The latest edition of one of the biggest derbies in the Premier League will be held at London Stadium tomorrow afternoon, when Manuel Pellegrini’s struggling West Ham United play host to Mauricio Pochettino’s high-flying Tottenham Hotspur.
Today, with the help of our good friends over at footballfancast.com, we are going to analyse the Irons’ opponents in the fierce London derby, Spurs, by taking an in-depth look at their team news, some match facts and their expected starting Xl and formation, join us.
As the above graphic, kindly provided by FootballFanCast, tells us, there is nothing short of an injury crisis currently ongoing in North London, with seven players all but ruled out of tomorrow’s clash.
The good news is for the Lilywhites, who sit fifth in the Premier League table with 18 points from eight games, just two points off leaders Manchester City, is that three of their four doubts are available to make the short trip to East London.
While Danny Rose, often a menace to the Hammers, has been ruled out, talismanic Danish playmaker Christian Eriksen is fit and ready to play, along with his fellow midfielders Mousa Dembele and Victor Wanyama.
However, these players may be fit, but whether they will start is another matter entirely, with Spurs proving in recent weeks that they are more than equipped to cope without them.
Three players who we definitely won’t see lining up for the visitors at London Stadium on Saturday afternoon are Dutch striker Vincent Janssen, attacking midfielder Dele Alli and centre-back Jan Vertonghen as they are all still out of action with longer-term injuries.
The latter of those two names will undoubtedly be the biggest misses for Pochettino’s men, who have not let the distraction of the delay to the completion of their new stadium blight a more than respectable start to the 2018/2019.
The two key match facts that are outlined in the above FFF graphic are ones that will give the North Londoners, who sit ten places above the East Londoners, plenty of confidence ahead of their third visit to London Stadium.
The first one involves the “Big Six” member’s excellent recent league record against fellow Cockney teams, if they win tomorrow, it will grant them a fifth successive London derby win in the top-flight and be the first time in 57 years they have managed such a feat.
In fact, the last London team that Tottenham failed to beat in the PL were West Ham, drawing 1-1 at Wembley Stadium at the beginning of January in a match that was famous for two wonder goals, the pick of them from Pedro Obiang and the other from Son Heung-min.
The second key match fact involves the club’s marksman and England captain Harry Kane, a familiar foe to members of the Claret & Blue Army down the years, he has netted seven in seven against West Ham, including that double in a 2-3 victory for the Lilywhites in this fixture last season.
Formation And Starting Xl
Finally, we are going to analyse the expected starting Xl for the Spurs from FootballFanCast, one that could well change if the aforementioned players make it back for the opposition and are fit enough to start.
In goal will be captain Hugo Lloris, a usually formidable figure that isn’t having the best season of his career, on and off the field, with his charge for drink driving and injury woes clearly impacting his performances on the pitch.
In front of him will be a back-four packed with Internationals, well, there isn’t a player in this Tottenham team who hasn’t represented his nation, showing the true quality in their ranks.
At right-back will be England man Kieran Trippier, with Belgium’s Toby Alderweireld and Colombia’s Davinson Sanchez the centre-back pairing, Ben Davies of Wales to the left of him.
Protecting them will be Eric Dier, fresh from his barnstorming display for the Three Lions in their UEFA Nations League win in Spain, alongside fellow England man and youngster Harry Winks, Eric Lamela of Argentina will be found a little bit further ahead than them, but could be replaced by Eriksen.
This just leaves the deadly duo of in-form Lucas Moura and South Korean Son on the respective right and left wings, supporting lone striker Kane, the real danger man of this Spurs team, no matter who is fit and who isn’t.
They are all expected to be lined up in a trademark 4-2-3-1 formation, the preference of Pochettino and it will be interesting to see how this fares against the modified 4-3-3 of Pellegrini and West Ham. It is set to be a technical and tactical battle, as well as a dogged and old-fashioned renewing of this famous rivalry.
In conclusion, Pellegrini’s Irons will be coming up against one of the toughest tests they will face all season at 3 PM tomorrow at London Stadium, an outfit that will be equally as hard to break down going forward as they will be to defend against at the back.
However, Spurs, like all sides, are not without their weaknesses that can be exploited, the injury crisis being one of them and the Hammers will need to rise to the special occasion if they want to take advantage and defeat their vast quality, but don’t rule either team out.