Matches | Fresh Spurs - Part 4

Matches

Stoke 3-0 Spurs: How Did YOU Rate The Players?

There was hardly one good player on the pitch as Spurs were convincingly defeated by Stoke at the Britannia Stadium via a 3-0 scoreline. How did your player ratings compare to our man Tom Scholes’?

Hugo Lloris:

Tom Says: “It must be awful playing behind a defencethat has conceded the same amount of goals as relegated Burnley? Now, Lloris isn’t at fault for a lot of our goals, but the way him and Dier collided was something out of a Adam Sandler film”
Tom’s Rating: 5
Your Rating: 5.2

Eric Dier:

Tom Says: “Normally, Dier has a decent game when playing Right Back, but today he was given a run around by winger Marko Arnautovic. It just wasn’t his day, but hopes still remain high in terms of his chances at Center Back, but on the other hand he needs to show that he is getting better, and not just living off the first two games of the season.”
Tom’s Rating: 5
Your Rating: 4.2

Vlad Chiriches:
Tom Says: “It is quite astonishing how Tottenham Hotspur pay Chiriches money to be a professional footballer. He looked shakey from the start, and when he got booked around the 10th minute for a needless challenge, you always had the feeling he wouldn’t go the whole 90 minutes.”
Tom’s Rating: 3
Your Rating: 3.4

Federico Fazio:
Tom Says: “Similarly to Vertonghen, his involvement in the game was very limited, as he had a quiet game, meaning he didn’t do anything to prevent the goals. Seemed less dangerous to his own team this week, which I guess is a positive to take from the game.”
Tom’s Rating: 5
Your Rating: 4.6

Jan Vertonghen:

Tom Says: “Playing at Left Back today, Vertonghen did absolutely nothing to help the team today, and played a big part in the opener for Stoke. He knocked the ball into the box which allowed Adam to nod home, but if I’m honest that was the only interaction he had with the ball at all.”
Tom’s Rating: 5
Your Rating: 4.2

Ryan Mason:
Tom Says: “Yet again, he didn’t show that he was good enough to play in the middle for Spurs. Yes, he ran around a bit, but that doesn’t make a difference when you don’t actually help the team score. The position needs someone better, someone who can actually pass the ball to the striker, and chip in with a goal of two.”
Tom’s Rating: 5
Your Rating: 4.2

Nabil Bentaleb:
Tom Says: “After rumors of him signing a new contract, Spurs fans were desperate to see him put in a good performance here. But no, as per usual, he let us down with stray passes and no tackles. It’s a shame to see him have no impact on the game, but another one who seems on ‘holiday mode’.”
Tom’s Rating: 5
Your Rating: 4.2

Erik Lamela:
Tom Says: “He had a free kick in the first half that was headed onto the bar (albeit from a Stoke player), but now it must be time up for our record signing. Did nothing at all, and if I’m honest I forgot he was on the pitch until he was dragged off.”
Tom’s Rating: 4
Your Rating: 4.6

Nacer Chadli:
Tom Says: “Another player who wasn’t seen on the pitch until he was subbed off. A question of consistency again for Chadli, as never really got into the game and never tried to force himself on the side. He could have shown at least something, but he gave nothing to the team and was another one in the dreaded ‘holiday mode’.”
Tom’s Rating: 4
Your Rating: 4.6

Christian Eriksen:
Tom Says: “A game of two halves for the Dane, as in the first half, he seemed bored and uninterested, whereas in the second half, he tried to make the team attack, or at least get a goal for our travelling fans to support. It may be wishful thinking from myself, but it would be nice to see our star creator have a little bit more consistency in games such as this one.”
Tom’s Rating: 5
Your Rating: 5

Harry Kane:
Tom Says: “Did nothing to impose himself on the game, and I know he cant do it all by himself. He clearly has run out of gas, and he looks tired, but when Roberto Soldado is the back up striker, you must feel inclined to pick anyone who isn’t him.”
Tom’s Rating: 5
Your Rating: 5

