After this weekends fixtures the title race begins. By Sunday night we’ll know whether Tottenham are in it or not.
No one could have dreamt how significant this pair of fixtures selected for Super Sunday would be when the fixture computer spat them out in June.
On Monday morning Spurs could be 2 points of the top, of 8 points of the top and just 4 clear of 5th, depending on theirs and other fixtures including of course Arsenal vs Leicester. And both games could go absolutely any way. Suffice it to say all four sides will be going for the win and will be confident they can get in.
Such is Spurs’ form right now that the team no longer picks itself and there are crucial decisions all over the pitch that need to be made by Mr Pochettino.
4-2-3-1 is going to be the formation.
Lloris in goal is straightforward enough
The 2 centre halves picks themselves with Alderweireld and Wimmer in his biggest test since coming in for the injured Vertonghen.
Full backs is where it suddenly gets tough, Trippier and Davies were superb on Saturday against Watford particularly going forward in one of the best Spurs displays of the season. Walker is still the first choice right back and Rose is far better defensively so a tough choice. To think we can run riot at city as we have done at home to Watford would be a mistake but I’m genuinely unsure as to what Poch will do here.
I’d plump for Walker and Rose and if behind there’s always the option to make the switch. I think Davies will be given the nod by the manager though, and hope he doesn’t cost us defensively if so.
Dier and Dembele are shoe-ins in the middle, as Kane is up front but the 3 places behind the striker are now a minefield of choices.
Eriksen will start out on the left, and whilst I don’t particularly like him out there accommodating Dele Alli is a must and it’s refreshing to see a big team allowing a promising youngster first team minutes in the position he thrives in. Spurs are reaping the rewards.
The way Eriksen and Dembele interchange positions depending on who has the possession has been key to our success at times. Moussa has the option to drive forward and Eriksen can drop deep to dictate the play from there if he’s not getting his own way out on the left whilst not being restricted to the deeper role.
Alli is a must start given the way he drives us Spurs forward with his energy and directness.
That leaves one berth between three players. Son has settled in over the last 4 weeks and has pace and energy to burn. Chadli has returned from injury and has been finding the net and is my preferred man when it comes to offering Kane support.
I’d go with Lamela though for this game. The work he puts in goes unnoticed but in a game against a side like City it is invaluable and at White Hart Lane earlier this season he ran the game with the performance of his Spurs career.
I think Chadli and Son can influence a game from the bench if needs be, whereas Lamela would be ineffective off the bench as he often is when asked to join the game late.
This could well be a game that takes 14 players to make the difference not 11, and Spurs’s bench will give cause for optimism when compared to City’s, who’s injuries continue to restrict their options.
So that’s it. A massive game, but a testament to how much we’ve improved throughout the season that going into it we don’t know who our best 11 is. Tactically Pochettino has got so little wrong this season lets hope he’s got the boys ready.
Anyone think we will bring back 3 points?
My preferred 11
Walker Alderweireld Wimmer Rose
Lamela Alli Eriksen
11 I think Poch will pick
Walker Alderweireld Wimmer Davies
Son Alli Eriksen
Come on Spurs, get yourselves in the race.