Five games in thirteen days was definitely a test of squad depth that Spurs passed with flying colours, especially with 4 wins!
When you consider that the likes of Rose, Vertonghen, Sanchez, Dier, Dembele, Son and Eriksen (!) were missing from the starting line-up, this 1-0 victory becomes even more significant.
And the icing on the cake? Young defender Juan Foyth’s first goal for Spurs, which turned out to be the winner on a wet & dreary night in London.
The delayed completion of the new stadium has meant that Spurs have played 8 away games out of the 12 so far. The fact that they have won 7 puts Spurs in a good position for the 2nd half of the season when hopefully, the new stadium will be ready.
After all the noise over the lack of spending in the last transfer window, the emergence of players of Juan Foyth has vindicated Spurs’ transfer policy somewhat.
5 games in 13 days. 3 wins and 1 defeat. After this Palace game, yet another international break.
By all accounts, an excellent achievement when you consider the injury list – although with Eric Dier and Victor Wanyama now recovered, we are now left with Jan Vertonghen, Danny Rose and now Moussa Dembele.
Crystal Palace have always provided stiff opposition for Spurs and the string of 1-0 wins is testament to that.
Spurs would have been buoyed by the midweek win against PSV Eindhoven and should bring that winning mentality into this tough match. Perhaps 1-0 again?
Line-up wise, Pochettino will be mindful of the relative fitness status of his players as well.
Fixture congestion is a happy problem for a football club as it implies that the club is doing well in all competitions. Unfortunately for Spurs, this has not been the case in the Champions League this season.
One point from three games has been a poor return and Spurs could go out of the competition tonight if they fail to beat PSV and Inter get a win against Barcelona.
Spurs are not helped by the fact that the absentee list has been extended by Moussa Dembele’s ankle injury and Hugo Lloris’ suspension. Already unavailable are Eric Dier, Victor Wanyama, Danny Rose and Jan Vertonghen.
This leaves manager Mauricio Pochettino with very few options though at least in the attacking department, all his players are raring to go.
I believe if Spurs can cut out the carelessness seen in the recent games, they sure see off PSV BUT Spurs have a brittle mentality nowadays, so who knows?
The main question that Pochettino will have to answer is in goal – Michel Vorm or Paulo Gazzaniga? I think the latter should be given the nod – he has done very well when called upon and the defence looks more assured when he plays.
In light of that and other considerations – like match fitness – here is my predicted line-up :
When Harry Kane put Spurs three goals in front in the 61st minute, the game looked won. Unfortunately, this season Spurs have somehow returned to their former bad ways of giving opponents a way back, when there appeared none.
This time it was Kieron Tripper, who lost possession in his corner resulting ultimately in the award of penalty due to a rash challenge from debutant Juan Foyth. Foyth was at fault when he gave away a second penalty in the 79th minute to set up a difficult final period for Spurs.
Fact is, even though Wolves had a good game, they were awful in front of goal in open play. Ironically though, the time Wolves did score, it was chalked off incorrectly for offside.
So…. good sides ride their luck, I guess. For most of this match, Spurs were in control, even in 2nd gear. When they needed to, Spurs upped the tempo and seemingly scored at will. The first brace coming quickly in succession from Erik Lamela and Lucas Moura, after exceptional passing and movement in Wolves’ half.
One might point out the fact that this was Spurs’ third game in six days and the lapses in concentration certainly seemed to indicate exactly that. But, it was totally unprofessional to finish the game as they did, fatigued or not.
At 3-0, Spurs needed to keep things tight as both the Wolves team and its fans would have been too demoralised to offer much of a fight. Sadly, once Wolves got a goal back, the dynamic of the match changed totally and swung against Spurs.
Calmer heads were needed but nobody was there to hold possession for Spurs to see the game out professionally. It is ridiculous to think that Spurs were at its most vulnerable when they were 3-0 up! Something Mauricio Pochettino has to seriously look at. Still, a win is a win – if we can take the positives from this, only the result matters. COME ON YOU SPURS!!!
Spurs received a mid-week boost with a solid Carabao Cup win over West Ham United at the London Stadium with Son Heung-Min grabbing his first goals of the season.
Coming up in the Premier League in the midst of a fixture crunch is a testing game against the much improved Wolverhampton Wanderers, last season’s Championship winners.
Wolves have lost their last two games back to back, and Spurs have an excellent record against promoted clubs, so all signs are on a comfortable Spurs victory.
Of course, that is not going to be the case and I fully expect Wolves to push Spurs to the hilt, especially on home turf.
On the injury front, Spurs will miss defensive players mainly in Eric Dier, Victor Wanyama (again!), Jan Vertonghen and Danny Rose. Considering that Davinson Sanchez played two games in 48 hours, and Juan Foyth’s man of the match performance against the Hammers, manager Mauricio Pochettino might be tempted to give the young Argentine his Premier League debut.
The good news is that all the offensive players will now be available and that should make the selection interesting. Pochettino might rest Eriksen and Dele considering they have just returned from injury and give Moussa Sissoko another chance to prove himself after an excellent display against Man City.
I believe Spurs will be too good for Wolves but it will be a close one.