Substitutes:

Roberto Soldado:
Tom Says: “No shots on goal, no nothing! Feel a bit sorry for the Spaniard but at 30 years of age, his time is surely up, isn’t it? Two whole seasons and not even double figures is appalling.”
Tom’s Rating: 4
Your Rating: 4.8

Mousa Dembele:
Tom Says: “In my opinion, should have started, but didn’t do anything in his brief cameo, which doesn’t do him any favours. He just seems like his talent is wasted on the bench?”
Tom’s Rating: 4
Your Rating: 4.8

Player Ratings: Stoke 3-0 Spurs

When Mauricio Pochettino said in the week that Spurs would benefit from Europa League, the players must have thought that “it was just banter”, as Richard Keys would say. They clearly didn’t show the desire that was needed to pick up a win today against Stoke. I just cant see a win coming from anywhere, which is the problem. The players don’t want to lose on purpose, that would be unprofessional to the highest degree, but the wheels seemed to have fallen of the automobile that is Tottenham Hotspur, just in the worst way possible.

Hugo Lloris: 5

It must be awful playing behind a defense that has conceded the same amount of goals as relegated Burnley? Now, Lloris isn’t at fault for a lot of our goals, but the way him and Dier collided was something out of a Adam Sandler film. Something that isn’t funny no matter how many times you try to see the funny side, and it just gets more awful the more you see it. It’s going to be sad to see Hugo leave in the summer, but as bad as this sounds, I don’t blame him for wanting to leave.

Jan Vertonghen: 5

Playing at Left Back today, Vertonghen did absolutely nothing to help the team today, and played a big part in the opener for Stoke. He knocked the ball into the box which allowed Adam to nod home, but if I’m honest that was the only interaction he had with the ball at all. Another player that seems to be on ‘holiday mode’.

Vlad Chirices: 3

It is quite astonishing how Tottenham Hotspur pay Chiriches money to be a professional footballer. He looked shakey from the start, and when he got booked around the 10th minute for a needless challenge, you always had the feeling he wouldn’t go the whole 90 minutes. Unfortunately, he was sent off for 2 yellow cards, after messing around on the ball and tripping up Diouf. Most likely his last game for Spurs.

Federico Fazio: 5

Similarly to Vertonghen, his involvement in the game was very limited, as he had a quiet game, meaning he didn’t do anything to prevent the goals. Seemed less dangerous to his own team this week, which I guess is a positive to take from the game.

Eric Dier: 5

Normally, Dier has a decent game when playing Right Back, but today he was given a run around by winger Marko Arnautovic. It just wasn’t his day, but hopes still remain high in terms of his chances at Center Back, but on the other hand he needs to show that he is getting better, and not just living off the first two games of the season.

Nabil Bentaleb: 5

After rumors of him signing a new contract, Spurs fans were desperate to see him put in a good performance here. But no, as per usual, he let us down with stray passes and no tackles. It’s a shame to see him have no impact on the game, but another one who seems on ‘holiday mode’.

Ryan Mason: 5

Yet again, he didn’t show that he was good enough to play in the middle for Spurs. Yes, he ran around a bit, but that doesn’t make a difference when you don’t actually help the team score. The position needs someone better, someone who can actually pass the ball to the striker, and chip in with a goal of two. He may be a ‘Spurs boy’ that doesn’t mean much when you cant contribute to our side.

Erik Lamela: 4

He had a free kick in the first half that was headed onto the bar (albeit from a Stoke player), but now it must be time up for our record signing. Did nothing at all, and if I’m honest I forgot he was on the pitch until he was dragged off. No one can surely defend him now, as he has shown he cant do it on a Saturday afternoon in Stoke, let alone a wet Wednesday night in Stoke!

