Blues, Spurs renew rivalry

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Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur will put their Premier League title credentials to the test when they renew their rivalry at White Hart Lane on Saturday.
Both teams made a raft of new signings during the close season and have made steady starts to the new campaign ahead of the 149th encounter between the two London clubs.
An injury-time goal from Paulinho gave Spurs a 1-0 win at Cardiff City last weekend that took them level on points with Arsenal at the top of the table, while Chelsea are two points back following a 2-0 victory over Fulham. The game will not want for sub-plots, with Portuguese managers Andre Villas-Boas and Jose Mourinho due to face off for the first time since they ended their collaboration at Inter Milan in 2009.
Villas-Boas failed to emulate his former mentor during an unsuccessful eight-month stint at Chelsea between 2011 and 2012, but in Spurs he has found a club with its eyes on the same prizes.
Spurs have conceded only one goal to date, in a 1-0 loss to Arsenal on September 1, and Villas-Boas says such parsimoniousness will stand them in good stead for the visit of his former team. “What we’re seeing this season in the Premier League is that it’s tight at the top. I would expect a tight encounter,” said the Spurs coach.
“We’ve looked solid at the back; not just clean sheets, but the amount of opportunities allowed. We’ll have to show that ability again.”
Chelsea centre-back David Luiz, who has made just one league start under Mourinho, says it would be wrong to attach too much importance to the touchline duel between the managers. “It’s Chelsea and Tottenham, not just Mourinho and Villas-Boas,” the Brazilian said.
“It’ll be a fantastic derby. Everyone will watch this game, everybody wants to play this game.”
Arsenal saw a run of 10 consecutive away wins come to an end in 1-1 draw at West Bromwich Albion in the League Cup on Wednesday, but they prevailed on penalties to maintain their recent momentum.
Arsene Wenger’s side are unbeaten in eight games in all competitions, but on Saturday they visit a Swansea City side smarting after their League Cup defence was ended by second-tier Birmingham City.
Man United reacted to their 4-1 derby humiliation at Manchester City last weekend by eliminating Liverpool in the League Cup and the champions will hope to get back to winning ways in the league by defeating West Brom.
The crushing loss to City left the champions five points below Arsenal in eighth place, but centre-back Jonny Evans says he has known darker days at Old Trafford.
The post-Paolo Di Canio era continues for Sunderland with a home game against Liverpool on Sunday, when caretaker coach Kevin Ball will once again be in charge of first-team affairs.

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