Tottenham simply need to avoid defeat to book their place in next season’s Champions League when they host Everton on Sunday.
Tottenham have endured a tough time of late in the Premier League, suffering three losses in their last five games, while also letting Chelsea surpass them from a position when the Blues where expected to finish outside of the top four. However, there is every reason for Spurs to rejoice following their dramatic win over Ajax which took them to their first ever Champions League final.
Tottenham might put themselves in an utterly embarrassing situation if they were to lose against Everton and give Arsenal a chance to leapfrog them into fourth. However, all Spurs need is an unbeaten result against Everton, as even a draw would be enough to ensure Mauricio Pochettino’s men finish above their North London rivals on the Premier League table.
Everton, on the other hand, will look to finish off their season on a strong note after initially struggling under Marco Silva. The Toffees have had a mixed bag season this time around, with inconsistent performances early on in the campaign a constant source of worry. But, the team has turned their dismal form around and have lost only once in their last seven games.
Their excellent recent run of form includes five victories from their last seven games including wins over Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea. Silva would undoubtedly want his team to add Tottenham to that list, but will know the task would be a difficult one at their opponent’s new stadium.
Team News & Tactics
Recent events will force Mauricio Pochettino to select a starting lineup which would be far from ideal. Centre-back Jan Vertonghen is a worry after picking up a foot injury in the win over Ajax, and he joins fellow defender Davinson Sanchez on the sidelines. Add Juan Foyth’s dismissal against Bournemouth into the mix and Pochettino would have to tinker for his centre-back selection.
Son Heung-min, who has shined in Harry Kane’s absence will also miss this game due to the suspension he has to serve following his sending off against Bournemouth. Harry Winks is still missing from first-team action, although Serge Aurier is available again.
Pochettino could use the Ivorian at right-back, due to the fact that Kieran Trippier is a doubt after struggling to finish the game in Amsterdam. Kyle Walker-Peters starting on the opposite flank, seeing as Danny Rose is significant doubt.
Victor Wanyama is also a doubt, although Pochettino has Eric Dier to fill his absence. Dier could play alongside Moussa Sissoko in central midfield, although Dier could have been the ideal choice as a centre-back. But, due to the absence of many players, Ben Davies could start in at the heart of the Tottenham defence alongside Alderweireld.
Erik Lamela is also pushing for a start, while Spurs’ midweek hero Lucas Moura should continue following his hattrick against Ajax that sealed the place in the Champions League final. Dele Alli should stay in his attacking role as Christian Eriksen might be rested.
Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Lloris; Aurier, Alderweireld, Davies, Walker-Peters; Sissoko, Dier; Moura, Alli, Lamela; Llorente
Unlike Tottenham, Everton have much fewer problems heading into this game. Marco Silva could go with his strongest possible lineup, including on-loan stars Kurt Zouma and Andre Gomes, both of whom Everton hope to sign permanently in the summer from Chelsea and Barcelona, respectively.
While Lucas Digne is expected to start on the left side of the Everton defence, Seamus Coleman is a significant doubt for this game and might be replaced by Jonjoe Kenny. Fewer problems do not necessarily mean an injury-free squad though, as Silva has to contend with absence of some of his critical stars that have shined in recent weeks.
Key forwards, Richarlison and Dominic Calvert-Lewin are ruled out of this game, which could open up space for Theo Walcott and Cenk Tosun to come into the lineup.
Andre Gomes is available again after serving his suspension, and although his recent performances dictate a starting role, Morgan Schneiderlin’s display’s have also been significant. The Frenchman and Idrisa Gueye are expected to retain their midfield partnership for the last game of the season.
Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Pickford; Kenny, Zouma, Keane, Digne; Schneiderlin, Gueye; Walcott, Sigurdsson, Bernard; Tosun
1. Full-Time Result – Draw or Everton @ 1.70
- Tottenham are unbeaten in their last 12 Premier League meetings with Everton (W7 D5), winning each of the previous four in a row by an aggregate score of 16-4.
- Everton haven’t won away against Tottenham in the Premier League since November 2008 (1-0), drawing three and losing six since.
- Tottenham have won their final Premier League game of the season in seven of the last eight campaigns, with the exception being a 1-5 loss at Newcastle United in 2015-16.
- Their last three such games have produced a total of 23 goals (1-5 vs. Newcastle, 7-1 vs. Hull City and 5-4 vs. Leicester City).
- Everton have lost their final Premier League game in each of the last two campaigns, with both of those defeats coming in London (1-3 at Arsenal, 1-3 at West Ham United).
Player To Watch
Move over Harry Kane, Spurs have a new hero in their new stadium, and his name is Lucas Moura. The Brazilian was in sensational form against Ajax, scoring a fantastic hattrick, one that took Spurs into the Champions League final for the very first time in their history. Moura, however, cannot think about resting yet as his side are set to play two of their most important games of the season.
With Kane injured and Son suspended, Tottenham fans can be forgiven for looking directly at Moura for inspiration, and it is now up to the Brazilian to show what he is made up of. Moura has a massive task at hand to get his team a result against Everton, as even a point would guarantee Champions League football for next season.
Tottenham Hotspur 2-2 Everton
Tottenham are set to face Everton at the worst possible time. Spurs are enduring a torrid time in their league campaign, and the last game was the highlight of what has been going on at the club. Reaching the Champions League final might come as a relief, but it cannot cover the cracks developed in their domestic campaign.
Spurs need a result, but they face an in-form Everton side which will not let that happen. But, considering the quality of players in each team, it could be safely assumed this will be a high octane battle. We predict Spurs to get their deserved point eventually, but Everton have been delivering surprising results against big-six opposition lately. Our prediction – a score draw.