Spurs travel up to Hull this weekend to try to kick-start their season. The 2-1 loss against Stoke before the international break was the low point so far. Slow and ponderous going forward, vulnerable at the back, there didn’t seem to be a plan. Some changes are needed but what?
Hull City sit 15th on 11 points, 3 points and 3 places below Tottenham. They come into this game on the back of two losses in the league, to Southampton and newly promoted Burnley.
This game will see a reunion with ex-Spurs, Tom Huddlestone, Jake Livermore and former captain and cult hero, Michael Dawson.
Steve Bruce has been quite experimental with his team formations this year. He usually plays with three at the back and a front two, though he has used a more conventional 4-4-2 on a handful of occasions.
Hull are good in the air and favour long balls (fourth highest). They like to attack down the flanks, the complete opposite of Pochettino’s Spurs.
Huddlestone and Livermore usually feature in the centre of midfield, and are first and second for total passes in the Hull team. Mohamed Diamé and Nikica Jelavic are their top goalscorers in the league, level on four.
Hull have had problems at both ends of the pitch this term. They have taken the second fewest shots in the division and have conceded the most. Consequently they have the worst shot ratio of any of the twenty teams. This is a game Pochettino’s men really should win.
Tottenham are marginal favourites at 2.24, the draw is 3.5, while a Hull victory is 3.65
Kyle Naughton is suspended after his red card against Stoke. Kyle Walker and Nabil Bentaleb are back in training but not yet match fit.
Danny Rose and Andros Townsend are both doubtful.
Hull have Robert Snodgrass out long term with a knee problem. Davies, Jelavic and Dawson may all return after injury. It will be a shame if the erstwhile Spurs’ captain doesn’t feature.
Keeper Allan McGregor has a shoulder problem but should start.
Mauricio Pochettino has to make changes to try to revive his side’s flagging fortunes. During the international break many have made suggestions. Two of the most interesting have been Chris Miller’s idea to try 4-3-3 and Spurs Fanatic’s suggestion of trying a back three.
One of the main issues is with balls behind our defence. We need more cover and faster centre backs. I would try Stambouli in the middle to add a bit of bite and dynamism. A centre back pairing of Vertonghen and Dier would add some mobility, although with Naughton missing, Dier will probably have to play right back here.
Going forward we don’t move the ball fast enough or press high enough – not accusations you could level against Pochettino’s Southampton. We have also suffered from a lack of width as opponents congest the centre of the pitch.
There aren’t that many options to change things. I would try switching at least one winger to their natural side, maybe Lamela on the left? More important is a switch in mentality.
Of course, Kane has to start.
Prediction: Hull City 1 – Tottenham Hotspur 3
Spurs finally click after a wobbly start.
Do you think Spurs will beat Hull? What changes would you make? Let me know in the comments below.
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