sport news Joe Rodon is set for his first Tottenham start against Chelsea

With Toby Alderweireld missing through injury and Davinson Sanchez out of favour with Jose Mourinho, young Joe Rodon will be thrust into the limelight at Stamford Bridge on Sunday as Tottenham face Chelsea in a top-of-the-table London derby clash. 

Even without fans, it should be quite the baptism of fire for 23-year-old Rodon, who has played barely 10 minutes in a Spurs shirt since his £11million move from Swansea last month on a five-year contract.

Rodon's move came too late in the transfer window for him to be registered in Spurs' Europa League squad, though that may have been a blessing in disguise because events in that competition have conspired to give him his chance on Sunday.

Tottenham defender Joe Rodon is expected to start in Sunday's crunch clash against Chelsea

Tottenham defender Joe Rodon is expected to start in Sunday's crunch clash against Chelsea

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Toby Alderweireld is ruled out after suffering a groin injury against Man City (pictured)

Toby Alderweireld is ruled out after suffering a groin injury against Man City (pictured)

Before Thursday night's 4-0 Europa League win over Ludogorets, Sanchez - who started the season as first-choice centre back for Mourinho - had not featured in four matches since the embarrassing 1-0 defeat at Royal Antwerp.

So when Alderweireld pulled up injured with Spurs 2-0 up against Manchester City last weekend, it was Rodon who was called upon to help see the game out for the final nine minutes plus stoppage time, which he did without major incident - just as he did against Burnley in a brief cameo for his debut last month.

That it is the Europa League which has shattered Mourinho's opinion of Sanchez brings with it a certain irony, as it was in the final of the competition in 2017, when manager, that the Portuguese highlighted the Colombian as an Ajax weakness to exploit because of his rashness in the tackle.

'I won the game minute one,' he was heard reminding Sanchez in the recent Amazon Prime documentary on Tottenham's 2019-20 season. 

That perceived weakness did not stop Spurs splashing out a then-club record £42m on Sanchez in the summer of 2017 and, still only 24, he had won Mourinho over enough to be considered first-choice alongside Eric Dier at the start of the season, with Alderweireld on the bench.

Errors against and West Ham, however, saw him dropped to the bench, with the Antwerp performance now relegating him to fourth-choice centre back behind Rodon. 

Davinson Sanchez has fallen out of favour under Mourinho after a poor run of form

Davinson Sanchez has fallen out of favour under Mourinho after a poor run of form

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