Barcelona vs Tottenham

Barcelona vs Tottenham Preview: Dembélé to send Spurs out?

Barcelona have secured top spot in Group B of the Champions League but with a final match against Tottenham at the Camp Nou left to play, the Catalans will want to finish the first round in style.

Tottenham will be hoping that Inter lose or at the very least draw against PSV in the other group match and will want to walk away with three points on Tuesday to qualify for the Round of 16. However, even with Ernesto Valverde’s team having already secured qualification and with a plethora of injuries hitting the team, things will not be easy for Mauricio Pochettino’s men.

Sergi Roberto, Samuel Umtiti, Arthur and Malcom are all out for the blaugrana. Nelson Semedo is playing to prove a point and make that right back position his to keep in Sergi Roberto’s absence.

In midfield, Arturo Vidal, Ivan Rakitic, Denis Suarez, Coutinho and Carles Aleñá have made sure that Arthur’s absence isn’t felt. And at the back, Clement Lenglent has formed a formidable partnership alongside veteran Gerard Pique. Read More

Tottenham Hotspur vs Southampton Premier League Preview

Tottenham Hotspur vs Southampton Preview: All relief needed

North London is red now, and Tottenham’s Mauricio Pocchetino has some work to do. At the end of the clash against Arsenal, Spurs’ manager considered the 4-2 defeat a consequence of a tough week, in which Chelsea and Internazionale tasted White Hart Lane’s steel.

This seems to be a very generous response to an anthology of individual mistakes seen at the Emirates, protecting his pupils from the awful truth before meeting Barcelona in the next Champions League fixture.

One shall remember that, some days before the derby, the Argentinian manager admitted fifth placed Tottenham are not aiming for the Premier League title. Therefore, the next match at Wembley can provide all relief needed, against a stumbling and acephalous Southampton. Read More

Arsenal vs Tottenham

Arsenal vs Tottenham Preview: Going The Distance

One London derby blurs into the other for Tottenham, as Chelsea, Arsenal and Spurs themselves all now operate somewhat similar styles. Comparisons between Spurs and Arsenal have always aggravated fans but the two teams may appear more similar on the pitch than they ever have when they go to battle on Sunday afternoon.

Squeeze the opposition. Win the second ball. Work the ball to work the space. Take a risk. Repeat.

Practice overcame individual talent last weekend when Tottenham utilised an ultra-narrow diamond to cut-off Chelsea’s preferred passing patterns to take advantage of Sarri’s reluctance for his teams to build through his full-backs. Pochettino sat Dele right on top of Jorginho for 90 minutes, suffocating the visitors possession game and creating turnovers in the process.

The underlying issue for Chelsea, just as is the case for Arsenal, is that although the ideas and talent is there those two elements will take more than a few weeks to become at one. Results are largely coming their way but Emery is not seeing his team control the game through counter-pressing as he’d like them to. Read More

Tottenham vs Inter

Tottenham vs Inter Preview: Spurs in high spirits ahead of crucial clash

Spurs go into their must win midweek Champions League clash against Internazionale in great spirits after pulling off their best performance of the season, beating Chelsea 3-1 at Wembley.

Spurs’ 3-1 scoreline against Chelsea was a flattering one for the Blues who were outplayed for 90 minutes and had Tottenham been more clinical, the score could have been even higher.

Spurs were rampant from the get-go playing with a high intensity, managing to create a number of chances before going 1-0 up after eight minutes after Dele Alli latched onto a free kick from Christian Eriksen and headed in.

Spurs made it 2-0 after 16 minutes when Harry Kane was given too much space on the edge of the box and his shot from 25-yards beat David Luiz and Kepa Arrizabalaga. Twelve’s algorithm rated Kane as the man of the match.

Chelsea manager Mauruzio Sarri said after the game that with Spurs if Inter Milan are to stop Tottenham they must thwart off their early high intensity onslaught in the first 30 minutes by disrupting their flow. Read More

Tottenham Hotspur vs Chelsea Premier League Preview

Tottenham Hotspur vs Chelsea Preview: Deep lying midfielders pivotal

Here is a clash the whole world will watch with attention. The fourth-placed Mauricio Pochettino meet the third-placed Maurizio Sarri in a London derby full of tactical options and two teams looking for the top of the table.

The name “Maurizio” has its origins in Latin language and it means “the one with the dark skin”. Not that this information means something to the match, but I always like to bring some outside knowledge to my Twelve previews.

Pochettino was Marcelo Bielsa’s apprentice. The Argentinean master, today at Leeds United, had a very similar career as Sarri: the same age, and both started at small amateur clubs while they worked at a bank to pay their bills.

