Spurs V Chelsea at White Hart Lane : Match Preview

27 September 2013 09:20
Spurs V Chelsea - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.

AVB: Derby result won't be pivotal

Andre Villas-Boas insists the result of Tottenham's meeting with Chelsea will have little bearing on the race for the top four this season.

Villas-Boas and Jose Mourinho will lock horns for the first time on Saturday when Chelsea visit White Hart Lane in the Barclays Premier League.

Spurs have had an excellent start to their season, registering eight wins out of nine games despite the loss of Gareth Bale to Real Madrid.

The clash with Villas-Boas' former mentor provides Tottenham with the opportunity to prove that they can cut it with the best this year, but the Spurs boss insists little can be judged from the outcome of the match.

"This game won't have any significant impact," the Tottenham manager said.

"It's normally in the games against the other teams that can affect your position a little more dramatically.

"This is a big clash between two teams that competed hard for the Champions League spots last season.

"Whatever happens in this game, I'm not sure if it's going to have a great impact on the classification at the end of the season, but we want to do well, build our confidence and win a game against a team that has won the European Cup two seasons ago, won the Europa League that we wanted so much last season."

Left-back Danny Rose is likely to make his return from a toe injury.

Defender Younes Kaboul (adductor) is doubtful, but midfielder Etienne Capoue remains sidelined with an ankle injury.

Spurs will give winger Aaron Lennon (foot) a fitness test on Friday while striker Emmanuel Adebayor is out through illness.

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho refused to comment on his relationship with Andre Villas-Boas, once an ally and now a rival, ahead of the Blues' London derby with Tottenham on Saturday.

Villas-Boas worked for Mourinho at Porto, Inter Milan and Chelsea but the friendship has broken down, with the Spurs boss insisting it is no longer a concern ahead of the first contest between the pair as managers.

Mourinho said: "I don't describe (the relationship), because I'm not a kid to discuss relationships with the media. It's a personal thing.

"I don't care what he says. I'm here, not to comment on what he says or what to know what he says. I'm not interested."

However, there was an awkward conclusion to his pre-match media conference when Mourinho was asked if the "spirit" of Sir Bobby Robson, cited by both men as a mentor, would be at White Hart Lane.

Mourinho said: "Why? Where (did) he work with Andre?"

Mourinho was repeatedly asked about Villas-Boas, but time and again refused to respond to his inquisitors.

"It's enough from me," Mourinho added. "I have nothing to say, nothing at all. I'm not discussing here in front of you. For me there is no point.

"I'm not disappointed. I'm just here to speak about anything you want related to the game, not related to this situation."

Mourinho, aged 50, is 15 years the senior of Villas-Boas, who had an unhappy nine-month spell at Chelsea after leading Porto to a Portuguese League and Cup double, as well as the Europa League title.

The Chelsea boss insists he is open with all his assistants and that it is up to them whether they learn from his methods.

When they come into direct opposition Mourinho insists it is important to be professional, like he was in the 2010 Champions League final, when his Inter side beat Luis van Gaal's Bayern Munich.

"I've had so many assistants in my career," said Mourinho, who worked with Van Gaal at Barcelona.

"I was always an open book to all of them. I am an open book, after that if they want to read the book, or not, it's their problem, not my problem."

Asked if he will meet with Villas-Boas, perhaps over a glass of Portuguese red wine, following Saturday's match, Mourinho insisted he would not turn an invitation down.

"When people invite me, I always go," he said. "I never refuse."

Chelsea will wait to determine whether midfielder Ramires is fit.

The Brazilian suffered a hip injury in Tuesday night's Capital One Cup win at Swindon and was taken off at half-time, but Mourinho hopes to include him in a much-changed line-up at White Hart Lane.

Ramires had replaced Marco van Ginkel, who is out for six months after undergoing knee surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament.

Source: PA

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