Everton are the visitors to White Hart Lane this Sunday in what could be a key match for Mauricio Pochettino’s Spurs. Despite some ups and downs, Tottenham have managed to win two games in a week and cement our place in the Europa League knock-out rounds. The Merseyside club are a key rival and beating them would represent an important milestone.
Everton and Spurs have a lot in common. No other clubs have so consistently finished in the top seven in recent seasons without quite breaking through to the top table. Fifth and sixth last year, we currently sit 9th and 10th, level on 17 points.
The teams are hard to split statistically too – Everton have taken an average of 13.7 shots per game this year, while Tottenham have taken 13.8.
Roberto Martinez has a reputation as a tactically astute, progressive manager. He has tended to set up in the ubiquitous 4-2-3-1 this season but has used a 4-3-3 as well.
Everton have committed the least fouls in the Premier League this term, and have had the most fouls committed against them. They also have made the second fewest tackles and the second fewest interceptions. Is this a sign they are a bit lightweight?
Martinez has always played a possession based game and his side currently sit second only to Arsenal in the possession league table (57.2%). They rarely cross the ball – only Swansea have attempted fewer crosses.
Leighton Baines is one of their more dangerous weapons, getting forward from left back. He has six assists already this season, the most for Everton, and is sixth in the entire division for key passes.
Lukaku is their top scorer in the league, with five goals. The young Belgium is a formidable opponent but is still quite raw. He’s great breaking forward with pace, but less effective against a tight defence with his back to goal.
Spurs are favourites at 2.34, the draw is 3.6, while Everton are 3.3
Kyle Naughton is suspended after his red card at Stoke.
Spurs have a raft of players that could be back in contention after missing last weeks win at Hull including – Adebayor, Kaboul, Rose, Chadli and Capoue. Andros Townsend faces a late fitness test, while Kyle Walker is still on the sidelines.
Everton have a long injury list with Jon Stones, Darron Gibson and Bryan Oviedo all out. James McCarthy will be assessed before the game.
The big question for Pochettino is whether to play the side that finished so strongly against Hull or to go bring the regulars back into the starting eleven. We looked to have a better balance as we fought our way back from a goal disadvantage – on the other hand, that was thirty minutes against a poor side down to ten men.
I would like to see a traditional winger used to stretch the opposition out wide and make space. Lennon did this well last week and probably deserves a chance.
Harry Kane has to be our main striker.
Chiriches should start at right back. He was great against Hull and, with Naughton still suspended, what have we got to lose?
My centre back pairing would be Dier and Vertonghen. Both are mobile and can cover out wide.
Prediction: Tottenham Hotspur 2 – Everton 1
Spurs build on a good week.
Will Spurs beat Everton? What side would you put out? Let me know in the comments below.