in a 0-0 draw.

Thomas Tuchel's first game as Chelsea boss saw him share a goalless draw with Wolves © Provided by Daily Mail Thomas Tuchel's first game as Chelsea boss saw him share a goalless draw with Wolves

Video: Thomas Tuchel previews Spurs v Chelsea (Mirror)

Tottenham's not so lucky seven

Tottenham have a reputation for going into hiding when it comes to playing Chelsea stretching right back to the start of the Premier League in 1992.

Indeed, they didn't win against the Blues in the top flight until 2006 and have only one Premier League triumph at Stamford Bridge from back in 2018.

So winless runs are not uncommon for Spurs in this fixture and they have now gone seven games without beating the Blues without the assistance of penalty kicks.

Nuno admits to ignoring heading-limit guidelines in training

  Nuno admits to ignoring heading-limit guidelines in training Football's authorities advised clubs at the start of this season that players should not be exceeding 10 high-force headers a week in light of a growing link to neurodegenerative diseases. Sources have told Sportsmail that the Tottenham boss is not alone in disregarding guidance. An executive at another English club said: ‘We just have to be seen to be doing something.’ © Provided by Daily Mail ( © Provided by Daily Mail ( Speaking ahead of Sunday's north London derby against Arsenal, Nuno had said Tottenham need to improve at defending set-pieces.

The run started back in January 2019 when Chelsea overturned a 1-0 first leg deficit in the League Cup semi-final by winning 2-1 at Stamford Bridge and triumphing in the resulting penalty shootout.

a group of people watching a football game: Kieran Trippier's bizarre own goal gave Chelsea a comfortable 2-0 win back in 2019 © Provided by Daily Mail Kieran Trippier's bizarre own goal gave Chelsea a comfortable 2-0 win back in 2019

A month later Spurs returned in the Premier League under Mauricio Pochettino, at least they did in theory, as a lifeless performance saw them easily rolled over 2-0 following a Pedro effort and a bizarre Kieran Trippier own goal where he slotted a finish past his own keeper Hugo Lloris.

By the end of the year during the following season, both managers had changed with Jose Mourinho in the Spurs dugout and Frank Lampard having replaced Maruizio Sarri for the Blues. But it was the same scoreline in north London with two Willian first half goals on a day where Son Heung-min was sent off.

Spurs barely improved two months later when they fell 2-0 down again to Giroud and Marcos Alonso goals, with an Antonio Rudiger own goal a minute from time offering scant consolation.

Tottenham ended the losing streak in the League Cup last season, when Erik Lamela's late goal cancelled out Timo Werner's first Blues goal, with Tottenham then enjoying rare delight by seeing off Lampard's side on penalties.

Arsenal vs Tottenham: Who are the players with a point to prove?

  Arsenal vs Tottenham: Who are the players with a point to prove? Arsenal host Tottenham on Sunday in a huge north London derby. Harry Kane is the fixture's top scorer but he comes in under pressure after a slow start to the season. But who else has a point to prove?It was less than a month ago that Tottenham defeated Norwich 1-0 to top the Premier League table, still to concede in three wins from as many games as Nuno Espirito Santo received lavish praise - and subsequently the manager of the month award.

Spurs drew again in a cagey goalless encounter at Stamford Bridge last November but in struggling to find the net back in March in the return fixture, they were beaten by a Jorginho penalty.

a group of people playing football on a field: Erik Lamela grabbed Spurs a draw against Chelsea in the League Cup last season before Jose Mourinho's outfit triumphed via a penalty shootout © Provided by Daily Mail Erik Lamela grabbed Spurs a draw against Chelsea in the League Cup last season before Jose Mourinho's outfit triumphed via a penalty shootout Marcos Alonso Mendoza et al. looking at a football game: But in the Premier League Spurs slipped to another defeat, with Jorginho converting a penalty © Provided by Daily Mail But in the Premier League Spurs slipped to another defeat, with Jorginho converting a penalty

How can Tottenham stop the high flying Blues

It's not just head-to-head form going against Tottenham heading into the derby. Chelsea continue to fly under Thomas Tuchel.

They have won three of their four Premier League games with an aggregate score of 8-0 and their only dropped points came with a highly respectable 1-1 draw at perceived title rivals Liverpool.