Christian Eriksen: 5

A game of two halves for the Dane, as in the first half, he seemed bored and uninterested, whereas in the second half, he tried to make the team attack, or at least get a goal for our travelling fans to support. It may be wishful thinking from myself, but it would be nice to see our star creator have a little bit more consistency in games such as this one.

Nacer Chadli: 4

Another player who wasn’t seen on the pitch until he was subbed off. A question of consistency again for Chadli, as never really got into the game and never tried to force himself on the side. He could have shown at least something, but he gave nothing to the team and was another one in the dreaded ‘holiday mode’.

Harry Kane: 5

Did nothing to impose himself on the game, and I know he cant do it all by himself. He clearly has run out of gas, and he looks tired, but when Roberto Soldado is the back up striker, you must feel inclined to pick anyone who isn’t him. Time for Kane to take a short break and to come back next season to show he isn’t a one season wonder.

Roberto Soldado: 4

No shots on goal, no nothing! Feel a bit sorry for the Spaniard but at 30 years of age, his time is surely up, isn’t it? Two whole seasons and not even double figures is appalling.

Mousa Dembele: 4

In my opinion, should have started, but didn’t do anything in his brief cameo, which doesn’t do him any favours. He just seems like his talent is wasted on the bench?

THREE Players Key To Tottenham If They Are To Beat Stoke

When Tottenham travel to the Britannia this Saturday, It will most likely feel like a fixture for fixtures sake. Nevertheless, this is a chance for players to show their worth to the team, and to show that they are good enough to play for the famous Lilywhites.

With the news that England could get an extra Europa League place due to fair play rulings, it looks set that no matter what, Tottenham will be in Europe next season, and the game against Stoke is a chance for some of the fringe players to make a claim for a starting birth next season.

Player Ratings: Spurs 0-1 Manchester City

When the full time whistle went at the end of the game, it was a weird atmosphere surrounding White Hart Lane. Spurs have made it perfectly clear that they don’t want Europe next season, and really don’t care what happens from now until the end of the season, and I feel that the fans feel the same, and the players too. All credit to Manchester City who played superbly again against Spurs yet again, but Spurs didn’t really take the game seriously, I feel. Don’t get me wrong, some players really played well, but others either looked drained or not bothered.

Hugo Lloris: 6

Unusual game for Lloris today, as he made some superb saves again, but arguably could have stood up for the goal (baring in mind how much of a beautiful strike it was from Sergio Aguero). Still think that he is our best player and the most important player, but if we lose him, maybe Europe could have swayed him for one more season?

Eric Dier: 7

Since the cup final, Dier has arguably been one of the most consistent players for Spurs this season. Really excelled as a Right Back, despite wanting to be a Center Back in the future, with good crosses becoming a key part of both his game and Spurs’ game. I feel that if he continues to perform like this, then Kyle Walker will find it extremely hard to get back into the side.

Federico Fazio: 6

Actually played well considering his other performances throughout the season. I said in my “3 players key to a Spurs victory” that Fazio could be able to stop Aguero, or at least keep a strong defensive line. He kept Aguero relatively quiet despite the goal, which Fazio wasn’t anywhere near. Could probably find a better defender though, which doesn’t exactly help the core of the side.

Jan Vertonghen: 6

Another game in which Vertonghen was quiet but dealt with most of the danger that was put in front of him. This was a typical Vertonghen performance of very calm defending but dwelling on the ball for an uncomfortable amount of time. Showed today that he and Fazio are probably our best and strongest partnership.

Danny Rose: 6

Similarly to Dier, Rose has probably been one of the most effective players in the side. Attacking with sublime threat as of late, this wasn’t a performance from Rose that we have gotten used to, as his battle with James Milner on the left hand side kept him occupied and Milner, to his credit, kept Rose quiet. Hopefully, next season Rose will really advance his game and become a great player consistently.

Nabil Bentaleb: 6

Very, very ineffective today in a game, which potentially could have made him a real starlet in the Premier League. But no, he was kept under wraps by the City midfield perfectly and his passing was kept to a minimum. Another player who should really kick on when next season comes around.

