'A massive miss': Paul Merson thinks Chelsea are at a disadvantage without 29-year-old vs Tottenham

Paul Merson thinks Antonio Rudiger is going to be a big miss for Chelsea when they play against Tottenham tomorrow.

Chelsea host London rivals Spurs on Sunday in the Premier League, which should be a fiery way to kickstart their first home game of the Premier League season.

The Blues secured a narrow 1-0 away win on the road against Everton last weekend, but are now preparing for a huge test so early into the campaign.

Thomas Tuchel’s side should take immense confidence from the fact they beat Spurs four times across all competitions last season. However, there’s huge belief within the Spurs camp that they’re a different animal this year under manager Antonio Conte.

Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

Rudiger a miss against Tottenham

Merson thinks Chelsea will really miss centre-half Rudiger on the weekend, who left for Real Madrid in the summer.

The 29-year-old defender left Stamford Bridge at the end of the last season when his contract expired, leaving Spanish and European champions Madrid to snap him up on a free transfer.

He’s the kind of aggressive character that always seemed to love playing in London derbies.

For certain, Spurs players must be happy they don’t have to face Rudiger this time around.

“I think Antonio Rudiger is a massive miss for Chelsea. I can’t remember Harry Kane having a kick against him last season. He had Kane’s number,” Merson wrote.

Photo by James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images

Koulibaly’s time to shine

Hopefully, Chelsea’s new signing, Kalidou Koulibaly, is ready to replace the Rudiger void.

The 31-year-old centre-back enjoyed an impressive debut last weekend against Everton and has slotted into the left-sided centre-back position fairly effortlessly.

He now needs to figure out how he can make his impact in big games like his predecessor, Rudiger.

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Dom is a Chelsea supporter who has worked in online publishing for more than six years. Graduated from Staffordshire University in 2016, he now writes exclusively for The Chelsea Chronicle covering news, analysis and match coverage. He enjoys the dream position of writing about his boyhood club, which seems to be involved in more drama every single day than an episode of The Bill. Aside from his love for Chelsea, he supports and follows the England cricket team. He also fancies himself as the Sunday League version of Michael Essien.