Tottenham Hotspur will look to put their European woes behind them when they travel to the Molineux on Sunday to face Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Tottenham will be aiming to make it back-to-back victories at the start of their 2021/22 top-flight campaign as they visit the Molineux to take on Wolves in the Sunday afternoon Premier League fixture on Matchday 2.
Wolves had a decent performance at the King Power Stadium last Saturday. They were highly proactive and had far more influence to attack under new head coach Bruno Lage, but the lack of killer instincts in front of goal from Adama Traore proved costly for the West Midlands outfit as a brilliant deft finish from Jamie Vardy in the closing moments of the first half was enough to bag Leicester all crucial three points.
Lage will now have the task of leading his team to their first home game of the campaign, hoping to ruin Nuno Espirito Santo’s sentimental homecoming to the Molineux. On the other side, Tottenham just defeated Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City 1-0 in their Premier League opener last week.
It was a superb defensive display from the Lilywhites to keep the defending champions’ attack at bay and stayed resilient to preserve Son Heung-min’s exquisite second half strike, firing a Harry Kane-less Spurs to secure all-important three points in front of a raucous home crowd.
The joy and jubilation at Tottenham, however, was short-lived as a completely rotated side put up a poor performance on their away trip to Portugal, where they were comfortably beaten 1-0 by Premeira Liga outfit Pacos de Ferreira in the first leg of the newly formed Europa Conference League Qualifying play-off.
Last time out when these sides locked horns in the Premier League at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, the game resulted in a 2-0 victory for Spurs thanks to the goals slotted home by Harry Kane and Pierre-EmilHojberg. Ahead of the latest meeting between the two sides, The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at the encounter.
Team News & Tactics
— Wolves (@Wolves) August 20, 2021
Wolves have had a busy summer window as regards to both new signings and departures; Goalkeeper Jose Sa and winger Francisco Trincao earned their debut appearance in the opening weekend’s loss to Leicester City.
Wolves boss Bruno Lage has no fresh injury concerns, but the club is still without five first-team members for this encounter. Jonny Otto, Willy Boly, Daniel Podence, Yerson Mosquera, and Hugo Bueno are still sidelined due to their respective injury issues. In a piece of good news, Pedro Neto is said to be making good strides in his road to recovery and will soon become available in the coming matches.
It is believed that Lage will keep it consistent by fielding the same lineup as in the Leicester game but with one or two changes. He will certainly opt for the familiar 3-4-3 Wolves’ setup. New signing Jose Sa will be in the nets; he made a couple of good saves to deny Vardy in the last game that will surely boost his confidence arriving in the Premier League.
This week, Lage may go with a back-three of Max Kilman, captain Conor Coady, and Romain Sass as they all strive to deliver a good defensive display against Tottenham. Ruben Neves and Joao Moutinho will continue as a midfield combination as they attempt to create some scoring opportunities for Adama Traore and Raul Jimenez.
Marcal was very rash and physical last weekend and will have another chance to shine in the left wing-back role, with Nelson Semedo filling in on the other flank. Morgan Gibbs-White was lively after coming on as a late substitute but will have to contend with a place on the bench. Wolves fans are calling out for Leander Dendoncker to be involved from the start to provide energy in midfield, but it seems he will be used as a substitute later in the game.
Francisco Trincao showed glimpses of his talent and playmaking ability the other day, and he will be starting alongside Raul Jimenez, and Traore to form the attacking trio upfront.
Probable Lineup (3-4-3): Sa, Kilman, Coady, Saiss; Semedo, Neves, Moutinho, Semedo, Trincao, Jimenez, Traore
Nuno Espirito Santo is still unsure as to whether Harry Kane will feature this weekend, with the manager looking to reassess his fitness after Saturday’s training session. Spurs’ record signing Tanguy Ndombele will not be involved since Nuno is keeping him out amid speculation of a potential swap deal with Lyon for French playmaker Houssem Aouar.
Cristian Romero is fine after a suspected knee injury was discarded in the scans. He made his debut, completing full 90 minutes in the midweek Europa Conference League playoff game, but his defensive partners Joe Rodon and Cameron Carter-Vickers got injured.
Nuno has no injury concerns after he rotated the lineup in the midweek. In all likelihood, he 9s set to name an unchanged Playing XI from the Manchester City game, keeping the same 4-3-3 system.
📰 The latest team news from Head Coach, Nuno Espírito Santo ahead of Sunday's game against Wolves! 👇
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) August 20, 2021
Davinson Sanchez and Eric Dier will pick themselves in central defence after an impressive showing against Manchester City. The pair of Sergio Reguilon and Japhet Tanganga complements each other very well, with one being more attacking and progressive while the other is a bit robust and prefers defensive solidity.
Oliver Skipp played the holding midfield role in the midfield-three and majorly played as a deep-lying orchestrator, spraying the passes while recovering the ball on the turnovers. Kane could make an appearance off the bench, but in his absence, South Korean magician Son Heung-min will lead the charge of Spurs, with Lucas Moura and Steven Bergwijn operating on both flanks, respectively.
Tottenham Hotspur Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Lloris, Tanganga, Sanchez, Dier, Reguilon, Hojbjerg, Skipp, Alli, Moura, Son, Bergwijn
- This will be the historic 100th meeting between these sides in all competitions and 15th in the Premier League, Spurs edges the Top flight clashes with 7 wins while Wolves’ have registered only 4 the rest ended in sharing the spoils.
- Wolves have only won a single game in last seven top-flight home games against Spurs, with two draws and four defeats, a 1-0 triumph in Feb 2010.
- Wolves have not managed to win their first home league game of the season since their promotion in 2018 (D2 L1).
- Wolves are winless in their last four Premier League matches, scoring a mere one goal in the process.
- Talking about goals, Jimenez will be vital for Wolves; he has an excellent track record of scoring against Spurs having netted 3 times and provided 2 assists in 4 games played against the Tottenham. Harry Kane will be a big miss for the visitors, seeing as he has scored 3 goals in 5 appearances against Wolves.
Player to Watch
It would be an understatement to say that Wolves missed Raul Jimenez last season.
A very intelligent striker whose movements in and around the box are brilliant, he usually catches the opponents off guard. He provides that focal point, and his hold-up play enables Traore to burn down the channels and get in behind the defences.
His knack for finding spaces between the lines with deft variations in movement and direct dribble with the ball is immense and keeps opposition defenders on their toes. A threat in the air, technically talented on the ball and elegant at finishin, Jimenez is rightly our Player to Watch in this fixture.
Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-2 Tottenham Hotspur
Tottenham Hotspur have a tricky test in Wolves. In the past, we have seen Wolves turning out to be a surprise and exciting package, especially at Molineux. Raul Jimenez’s comeback is welcome news for the Wolves faithful. It is likely we would get to see some wonderful interchanges of play between Adama Traore and Jimenez.
On the opposite end, Son Heung-min can extend his fine scoring form in front of goal. Lucas Moura, despite his age, is the best dribbler and source of the spark that Tottenham have. He will probably notch up the winning goal. The Hard Tackle predicts a 2-1 win for Spurs, in what will be a big result for the North Londoners.