Ryan Mason: 5

For a few weeks now, mason has been looking like a player who has a lot of fire and desire, but hasn’t been able to effect the game. Today was no different, as he covered a lot of ground, made some crunching tackles, but didn’t change the game at all. His defending for the goal was shocking, but In his defense, he had to make a choice in a split second and it ended up to be a costly one.

Nacer Chadli: 6

Well, the consistency didn’t really last, did it? Chadli played well in the first half, looking sharp and very lively, but once City scored, he seemed to lose interest. He wasn’t the only one however, but it just gets very frustrating to see a player like him who clearly has talent but doesn’t show it when it counts.

Christian Eriksen: 5

A rare poor performance from the Dane, as he was hauled off after 55 minutes. Normally, Eriksen looks able to create something special out of nothing, and early on it seemed like he was going to have one of those games, but likewise to Chadli, once the goal went in he didn’t look bothered. Clearly tired yet deserves a rest now.

Erik Lamela: 6

I have made it clear on a few occasions that I’m not the biggest fan of Lamela, but he played well today. He looked quick, he looked like he could grab a goal out of nowhere, but sadly, he couldn’t find a way through. Hopefully, if this version of Lamela shows up more often, he could go strides to justifying his price tag.

Harry Kane: 6

Kane tried to get his team mates going, but unfortunately, Kane cant do it all himself. He needs help and needs other contributions from everyone else. However, I did think that he looked good alongside Roberto Soldado, which is a thought for the future.

Substitutions:

Paulinho: 5

Played well In his short cameo, making a case for him to start a few more games to show what he is like when he feels in top form.

Roberto Soldado: 5

Not a bad showing, but given game time to prove himself, I can see him performing well despite his past.

Emmanuel Adebayor: 5

There is something about Adebayor that makes me disinterested in Spurs when he plays. Maybe it’s because of his history, or his lack of effort (and occasionally talent) that frustrates the fans. The quicker he goes, the better, in my opinion.

Yedlin Makes Full Debut! Tottenham Team News And Predicted Line-Up To Face Manchester City

As we enter the final month of this Premier League season, we play what most fans would call our last match against one of the big sides as we host Manchester City at White Hart Lane. Most fans will be hoping for a result more than expecting, especially considering that our last 3 games vs Man City have resulted in an aggregate score of 15-2 to Man City, so an improved display against the soon-to-be incumbent Champions is a vital priority tomorrow.

Our last win vs Man City was at The Lane in April 2013, where we trailed early 1-0 before a 7-minute blitz in the Second-Half saw us snatch all three points which most Spurs fans would bite your hand off for come 6pm on Sunday. We have only two injuries in our squad, Kyle Walker remains sidelined with a foot injury whilst Ben Davies is out for the rest of the season after surgery on the shoulder which he dislocated last week away at Southampton.

Team News:

Mauricio Pochettino hopes that Danny Rose will return from injury to replace the injured Ben Davies, whilst Kyle Walker is expected to miss out with a foot injury.

Predicted Line-Up: (4-2-3-1):

GK: Hugo Lloris

He showed why he’s our No.1 last week vs Southampton with 2 blinding saves to help us salvage a point and the Frenchman will need to be at his absolute best if we’re to get a result on Sunday.

DF: Danny Rose, Jan Vertonghen, Eric Dier, DeAndre Yedlin

Rose and Vertonghen continue to look solid whilst Dier had an excellent display with 2 assists last week and is hitting form again. I believe Yedlin deserves a chance to show us what he can do given a full start and with no fit Right-Backs to choose from and given we have nothing to lose, it’s worth giving the American a chance to show what he can bring to the team for next season.

MF: Paulinho, Nabil Bentaleb

I’ve chosen Paulinho to go alongside Bentaleb. The Brazilian looked very solid vs Newcastle, very competent display and looked good on the ball too, was missing last week for obvious reasons but should go back into the side along with Nabil.