They have already seen off Arsenal 2-0 at the Emirates Stadium and summer signing Romelu Lukaku has quickly settled having netted at the Gunners, twice on his home debut against Aston Villa, and again on Tuesday with the winning goal against Zenit in the Champions League.

a man with a football ball: Stopping in-form Romelu Lukaku will be key to Tottenham should they wish to beat the Blues © Provided by Daily Mail Stopping in-form Romelu Lukaku will be key to Tottenham should they wish to beat the Blues

Following his arrival at the start of pre-season, Nuno has attempted to try and fix the Spurs defence before focusing on creating chances, and before the 3-0 hammering at Crystal Palace he seemed to be making process with three straight 1-0 victories.

It may not be much of a surprise to see Spurs's main gameplan being to stop Lukaku, and a plan to do this would be lining up with a three-man defence to suffocate the Belgian hitman space in the centre of attack.

Tottenham boss Nuno Espirito Santo is third favourite to be SACKED

  Tottenham boss Nuno Espirito Santo is third favourite to be SACKED It seems a long time ago that Nuno Espirito Santo was holding the Premier League manager of the month award for August having made a flawless start to life in north London. © Provided by Daily Mail Nuno Espirito Santo is third in bookmakers odds to be the next Premier League boss sacked © Provided by Daily Mail Nuno has credited his coaching staff and the players for Spurs' brilliant start to the season Only Newcastle's Steve Bruce and Norwich's Daniel Farke are seen as more likely to be sacked at this moment.

The three-man system may benefit summer signing Cristian Romero, who can operate in the centre or to the right and could feature alongside Eric Dier and Davinson Sanchez - fitness permitting for the trio.

Spurs though will be without the suspended Japhet Tanganga following his red card at Palace and will hope another summer singing in Emerson Royal can improve on his debut at Selhurst Park as a right wing-back or just as a full-back if Nuno elects just a two-man central defence.

a group of people playing football on a field: One tactical option Nuno could deploy is playing Cristian Romero within a back-three © Provided by Daily Mail One tactical option Nuno could deploy is playing Cristian Romero within a back-three

Nuno's big mistake at Palace was deploying a woeful midfield trio of Harry Winks, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Oliver Skipp which offered nothing creatively and left his side painfully short of supply  to their attacking players.

With Dele Alli still a long way off the form he once showed under Pochettino, Spurs' creative options look even more bleak although the return of Son Heung-min to play alongside Harry Kane may give the Chelsea defence something to think about.

Chelsea are likely to line up with a back three, and that means Spurs may have space to exploit down the flanks, whatever system Nuno puts out.

With Marco Alonso and Reece James expected to offer width going forward, Nuno could try and keep the wing-backs pinned back with an attacking selection himself.

a man with a football ball on a field: Creative options including Tanguy Ndombele could also utilised, with the midfielder yet to be used by Nuno this season in the Premier League © Provided by Daily Mail Creative options including Tanguy Ndombele could also utilised, with the midfielder yet to be used by Nuno this season in the Premier League a football player on a field: Spurs fans have taken to winger Bryan Gil who has also received limited league minutes © Provided by Daily Mail Spurs fans have taken to winger Bryan Gil who has also received limited league minutes

This would see Sergio Reguilon provide more attacking support down the left, and crucially this will also add width to Tottenham's play going forward too - an aspect they suffered badly from at Palace where they had just one shot on target even with the Spaniard in the side.

If it is just to stop Chelsea bringing attacking momentum, Spurs will have to provide some extra creativity and that could come from summer signing Bryan Gil, whose dribbling on the left hand side is already starting to win over fans - even if he has yet to fully convince Nuno.

Another option could be bringing back Tanguy Ndombele into the midfield.

The record £63million signing under Pochettino has been ignored by Nuno in the Premier League thus far, and while his fitness and even future in the club look in serious doubt, Spurs don't have many players as strong or as technically gifted on the ball as the 24-year-old central midfielder.

Read more

Spurs fans' group requests meeting with club's board .
Tottenham Hotspur Supporters' Trust (THST) has requested a meeting with the club's board to discuss its "short and long-term strategic vision".Spurs have lost three consecutive Premier League games to London rivals Crystal Palace, Chelsea and Arsenal after their protracted search for a new manager ended with the appointment of Nuno Espirito Santo in June.

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