I expected a win against the Hammers and in fairness Spurs didn’t do a lot wrong. David Moyes’ men sat deep and proved difficult break down. Pedro Obiang’s stunning strike completely changed the complexion of the match; it took a wonder goal of our own, courtesy of Heung-Min Son, to earn a point in the end. In hindsight, it wasn’t a terrible result.
However, what it means is this: Tottenham can’t afford to drop points in another home game when Everton visit Wembley on Sunday. Doing so would represent a dip in form at the worst possible time. It would also reignite the conversation around Spurs’ ability to perform at Wembley, something that’s been consigned to the past in recent weeks.
Everton, of course, are a completely different outfit to the side we beat 3-0 at Goodison Park back in September. In terms of personnel, their team is much the same – although new signing Cenk Tosun could transform their struggling attack – but their organisation and confidence has improved immensely under Sam Allardyce.
The reverse fixture spelled the beginning of the end for Ronald Koeman. Spurs were walking around Everton, creating chances at will and barely having to defend. Allardyce won’t allow that to happen this time.
That said, it’s difficult to predict how the Toffees will approach the game. Will they be open like recent visitors Stoke City and Southampton? It didn’t go so well for them. Or will Everton make frustrating Tottenham their priority à la West Ham? The worry is that they have the capacity to sit back and the quality to create.
Thankfully, Spurs possess a lot of attacking quality, more so than the Merseysiders. Christian Eriksen, Heung-Min Son and Harry Kane are all in form while Dele Alli can produce a moment of magic even when he’s playing badly. If our frontline is at its best, we should win this one.
Most feared opposition player
I’ve always been a huge fan of Gylfi Sigurdsson. He wasn’t quite good enough for Tottenham, but he scored some terrific goals during his time at White Hart Lane. His finishing from outside the box is admirably accurate and he could easily exploit gaps in front of Spurs’ back four if we commit too many men forward.
Predicted Starting XI
Mauricio Pochettino made nine changes for the FA Cup win over AFC Wimbledon, with only Jan Vertonghen and Harry Kane staying in the team. Most of the regulars should return this weekend, and I’m hoping to see Victor Wanyama start a Premier League game for the first time since August.
Perhaps he’ll start in a midfield two with Eric Dier, a partnership that worked well towards the end of last season.
Lloris; Aurier, Sanchez, Vertonghen, Davies; Dier, Wanyama; Eriksen, Alli, Son; Kane.
I think we’ll scrape through. 2-1, Kane first scorer.
A repeat of the reverse fixture would be ideal. 3-0.