AT: Nacer Chadli, Christian Eriksen, Mousa Dembele

Chadli’s upped his level with to very decent displays, plus 2 goals, so he stays in as does Eriksen of course. Maybe surprising that I’ve gone with Dembele as the third of the trio but I feel his strength on the ball can help us create good attacks and create openings for the midfield to run in-behind and offer chances for us tomorrow.

ST: Harry Kane

Harry as he goes head-to-head with the man who he battling with to finish the season as the Premier League’s top scorer. The battle between Kane and Aguero is on for the Golden Boot with just 1 goal between the pair of them, 21 for Aguero and 20 for Harry, and Harry will be aiming to add more goals to add to his incredible tally this season.

THREE Players Key To Tottenham If They Are To BEAT Manchester City

This Sunday, Tottenham Hotspur will play host to Manchester City, a team who at the time of writing are still officially champions, but when the whilst blows at White Hart Lane, they may lose their crown. This game is one that is arguably more important to City than it is for Spurs, as Tottenham fans have made it perfectly clear they don’t want Europa League football next season.

Yet, if Spurs were to lose and not get Europe, my guess is that the fans will still be unsatisfied. Nevertheless, a win this weekend will be a perfect end to a football filled weekend, and here are the three key players for Spurs the weekend.

Player Ratings: Southampton 2-2 Spurs

In the battle between the Premier Leagues “best of the rest”, Tottenham and Southampton shared the points in a 2-2 draw that allowed both teams to leapfrog Liverpool into 5th and 6th respectively. Goals from Graziano Pelle, Erik Lamela and Nacer Chadli lighted up a game where chances came at a premium, as well as typical “Spursy” defending of show a couple of times, but both teams will see this is as 2 points lost rather than 1 point gained.

Hugo Lloris: 7

After returning from a knee injury, Lloris donned the captain’s armband once again, but unfortunately couldn’t keep a clean sheet. After rumors started circulating in the media of Hugo looking to get out of White Hart Lane, you cant help but feel sad knowing that this could be his last season at the club. It’s like the end of Breaking Bad, because you know what is going to happen to Walt, but there’s nothing you can do to stop it happening. A key save mid way through the first half saved Spurs’ skin, but Lloris cant be blamed for the build up to the first Southampton goal.

Eric Dier: 6

Putting in a shift at Right Back in place of the absent Kyle Walker (still not sure why), Dier played well enough and dealt with the danger when called upon. However, it was a shame to not see him partnering Vertonghen in the middle of defense, as many feel that his future at the club belongs in the heart of defense. Attacked well enough too, supplying some good crosses in including the delivery that set up Lamela’s first goal.

Federico Fazio: 6

For once, Fazio didn’t play that badly today! Yes, he could’ve gotten closer to Pelle on his second goal, but that would be too disrespectful on Pelle’s part. Tough tackling and strong headers proved to be the kryptonite to Southampton’s attack. Saido Mane, who got on the nerves on the majority of Spurs fans for diving more than a kid in a paddling pool on a lovely summers day.

Jan Vertonghen: 7

Partnering Fazio in the heart of the back four, the man they call SuperJan played fairly well, bringing the best out of a makeshift defense. Booked early on, Vertonghen controlled his tackles to perfection and felt calm when bringing the ball and trying to start attacks.

Ben Davies: 5

In my notes, I described Davies’ defending for the opener as “Clear your lines lad, state of your defending mate”. In hindsight, that may be a bit harsh, but after having performances from Danny Rose as of late, it’s hard to imagine a Left Back that isn’t him. An unfortunate injury late on ended his game prematurely, but can sometimes see potential in the Welsh international.

