Tottenham Hotspur will be looking to move upwards in the Premier League table when they face off against relegation battlers Norwich City on Wednesday.
Tottenham Hotspur will be aiming to bring an end to their four-game winless streak in the Premier League when they take on bottom feeders Norwich City at home this week.
After showing signs of resurgence early into Jose Mourinho’s tenure, Tottenham have regressed somewhat in the past few weeks. The Lilywhites are without a win in their last four league games (D2 L2) and have picked up a victory just once in their last six matches in all competitions.
Having been held to a goalless draw by Watford last time out, Mourinho and his men will be hoping to get back to winning ways and reduce the eight-point gap to fourth-placed Chelsea. However, they will not have it easy against a Norwich side that is battling for survival in the English top-flight.
The Canaries are rooted the bottom of the table and cannot afford any more slip-ups if they are to have any hope of retaining their Premier League status. Daniel Farke’s side beat Bournemouth 1-0 last time out and having held Tottenham to a 2-2 draw in their last meeting, will be confident of getting something from their trip to the capital.
Ahead of this exciting encounter coming our way from the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Wednesday night, we at The Hard Tackle take a closer look at both the teams.
Team News & Tactics
Tottenham continue to be without their star striker and chief goalscorer Harry Kane (thigh) while Moussa Sissoko (knee), Ben Davies (foot) and captain Hugo Lloris (elbow) also remain sidelined. There is some good news though, as Tanguy Ndombele is back to full fitness and is in contention to start.
Mourinho was reportedly involved in a training ground bust-up with left-back Danny Rose, although the Portuguese has downplayed the incident. It will be interesting to see if the Englishman features on Wednesday. Christian Eriksen, who is understood to be leaving the club for Inter Milan, will play a part the manager has confirmed.
Paulo Gazzaniga remains the obvious choice in goal for the hosts, while Mourinho might not want to tweak his backline that secured a clean sheet for the first time since early December. However, Davinson Sanchez might get a look-in ahead of Jan Vertonghen to combat the pace of the Norwich attack.
Toby Alderweireld ought to partner him, with Serge Aurier and Japhet Tanganga starting as the full-backs. Giovani Lo Celso made a decent impression in the Watford game, but the Argentine is likely to make way for Christian Eriksen when Norwich come visiting.
Dele Alli should be retained in the middle of the park, while Harry Winks is also likely to start, with Mourinho likely to look to ease the returning Ndombele back into action. No changes are expected in attack with Son Heung-min and Erik Lamela lining up on the flanks while Brazilian international Lucas Moura will play through the middle.
Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Gazzaniga; Aurier, Alderweireld, Sanchez, Tanganga; Eriksen, Winks, Alli; Lamela, Moura, Son
The Canaries also have a few injury concerns heading into the game with Timm Klose (knee) ruled out along with Ralf Fahrmann (knee), while Mario Vrancic (shin) and Emiliano Buendia (thigh) are major doubts for the Tottenham fixture as well. Ben Godfrey will miss out due to suspension after being sent off in the last game against Bournemouth.
Norwich will line up in a 4-2-3-1 formation, with seasoned campaigner Tim Krul lining up in goal in search of another clean sheet on Wednesday. Max Aarons is a certainty at right-back, while Sam Byram has been preferred over Jamal Lewis on the other flank and that is unlikely to change. Christoph Zimmermann will pair up with Grant Hanley at the heart of the Norwich defence.
Alexander Tettey will occupy one of the two pivot positions in the middle of the park and look to screen the backline from Tottenham midfielders. He will be partnered by Kenny McLean, who will be essaying a more box-to-box role for Norwich. January signing Ondrej Duda is likely to occupy the No. 10 role once again for Daniel Farke’s side.
Todd Cantwell is a guaranteed starter on the left flank, while Buendia’s injury might pave the way for the pacy Onel Hernandez to get a start on the opposite wing. The Norwich attack will be led by top goalscorer Teemu Pukki, who was on the scoresheet in the win against Bournemouth this past weekend.
Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Krul; Aarons, Zimmermann, Hanley, Byram; Tettey, McLean; Hernandez, Duda, Cantwell; Pukki
- Tottenham have won their last two Premier League home games against Norwich, 2-0 in September 2013 and 3-0 in December 2015.
- Following their 2-2 draw at Carrow Road in the reverse fixture, Norwich are looking to avoid defeat in both Premier League meetings with Spurs for only the second time in a Premier League season (also in 2012-13).
- After winning 20 consecutive Premier League home games against promoted sides between 2012-2018, Tottenham have failed to win two of their last three such matches – losing 1-3 against Wolves last season and drawing 1-1 with Sheffield United this term.
- Norwich have failed to score in more different away games than any other Premier League side so far this season (7). Indeed, the Canaries have netted just five goals in their 11 away games in 2019-20, fewer than any other side.
- Tottenham are one of two Premier League teams yet to score in 2020, along with Bournemouth. They haven’t failed to score in four consecutive league games since September 2006.
Player to Watch
The Danish playmaker could very well be in his final few days at Tottenham if reports are to be believed. It is no secret that Eriksen is seeking an exit from the North London club with his contract set to expire at the end of the season, and Serie A heavyweights Inter Milan are keen on signing the midfielder in the ongoing transfer window itself.
Talks have been ongoing between the parties involved with many believing that Eriksen had already played his last game for Tottenham. However, the former Ajax star is set to be involved on Wednesday night against Norwich and he will be hoping to bid goodbye to the Spurs faithful in style, by guiding the Lilywhites to a victory.
Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 Norwich City
Norwich, despite winning their last game against Bournemouth with a clean sheet, have been extremely vulnerable at the back. The Canaries have the joint-worst defensive record in the Premier League this term and were put to the sword by Manchester United in their last away game. They will, however, take confidence from their performance against Spurs last time out.
There is no denying that Tottenham have felt the absence of Harry Kane, with the North Londoners yet to score a goal in the Premier League in 2020. The fact that they have failed to win their last four league matches will also be playing on their minds when they take the field on Wednesday night.
It is likely to be another closely-fought battle between the two teams at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, but the home team will be gunning to bounce back to winning ways after a disappointing run of results and with Norwich not being great travellers, we at The Hard Tackle are predicting Jose Mourinho & co. to eke out a victory on Wednesday.