Tottenham Hotspur will be looking to continue their eight-game unbeaten Premier League run in what could be a tasty battle against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. The two London sides will lock horns as they look to keep their current positions – as it stands, Spurs lead the table with the Blues just two points behind.
Jose Mourinho suffered a blow when Toby Alderweireld was confirmed to be out with a muscle injury but his latest press conference revealed that the recovery time will be weeks as opposed to months. However, with the Belgian powerhouse out of the picture, the responsibility of keeping the backline in working order falls to Eric Dier.
The England international has been paired up with Alderweireld for a large chunk of the season so far and the combination was looking to be a successful one. But Mourinho now has to decide whether to deploy Davinson Sanchez or recent coup Joe Rodon in defence against Chelsea’s dangerous attack.
Frank Lampard has a wonderfully frustrating dilemma on his hands as Tammy Abraham and Olivier Giroud continue to impress as they vie for a place in the starting lineup. Dier will be viewed as the more senior centre-back who will be heavily relied on to ensure Chelsea’s strikers are silenced. Not only is this a big ask in itself, but failure to do so could jeopardise his place in the Spurs defence.
The versatile 26-year-old can also play in the No.6 role, which he has often done for England. His hard work on the pitch rarely goes unnoticed, with Jermaine Jenas recently lauding him as “sensational” for his performance against Manchester City.
With Rodon looking to push his way into the first team and Alderweireld also in contention, Dier could find himself elbowed out of the backline and situated in midfield instead. Whilst this wouldn’t necessarily be too much of a problem, it’s clear that the £85,000 per week star prefers to operate in defence and it’s where he is most comfortable.
If he can contribute to a clean sheet or even a hard fought win, Dier will go up in Mourinho’s books and it will bode extremely well for the remainder of his season.