Spurs will be hoping their top strength side will be able to overcome Huddersfield Town in their Premier League clash, after fielding a weakened team in their penalty shootout victory over Watford at the Stadium MK in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday.
Tottenham made a number of changes against Watford, having already been beaten by them this season. Spurs were hopeful the return of Wanyama and Sissoko would solidify the midfield after their absences. The ever so common rotation of full backs also occurred, seeing Aurier and Davies returning to the starting line-up.
To everyone’s delight Harry Kane was rested, alongside Christian Eriksen and Jan Vertonghen who did not even feature in the match day squad. The England captain has clearly been struggling with fatigue after a long summer at the World Cup, so hopefully this break will bring new life into the Spurs striker who has been unable to find the back of the net like he usually does.
Erik Lamela was the star player yet again as he continued his fine start to the season. He deservedly was given his first start after a number of impressive appearances as a substitute for the Lilywhites. It is good to see the Argentine back in the habit of scoring goals, scoring three in his last four games. Having only played 230 minutes, he has averaged one every 76 minutes.
He has also bought a creative spark to the Spurs attack and he played a huge part in Spurs’ win against Watford. His exquisite reverse pass to Dele Alli late on in the game led to Spurs’ equaliser and he singlehandedly created and finished Spurs’ second.
Tottenham’s performance against Watford was yet again poor and exposed the rut that the side is currently going through. The defence which has been extremely resolute over the past number of years has made a habit of leaking in sloppy goals. Within a minute of kick off in the second half Isaac Success managed to give the Hornets the lead after Davinson Sanchez, who is having a terrible start to 2018/19, managed to miskick a clearance which led to the goal.
Spurs equalised in the 82nd minute when Dele Alli was bought down by Kabasele who was subsequently sent off. Tottenham had clearly missed Alli, who returned to his hometown stadium in Milton Keynes as captain of Spurs. In his return to the starting line-up after picking up a knock at the start of the month Dele had a decent performance and showed what Spurs have been missing with his energetic runs and tenacity on-and-off the ball.
Lamela then gave Tottenham the lead in the 86th minute after starting a rapid counter attack and finishing calmly. Spurs yet again showed there were cracks after conceding in the 89th minute. Ex-Spurs player Capoue’s deflected shot left Paulo Gazzaniga hopelessly diving the wrong way.
It was Gazzaniga who was the star of the show yet again though after his excellent performance against Brighton, as he stepped up and saved two penalties to win the shootout for Spurs. Paulo, who is Tottenham’s third choice goalkeeper, has made his second consecutive start after injuries to Hugo Lloris and Michel Vorm. Gazzaniga will most likely retain his place in the starting line up with no updates on Lloris and Vorm’s injuries.
Mauricio Pochettino will be thinking ahead for Tottenham’s Champions League clash with Barcelona on Wednesday at Wembley, when putting out a squad against bottom of the table Huddersfield Town. Even though Lamela has been excellent and deserves to start, it is more than likely he will be benched in order to keep him fit for Barcelona. Spurs will most likely return to the 4-3-3 formation they have been playing this season.
Pochettino will have a tough task motivating his players who seem to be constantly under-performing and maybe saving their efforts for their game against Barcelona.
Meanwhile, Huddersfield who have earned just two points will be looking for their first win of the season. The Terriers have struggled to score goals and will need to pull something special out of the bag if they are to beat Spurs. Having said that, Spurs’ shaky defence is vulnerable at the moment and Huddersfield must go into this game positively if they are to get a result.