Tottenham Hotspur will be hoping to end their four-game unbeaten run in the Premier League when they lock horns with Fulham this midweek.
Having made a fine start to their Premier League campaign, Tottenham Hotspur have hit a roadblock in recent weeks and they will be aiming to move past it on Wednesday night when they face off against Fulham at home in Matchweek 16.
It was not very long ago that Tottenham were seated at the top of the Premier League table. However, a run of four games without a win in the league (D2 L2), which includes the 1-1 draw against Wolves this past weekend, has seen Jose Mourinho’s men slip down to the seventh place, six points off of leaders Liverpool.
Tottenham’s inability to kill off matches and the defensive tactics employed by Mourinho are starting to be questioned, which makes it crucial for the Lilywhites to bag all three points from the derby. However, it will be anything but easy against a resolute Fulham side that has not lost any of their last four matches.
Scott Parker’s side have drawn four in a row in the league, that includes stalemates against league leaders Liverpool and a high-flying Southampton side in their most recent fixture. While there have been plenty of positives for the Cottagers, the lack of wins sees them still sitting in the bottom three, two points off of Burnley in the 17th spot.
The last time these two sides met in the Premier League was in January 2019 at Craven Cottage, with Spurs emerging 2-1 winners courtesy second half goals from Dele Alli and Harry Winks. Ahead of their latest meeting at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at both the teams.
Team News & Tactics
Giovani Lo Celso will not play a part with Jose Mourinho confirming last week that the Argentine would be unavailable until the new year. Gareth Bale is also ruled out of the contest while Lucas Moura and Carlos Vinicius are also major doubts. Japhet Tanganga is fit again and made the bench against Wolves at the weekend.
Having set his team up with a three-man backline at the weekend, Mourinho is likely to revert to his preferred 4-2-3-1 formation against Fulham on Wednesday.
Hugo Lloris is a certain starter in goal for Tottenham while Eric Dier and Sergio Reguilon should be retained in the backline. There could be a couple of changes, though, with Serge Aurier and Toby Alderweireld set to come into the side at the expense of Matt Doherty and Davinson Sanchez, respectively.
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg is a permanent fixture at the base of the Tottenham midfield. However, he could be in line for a change of partners, with Harry Winks likely to make way for Moussa Sissoko, who made an appearance off the bench against Wolves. Tanguy Ndombele, who was their standout player at the weekend, is a certain starter in the No. 10 role.
Harry Kane and Son Heung-min are certain starters in two of the three attacking slots for the home team against Fulham. With Bale a doubt and Steven Bergwijn going through a dry patch in front of goal, Erik Lamela could get a start on the right flank on Wednesday.
Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Lloris; Aurier, Alderweireld, Dier, Reguilon; Sissoko, Hojbjerg; Lamela, Ndombele, Son; Kane
Mario Lemina will be back in contention after being ineligible to play against parent club Southampton at the weekend. Kenny Tete missed the game against the Saints due to the birth of his child and it is unclear whether he will be back for Wednesday’s clash. Terence Kongolo is closing in on a return from injury, but might not be rushed back for the derby.
Manager Scott Parker, who will be back in the dugout after self-isolating during the Southampton game, is unlikely to deviate from the 3-4-2-1 setup that has been working well for his side of late. Alphonse Areola has impressed in goal for the Cottagers and is certain to feature while Ola Aina, Joachim Andersen and Tosin Adarabioyo are the undisputed starters as the three centre-backs.
Bobby Reid has taken to his new wing-back role and done well in recent games. He should start again on Wednesday against Tottenham while summer signing Antonee Robinson should be retained on the opposite flank. Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa has been one of Fulham’s best players this term and should pair up with the returning Lemina in midfield.
On-loan Chelsea midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek is a certain starter as one of the attacking midfielders, although he is likely to drop deep during the defensive phases. Ademola Lookman, who has a been a bright spark for Fulham, will occupy the other attacking midfield slot and will have the freedom to roam around in the final third to make things happen.
Ivan Cavaleiro has been preferred over Aleksandar Mitrovic as the lone striker by Parker in recent weeks and that is unlikely to change against Tottenham, with the Serb likely to be used as an impact substitute in the latter stages of the match.
Probable Lineup (3-4-2-1): Areola; Aina, Andersen, Adarabioyo; Reid, Lemina, Anguissa, Robinson; Loftus-Cheek, Lookman; Cavaleiro
- Tottenham to win @ 1.50
- Tottenham Asian Handicap -2.0 @ 4.100
- Tottenham have won 10 of their last 11 Premier League meetings against Fulham, losing the other 0-1 at White Hart Lane back in 2013.
- Since a 2-1 win in November 2008, Fulham haven’t scored more than once in any of their last 13 Premier League matches against Tottenham (W1 D2 L10), netting just seven goals during this run.
- Tottenham are unbeaten in their last seven London derbies (W3 D4) in the Premier League, since losing 1-2 to Chelsea in February.
- Fulham have lost their last 13 Premier League London derbies, an all-time record in the top-flight. The Cottagers also have the lowest win rate in such games in the Premier League (19% – 25 wins in 131 games).
- Tottenham have lost just their final game in just one of the last 11 calendar years (W7 D3), with that defeat coming against Wolves in 2018.
Player to Watch
Having started the season in blazing form, the South Korean international has gone quiet in the past couple of weeks. Son Heung-min had plundered eight goals in the first six Premier League games this season, but has managed just three in his last eight and has failed to find the back of the net in the last two games against Leicester and Wolves.
Tottenham have been struggling to kill games off of late and with Harry Kane also going through a bit of a lean patch (no goal involvement in three league games), it is important that Son gets back to his goal-scoring ways or Jose Mourinho’s side could be in for another frustrating evening at home on Wednesday.
Tottenham Hotspur 1-1 Fulham
Fulham may have not won a lot of matches of late, but Scott Parker’s men have shown admirable resilience to stifle sides like Liverpool, Southampton and Leicester City in recent weeks and have kept two clean sheets in their last four games. And, with Tottenham struggling to get going in the final third of the pitch, they might find it difficult to breach the Cottagers’ goal.
It is likely to be a cagey affair with not many goals on offer and while Tottenham have the quality to breach the Fulham goal at least once on the evening, they might once again be susceptible to a late equaliser, much like in the games against Crystal Palace and Wolves. The Hard Tackle, thus, predicts this to end in a 1-1 draw, ramping up the pressure on Jose Mourinho.