Tottenham face Cardiff in the Premier League as the North Londoners look to bounce back and take advantage of their opponent’s dismal form to maintain their position on the table.
Mauricio Pochettino will not be looking for any excuses from his team when they face lowly placed Cardiff City in the Premier League. The Tottenham boss will be eyeing his third win in a row in the league, as he prepares his team to bounce back from the midweek loss to Barcelona at home in the Champions League.
Spurs have a growing injury list, but Pochettino would be feeling that shouldn’t come as a roadblock from getting all three points against Cardiff. Pochettino will be expecting his side have plenty of possession and hopes are players score the necessary amount of goals in their quest to maintaining their top-four spot heading into the International break.
Their opponents, Cardiff have not been up to the mark, with the side still winless in the Premier League after seven rounds of matches. Additionally, they would be expecting retaliation from Tottenham following their midweek loss to Barcelona, as Pochettino will be looking to offer some comfort to fans with their Premier League form despite their dismal run in this season’s Champions League.
Cardiff come into this clash at the back of a 2-1 loss to fellow strugglers Burnley. Neil Warnock’s me have faced much tougher opposition in their opening seven games, and the manager looks in good spirits ahead of their clash with Tottenham, although a defeat would mean a fifth straight loss for the Welsh side.
Team News & Tactics
Mauricio Pochettino has many injury worries to his side. Jan Vertonghen is the latest of the lot, with the centre-back set to miss the next six weeks with a hamstring injury. He joins fellow first-teamers Delle Alli (hamstring) Christian Eriksen (abdominal), Mousa Dembele and Serge Aurier (both thigh), all of who are already out of this game.
The lack of squad depth will push Pochettino to manage his squad rather carefully. Meaning the likes of Danny Rose and the out-of-form Eric Dier could get a recall against Cardiff, with the manager thinking of resting Ben Davies and Victor Wanyama. Hugo Lloris also made his comeback after a month on the sidelines.
Meanwhile, talismanic striker, Harry Kane looks fitter than he was a few weeks ago, scoring four goals in the last three games. However, Pochettino will be focusing on the Premier League campaign to other competitions to ensure the fields his strongest available starting lineup against Cardiff.
Probable Starting Lineup (4-2-3-1) – Lloris; Trippier, Sanchez, Alderweireld, Rose; Winks, dier; Moura, Lamela, Son; Kane
Niel Warnock also has a few absentees in his squad. Aron Gunnarsson remains absent still, and will only return after the International break. However, Warnock has been given a boost with the return of Junior Hoilett as well as Murphy, who made his comeback from an injury in Cardiff’s loss to Burnley.
Warnock could start Kenneth Zohore and give the forward another chance to prove his worth up front meaning Callum Paterson could be starting from the bench.
Warnock is expected to make some tweaks to his side for the Tottenham game, and likely add another midfielder in the mix to control the game better. However, there is also the possibility of fielding an unchanged squad that impressed against Burnley despite a defeat.
Probable Starting Lineup (4-4-1-1) – Etheridge; Cunningham, Bamba, Morrison, Manga; Murphy, Ralls, Arter, Camarasa; Paterson; Zohore
- Cardiff have never beaten Tottenham in the Premier League losing both their previous games.
- Tottenham have also won their previous seven games against Cardiff in all competitions.
- Spurs are also unbeaten in the last 15 games at home against Welsh sides, winning 13 of them.
- Tottenham are unbeaten in 37 games against promoted sides.
- Harry Kane has scored against 26 of the 27 different sides he’s played against in the Premier League, with the striker yet to score against Cardiff.
Player to Watch
Tottenham’s rusty form of late has coincided with two factors; injuries to key players and Harry Kane’s loss of form. However, after a temporary blip owing mostly to fatigue, Harry Kane is back among the goals.
With further injuries mounting on Pochettino’s side, Harry Kane needs to continue scoring goals and inspire his team in the best ways possible. It’s more of a test of character for Kane to keep his side floating among the hopefuls to win the Premier League this season, and starting with Cardiff he has a chance to increase his tally and announce his personal intentions for the season.
Tottenham 2-1 Cardiff
Tottenham have injuries, although their squad depth will see them through this tie. Had it been a much tougher opposition, there could have been doubts cast on Pochettino’s side. But in Cardiff, they have the best chance to get out with all three points and recover with the International break approaching.
Tottenham have the quality to beat Cardiff, who do not look anywhere close to winning their first game of the season against Spurs. Cardiff’s loss of form and especially lack of goals will be crucial, but against a Spurs defence without Vertonghen and a seemingly out-of-form Davinson Sanchez, they have a fair chance to score past Lloris but not win the game.