Thomas Tuchel previews Spurs v Chelsea
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Romelu Lukaku has bulldozed his way through various defences since his move to Chelsea at the end of August – but Nuno Espirito Santo may just have found the antidote to stop him in Cristian Romero.
Lukaku has played four games for the European champions since he arrived, scoring four goals.
The striker has only failed to net in one game – against Liverpool when Chelsea had ten men, which shows his proficiency in front of goal.
Tottenham await the Belgian next, and having only conceded their first league goals of the season last week, it remains to be seen whether the Lilywhites can keep him out.
There were doubts about who would line up in Spurs’ defence with Eric Dier injured and Japhet Tanganga suspended.
But one forgotten man could be the one to keep Lukaku quiet in Romero.
Romero infamously played in the Argentina v Brazil game earlier this month when Brazilian Health Authorities stormed the pitch, ordering the deportation of players from England.
In this case it was Romero, Giovani Lo Celso, Emi Martinez and Emi Buendia – as a result of quarantine laws when travelling to South America from England.
The quartet would have to ‘hard quarantine’ if they came straight back to England, however Romero and Lo Celso went out to Croatia as a loophole so that they could train.
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Romero signed from Atalanta in the summer for a fee of £45m, although his involvement for his country has halted any appearances.
Nuno spoke of his disappointment about their involvement with Argentina.
“I can tell you that they are in Croatia,” he said.
“That’s what we decided to do to try to avoid more problems.”
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Joe Rodon is the only centre-back who is definitely available after Davinson Sanchez also became a doubt for the game.
And with Lukaku, Christian Pulisic and Kai Havertz all facing the Tottenham defence it could be a long day at the office for Nuno.
Chelsea and Spurs take to the field at 4.30pm on Sunday as they look for bragging rights across the city.
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