Top four hopefuls Tottenham take on already relegated Huddersfield in only the second home league game at their new stadium, hoping to keep the winning run going.
Tottenham will be high on confidence after beating Manchester City at their new stadium in the Champions League during the midweek. The North London side were only playing their second game at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and have so far kept a 100% winning record there. Mauricio Pochettino will be keen to see this winning run continues when his team faces Huddersfield.
Spurs beat Crystal Palace last week and moved back into the top four, and with Arsenal losing to Everton they have managed to keep hold of that position. However, with more difficult fixtures on the horizon after this weekend, Pochettino will be hoping his side gets all three points against the Terriers to keep themselves in the hunt and the other challengers at bay.
After relegation was confirmed in near record time for Huddersfield, it is only a task for the side to cross off the remaining games on their schedule. It is a matter of honour and bowing out with their heads high will be the objective from now till the end of the season, although against Tottenham they face a massive test.
However, Spurs’ other top four rivals will have their slim hopes on Huddersfield to cause an upset or at least get a result against Tottenham which will boost their chances further. But, having recorded only three victories this season in the Premier League, the chances of getting anything of out the game look bleak.
Team News & Tactics
Spurs are again at crossroads with injuries, as their talismanic striker, Harry Kane is out once more with the same ankle problem. Fabian Delph was the perpetrator, whose strong tackle forced Kane off during the side’s Champions League game earlier this week, and now the England No.9 is expected to miss the rest of the season.
In addition to Kane, Dele Alli too went off with a suspected fractured arm against City. The England international is a significant doubt for the game against Huddersfield, although Pochettino would likely have rested him ahead of the second leg against City. Son Heung-min would be the natural choice to replace Kane up front.
But, the fact that he is an even more important part of the team in the absence of Kane means he will also be rested. Fernando Llorente is thus, expected to make a rare start for Spurs up front, with the likes of Lucas Moura set to contribute in attack.
Pochettino might rest Christian Eriksen and some other key players ahead of the second leg against Manchester City, but the manager will not make too many changes to harm any chances during the game this weekend.
Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Lloris; Trippier, Alderweireld, Sanchez, Davies; Sissoko, Wanyama, Skipp; Eriksen, Llorente, Lucas
Huddersfield will assess the fitness of key players such as Laurent Depoitre and Philip Billing ahead of the Spurs game. On the other hand, Adama Diakhaby is a sure absentee, while Abdelhamid Sabiri is also set to miss out. Jonas Lossl could be recalled between the sticks due to concerns over Ben Hamer’s form, having conceded 17 goals in the last six games.
Jan Siewert could play his standard 4-2-3-1 formation with the likes of Tom Smith, Christopher Schindler, Terence Kongolo and Erik Durm setting up the backline. In midfield, the Huddersfield boss will play Billing if available.
Should Billing be unavailable, Jon Gorenc-Stankovic could get the nod. In attacking midfield and wide areas, Alex Pritchard, Aaron Mooy and Chris Lowe could take up their positions behind and in support of Karlan Grant up front.
Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1) Lossl; Smith, Schindler, Kongolo, Durm; Stankovic, Hogg; Pritchard, Mooy, Lowe; Grant
- Tottenham are unbeaten in eight matches in all competitions versus Huddersfield (W5 D3).
- Huddersfield have lost all three of their Premier League meetings with Spurs by an aggregate score of 0-8.
- Cardiff City are the only team against whom Tottenham have won their first four Premier League games without conceding a single goal.
- Tottenham have won just one of their last six Premier League games (D1 L4)
- Huddersfield have lost nine of their last 10 away Premier League games (D1).
Player to Watch
Christian Eriksen is the player the spotlight will be on from now till the end of the season. Tottenham seem to be hitting the straps again, especially after beating Manchester City in the Champions League. Eriksen will have to take up the mantle to bring the club forward in the run-in, especially after Harry Kane and Dele Alli’s injuries.
There are many challenges for Spurs in the coming weeks, with a potential semi-finals tie in the Champions League as well as finishing among the top four the tasks that beholds them. Will Eriksen come to the party and take up Kane’s mantle to be Tottenham’s talisman?
Tottenham Hotspur 3-0 Huddersfield Town
There is no question as to who the favourites might be in this game. Huddersfield, who are already relegated, are merely fighting for honour. One might want to believe that a team like Huddersfield might not have any pressure and that could lead to getting them a result, but considering their dismal away form and Tottenham’s strong start in their new ground, the result goes Spurs’ way.
Tottenham have looked like they are back to their competitive best and good results in the last two games give them momentum. Given Huddersfield’s struggle, Pochettino might want to consider this game to further build the momentum and go for the challenges that lay before his team after this game.