Tottenham v Chelsea: Ruthless Mourinho can put one over former club
A big London derby rounds off this weekend's Premier League action and Dave Tindall is here to preview the showdown at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium...
Tottenham v Chelsea Sunday, 16:30 Sky Sports Main Event
Goals flowing under Mourinho
A combination of some Jose Mourinho new boss 'bounce' and a Chelsea slump mean the two sides are separated by just three points ahead of Sunday afternoon's London derby.
Indeed, victory for Tottenham would see them leapfrog their local rivals and move into a Champions League slot much quicker than even Daniel Levy would have expected when bringing in Mourinho for Mauricio Pochettino last month.
The record so far for Mourinho in all competitions is five wins and two losses although, if adding in the filter of home results, it's a perfect three victories out of three.
There's nothing too surprising in that - especially as the opposition were Olympiakos, Bournemouth and Burnley - but no-one could have expected them to have scored 12 goals in the process.
The idea of Mourinho sorting the defence first just hasn't played out. Instead, in his seven games, Spurs have blasted 19 goals and conceded 12, managing just a single clean sheet.
On the team news front, Ben Davies (ankle) and Erik Lamela (hamstring) remain absent but Tanguy Ndombele is back in contention after shaking off a groin problem.
Blues for Chelsea
Chelsea remain fourth but they're now a distant 20 points (almost hard for the brain to compute) behind leaders Liverpool after losing four of their last five Premier League games.
There was still plenty of promise on show in the 2-1 defeat at Manchester City but losses to West Ham (home), Everton (away) and Bournemouth (home) have certainly hit morale and put a furrowed brow on Frank Lampard's face.
Clean sheets remain an issue - they've managed just one in their last 12 games - but they've been unable to mask the problem with goals at the other end, hence the 1-0 home defeats by West Ham and Bournemouth.
Chelsea are also one of just two two-flight sides without an away draw, their feast-or-famine results showing five wins and three defeats.
Still, fourth place and a last 16 date with Bayern Munich in the Champions League after Christmas shows that positivity is lying just below the surface.
And a reminder that Lampard took Championship Derby to Mourinho's Manchester United last season and drew 2-2 before stunning the hosts on penalties.
Spurs fancied to stay 100% at home under Jose
It's 2.44 that Mourinho keeps his winning streak at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium while Chelsea are 3.05 to get back on track and score a sixth away win in the Premier League this season.
The Draw is the outsider of the three at 3.75.
One compelling stat is that Mourinho has never lost a home fixture against a side he has previously managed, winning 12 and drawing one of 13 those matches in league and cup.
"No space at all for my previous clubs. I gave everything to all of them, but they are my previous clubs," says Jose, presumably with an icy stare.
His teams have always been strong at home and I'll give the nod to Spurs here. However, the lack of shutouts and Chelsea's perky performances on the road suggest the visitors can at least get on the scoresheet.
In that case, the bet is Tottenham/Yes in the Match Odds and Both teams to Score market at 3.75.
Goal count expected to be high
The basic Both teams to Score market is heavily skewed in favour of 'Yes' at just 1.55. For the record it's landed in six of Mourinho's seven games in charge of Spurs. 'No' is 2.78.
It's a similar story with Over 2.5 goals which trades at 1.63. That's actually 7-for-7 under Jose, the goal make-ups in his matches reading: 5-6-5-3-5-4-3.
Hmmmm. It's 4.50 for Over 4.5 goals and I just wonder if this has the potential to be something of a pre-Christmas classic. The numbers support the bet as it's landed in four of Mourinho's seven games and Chelsea have scored for more away goals than Liverpool this season.
The negative on going too high is that, at last, Mourinho has had a full week to work with his team and that might just lead to some tighter defending although I still see Chelsea finding the net.
A compromise could be Over 3.5 at 2.52.
Dele can serve up a treat
All roads lead to Dele Alli when looking the best goalscorer options.
He looks rejuvenated under Mourinho, scoring four goals in the six games he's played since the change in manager.
And Chelsea just happen to be the team he's taken a liking to most, netting five times in his last four games against the Blues.
Take the England midfielder to score at 3.05.
For Chelsea, I'll have a punt on Mateo Kovacic at a hefty [11.5].
The midfielder has found the net in Chelsea's last two away games, showing he has a real shot on him. A double figure price for another seems too big.
Chelsea have lost 15 matches in all competitions during 2019, their most in a single year since 2000 (also 15). They last lost more in a year back in 1994 (17 defeats).