Frank Lampard picked out two specific players Chelsea must control if they are to pick up three points versus Tottenham on Saturday, while Jose Mourinho was business-like in his responses to questions regarding his first Stamford Bridge return as Spurs boss.
Tottenham come into the encounter without the services of their two leading marksmen – Harry Kane and Son Heung-min.
With Kane ruled out until April and Son facing a battle just to return in this campaign, many would be forgiven for thinking this fixture has come at the perfect time for the Blues.
Chelsea boss Lampard remains wary of Spurs’ threat, however, after pinpointing two vital Spurs cogs who must be subdued on Saturday.
“Dele Alli for me his best season at Tottenham was playing up with Harry Kane at times.
“Lucas Moura scored a hat-trick in the Champions League semi-final last year and is an incredible talent on the ball. There are attacking players.
“Will Jose Mourinho set his team up smartly? Yes because he is a fantastic manager. They have attacking players who can give us problems.”
“Clearly an incredible player like Harry Kane is a miss and now Son is a miss, but with Harry Kane it always amazed me the stats when [Mauricio] Pochettino was manager and Harry Kane was injured a few times.
“They remained a force because they had players that could fill in.
“When you are talking about players like Dele Alli, whose game is to arrive from slightly behind and break lines consistently, Lucas Moura is similar and he has qualities, [Steven] Bergwijn has come in and has those similar qualities.
“I have watched a lot of them recently and they are a threat. This is a London derby against Tottenham, I think whatever team they put out will always be a threat in this type of game.”
Meanwhile, Mourinho would not be drawn into any talk of the emotion of returning to the ground where he won three Premier League titles.
Asked whether is it special each time he visits Stamford Bridge as an opposition manager, the Portuguese said (via FootballLondon): “No, not special, one more game.
“Because I’m a professional, as I’ve said every time I played my previous clubs, I’ll belong 200 per cent to my club. That’s it.
“The only different thing will be at the end of the game I can walk from the stadium to my house but even that I won’t take an advantage of because I’ll go back from the stadium with my players. I won’t use that advantage.”
Mourinho has been booed on occasion when returning to Samford Bridge in the capacity as Man Utd manager.
When asked what kind of reception he thinks he’ll receive from the Chelsea faithful, Mourinho added: “the usual.”