Ryan Mason: 6

Prior to the game, Paul Scholes said that there is more to Mason in terms of goals. When the greatest Midfielder that England has ever had says that there is potential, there is huge potential. The problem is, I feel Mason has too much, too soon. Maybe in a year’s time, he will consistently be the player we want to see, but as he showed today, he has a lot to learn. Except for his horrendous play for the opener, he didn’t do anything wrong, but a lot is to be learned by the young man.

Nabil Bentaleb: 6

In another controlled performance, he played well and showed his class in short bursts, but there is a lot more to Nabil, similar to Ryan Mason. I saw someone say that if Bentaleb scored Worldy’s he would be rated as highly as Paul Pogba. If he adds Worldy’s to his game, and changes games when it counts and becomes the focal point of the whole team, he will be rated very, very highly. Just not as high as Pogba.

Erik Lamela: 7

An Argentinian scoring with his hands and not being caught. Sound familiar? Unfortunately for Spurs, it was Diego Maradona scoring, but Erik Lamela and if it wasn’t for that game, it would have been another game where Lamela was invisible and didn’t effect the game as much as everyone would like. He ran, and passed the ball sideways on the edge of the box and I cant help but think why he didn’t pull the trigger a lot more. I think it’s time for Spurs to cut their losses and find a new club for Lamela, as he just isn’t cut for the pace and power of the Premier League.

Christian Eriksen: 6

Another attacker who was rather quiet today when the stage was set for Eriksen to be the playmaker he should be. He had some good ideas with his passes and movement but they came to nothing for whatever reason, but the class is still there. He needs to affect the games a lot more for the whole 90 minutes a lot more to be able to be considered a top midfielder in England.

Nacer Chadli: 7

Sporting his lovely Samurai man bun, Chadli got onto the score sheet again. A superb finish adding a bit of gloss to otherwise a average game. Maybe it’s the hair that’s giving him this rich vain of form. Well, quite frankly, if he scores next week against Manchester City, it will be more than the hair that he Spurs fans will be loving.

Harry Kane: 5

Very quiet, yet again, but I think his 30 goals this season will allow him to have some goalless games. Of course it would be nice if Kane was to finish top scorer, but lets not forget he has been playing more or less every game, for club and country, so I for one am not worried about his performances as of late.

Substitutes:

Vlad Chiriches: 5

Nothing of note, replaced injured Davies and was solid for his time on the pitch.

Mousa Dembele: 5

Replaced Chadli, and makes me wonder how he doesn’t start more often. Showed his passing skill and dribbling towards the latter stages of the game.

Roberto Soldado: 5

Didn’t do much, but would have liked to see him link up with Harry Kane up top one of these games. Has potential to be a class partnership.

Poch’s Return To Southampton Expected To Be Hostile

Tomorrow we travel to St Mary’s to face Southampton and with the two sides separated by just 1 point in the Premier League both will be aiming to win on Saturday to increase their hopes of European football next season.

Possibly though, the biggest story going into this game though surrounds our manager. Mauricio Pochettino returns to Southampton for the first time since leaving to join Tottenham last May and will be looking for a victory over his former side. The reception is expected to be quite hostile as the Southampton fans still feel bitter about Poch leaving them at the time he did, in the earlier game at White Hart Lane this season, Pochettino received a lot of heat from the Saints supporters.

Pochettino joined Southampton in January 2013 replacing Nigel Atkins who was controversially sacked. Although he was an unpopular appointment at the time he soon won over the fans with his high-energy pressing style that bamboozled other sides and promoted many of Southampton’s brilliant young English starlets who became very impressive in Mauricio’s 18-month spell down at St Mary’s.

Pochettino insisted that he always has a place in his heart for Southampton, a view supported by current Saints manager Ronald Koeman who’s taken over the mantle on the South coast superbly and has exceeded all expectations. He’s on the verge of breaking the records that Pochettino set last season for points, wins and goals scored. A while back Poch dismissed Koeman’s success at Southampton claiming he’d left him with a much easier job there than the one the Argentinian took on at Spurs, the Dutchman laughed it off but we’ll see after Saturday’s game who laughs last.

