På söndag bär det av till Wembley för Liverpool, dock inte för att spela cupfinal, utan för ligamatch mot en riktigt tuff motståndare. Tottenham har imponerat under inledningen av säsongen och har en av världens hetaste målskyttar längst fram i laget, att stoppa Harry Kane är utan tvekan en av våra spelares viktigaste uppgifter under söndagen. Kevin DeVries(@kevrov) är, förutom att vara värd för den eminenta podcasten EPL Round Table(@EPLRoundTable), hängiven Spurs-supporter och berättar här om våra motståndare:
1. Tell us a bit about the season so far, are you satisfied with your team?
We currently sit third in the table which is right on target with what we hoped before the season. While Tottenham haven’t suffered a high profile injury like Pogba at Manchester United, Mane at Liverpool, Aguero at Manchester City, etc it is impressive that we’ve managed the results we have despite missing Rose, Wanyama, and Dembele, all of whom were crucial members of the 2016/17 team.
2. Are there any differences between Spurs this season and the team last year?
Not significantly. We have fully shifted to a back three which Mauricio Pochettino experimented with last season, but a strong defence and a dynamic front three of Kane, Eriksen, and Dele remain our biggest strengths.
3. What are your thoughts on the last transfer window, did Spurs do what you expected?
It was a tad boring compared to past summer windows for Spurs, but it was a fruitful one nonetheless. Davinson Sanchez has shown a maturity that is far beyond his age, is good on the floor, his feet, and the air and has the potential to become one of the best centre backs in the world. Serge Aurier is a bit of a mixed bag being capable of both genius and naivite, but should definitely improve under Pochettino who has been a bit of a wingback whisperer since his arrival in the Premier League (Clyne, Bertrand, Rose, Walker, Davies, Trippier). Fernando Llorente has played the fewest minutes of the significant new signings, but his veteran presence has already had direct and indirect benefits, the former of which were quite evident in the win against West Ham and the draw against Real Madrid on Tuesday.
4. Do you think your squad is strong enough to compete both in Premier League and Champions League?
I did not think so coming into the season, but we have certainly managed well thus far. Considering Lamela and Wanyama are meant to be back by the start of next month, the development of Winks, and Sissoko suddenly looking like the player we saw at the Euros we have a surprising amount of depth. Time will tell though as our next two months see us face many big tests including Liverpool, Manchester United, Real Madrid, Arsenal, and Borussia Dortmund.
5. What would you say is a good season for Spurs? Top 4? Trophies?
Coming into the season I did not expect too much considering how much the rest of the top six spent. Now that we’re comfortably sat in third, it’s easy to just hope for another top four finish, but I still hope we are able to win at least one trophy this season. Failing to do so would not be anywhere near a sackable offence, it would certainly be nice to have tangible proof of our excellence during the Pochettino era.
6. How do you think you will line up on sunday and what kind of game will we see?
Lloris; Alderweireld, Sanchez, Vertonghen; Trippier, Dier, Dembele, Davies; Eriksen, Dele; Kane
The two teams are quite similar, bar Liverpool’s speed and Tottenham’s ability to defend, which usually leads to an exciting, free-flowing match. While this is great for the neutral, it has left Tottenham exposed on the counter in the last few outings including Sadio Mane’s domination of Ben Davies in February. As such, I think it would be in our best interest to sit a bit deeper while still pressing with our front three. If Dembele is not fit this would likely isolate our attack from the midfield which could make it easy for Liverpool to dominate possession. I’d like to predict a win for Tottenham but, seeing as we haven’t done that in the Premier League since 2012, I’ll go for a score draw (1-1).