And that’s it. There’s no similarities between the managers and their football philosophies. Sarri plays a 4-3-3 with lot of possession, short passes, acceleration in the final third and trying to master set pieces.

Against a team with these features, Tottenham may have difficulties. Taking a look at Effective Time Possession against Manchester City (who utilise a similar play model to Chelsea), Spurs won the midfield but lost on defense, where Guardiola’s players ruled the match. Read More

Crystal Palace vs Tottenham Hotspur

Crystal Palace vs Tottenham Hotspur Preview: Midfield Missing

Central midfield has not stopped being the overarching theme all season and the most recent games are no exception. Last time we checked in things were looking up with Mousa Dembele and also Harry Winks finding fitness at the same time. This was shortly followed by both defensive midfielders, Eric Dier and Victor Wanyama, becoming injured and then Mousa Dembele going down in some pain during the opening two minutes against Wolves.

All this combined to lead Pochettino starting a midfield duo of Harry Winks and Christian Eriksen against PSV midweek, a midfield thinness not seen since Tim Sherwood infamously played Nacer Chadli in the role.

Often, when mentality is discussed, and it is discussed often, it’s perceived as a singular aspect. “He was mentally strong”, “He was mentally weak”, “They had a winning mentality”, “They had a losing mentality”. Tuesday night’s victory over PSV seemed to showcase some of the complexity and nuance around the psychological side of the game. Read More

Tottenham vs PSV Eindhoven

Tottenham vs PSV Eindhoven Preview: Spurs struggling with fixture pile up

Despite their best ever start to a Premier League season Spurs have found it difficult to get going especially with the recent fixture congestion.

Tottenham’s Champions League clash with PSV Eindhoven on Tuesday night will be their fourth game in the space of eight days and after not adding to their squad in the summer, Spurs are struggling to keep their players fit. With injuries to Dembele, Danny Rose and Eric Dier, Spurs will be relying on less favoured players over this tough period.

Mauricio Pochettino’s side were unconvincing in their 3-2 victory over Wolves, having nearly blown a 3-0 lead. Goals from all three of Spurs’ attackers (Erik Lamela, Lucas Moura and Harry Kane) put Tottenham in a very comfortable position after 68 minutes. However, after conceding two penalties in the space of 11 minutes Spurs endured a very shaky last 10 minutes trying to hold onto the lead. Read More

Wolves vs Tottenham Premier League Preview

Wolves vs Tottenham Preview: Portuguese Pressure

The story of Tottenham’s season so far has been finding good results despite poor performances. Recent games against PSV and Man City have been a full reversal of that trend with the club’s two most promising displays of football so far this year returning a single point.

Whether Spurs fans choose to view that as positive or negative probably comes down to individual mindsets but at the very least there’s a case for optimism to be found in Dembele once again appearing fit, as Spurs near the middle period of the season. Read More

Tottenham Hotspur vs Manchester City Premier League Preview

Tottenham Hotspur vs Manchester City Preview: Keep Kev Quiet

Trips to Tottenham’s various grounds have had a significance in Pep Guardiola’s reign as Manchester City manager. His first defeat came at White Hart Lane in October 2016. In April, his side responded to three consecutive losses to Liverpool and Manchester United by winning 3-1 at Wembley, a result which meant they became champions when West Bromwich Albion won at Old Trafford the following day.

A bogey team became victims. After taking just one point from a possible six in 2016-17 against Mauricio Pochettino’s team, City secured the maximum six last season. A major reason was Kevin de Bruyne, who produced an outstanding performance in the 4-1 victory at the Etihad Stadium and excelled again in the spring rematch.

Now the Belgian should make a belated first league start of the season. Rather than examining his cameos, before and after injury, against Arsenal and Burnley, it is worth revisiting his display against Tottenham last December to see just how influential he can be. Read More

PSV Eindhoven vs Tottenham Hotspur Champions League Preview

PSV Eindhoven vs Tottenham Hotspur Preview: Containing Chucky

In Tottenham’s first two games of the season Pochettino fielded a creative but lightweight midfield. In the opening 45 minutes Spurs created enough chances to gain a lead and in the second half the opposition realised they should take advantage of Spurs’ somewhat soft midfield and press back. On both occasions Pochettino brought Mousa Dembele off the bench to calm the game down and see out the win.

Saturday’s victory over West Ham was much the same affair, only with Harry Winks and Mousa Sissoko in place of Eriksen and Dele to form the initial midfield trio with Eric Dier. Read More