That hostility will create an atmosphere tomorrow that the player will need to be up to the challenge for tomorrow. After getting back to winning ways away at Newcastle a week ago we need to win again tomorrow if were to finish our season strongly.

Watch Out! THREE Southampton Players To Watch Out For

When Tottenham travel to the coast this weekend, they will be expecting a tough challenge at the very least. Southampton have proven throughout the season that they can really perform when needed, which they showed against Manchester United and Arsenal, and Spurs should be wary of the threat that the Saints can pose.

A win for Southampton will put them 5th (at least until Liverpool play) and above Tottenham for that matter. However, were Southampton to lose this weekend, then maybe the dream, however unlikely it was, of the Champions League will disappear.

Paulinho Starts! Tottenham Team News And Predicted Line-Up To Face Southampton

While it’s not the battle between two Champion’s League chasing teams that we might have expected just a few weeks ago, the meeting of Southampton and Tottenham still has plenty of meaning for the two teams.  Europa League football is pretty much assured for both, and that’s a good reward especially for the south coast club, who were marked down as a relegation candidate last summer.  Tomorrow the supporters will show their appreciation for first year manager Ronald Koeman by wearing orange, and you can bet that it isn’t a coincidence that they chose tomorrow’s match for the occasion.  Former boss Mauricio Pochettino would love to leave tomorrow with the three points and the catcalls stuck in the throats of the home fans.

As for the match itself, Spurs come into it on the back of a fine win, and an especially impressive second half performance, at Newcastle.  This was after a few uninspiring outings where it looked like the team was ambling to the finish line, but if they are to win here, they will need a full 90 minute display.  As for Southampton, they recovered from a damaging defeat to Hull by besting Stoke at the Britannia Stadium, and now they are back at home where their record is formidable. Kyle Walker is expected to be the only injury absentee for Spurs.

Predicted Line-Up (4-2-3-1):

Goalkeeper : Hugo Lloris

After recovering from his injury against Leicester, he should be ready to assume duties from Michel Vorm.  While Vorm didn’t let anyone down, the defence can only feel confidence that france’s number one is between the sticks.

Defenders: Eric Dier, Federico Fazio, Jan Vertonghen, Danny Rose

I can’t see any changes made from last Sunday, even if fans would like to see DeAndre Yedlin given a full game.  Dier looked solid defensively but doesn’t attract attention from the opposition and that can hurt whoever plays for us on the wing.  Would Yedlin’s pace open things up for Lamela and the others?

It was good to see Fazio and Vertonghen’s partnership resume last week.  They complement each other well and our record in games where they both start is very impressive.

Midfielders:  Nabil Bentaleb, Paulinho

Again no change here.  Paulinho was a surprise choice last week but gave a performance good enough to be crowned Man of The Match by the Sky Sports crew, and surely he will get a chance to build on that display.  As for Bentaleb, he had looked tired over the last few weeks, and in the first half against Newcastle too, then he suddenly started to control the game and was the source of almost all our good chances.

Attackers: Erik Lamela, Christian Eriksen, Nacer Chadli

I’m in two minds about the Lamela pick; he had a rough game on Sunday but improved towards the end of the game, while also assisting our clinching goal.  He probably didn’t do enough with the ball to warrant inclusion here, but for such a game I could see Pochettino backing him to help on defence more than Townsend and hopefully earning confidence from the good things he did in the last quarter of the Newcastle game.  The other two are no-brainers; Chadli was a big factor in the win after a quiet few weeks, while Eriksen can run the game as long as the others hold their positions and make the right runs.

8

Striker: Harry Kane

Not much more to say about him is there?  Now that he has gotten the 30 goal mark off his back we should see him play a much more carefree game, and if the others can keep up the level of performance that they showed recently, he should find plenty of success.  A final record of 35 goals might not be out of the question, nor a match winning strike here.