Tottenham Hotspur would hope to start the New Year with a bang, as they travel to Swansea City next Wednesday. Spurs, after thrashing Burnley 3-0 away, completed a 5-2 mauling of Southampton at Wembley on Boxing Day, courtesy of Harry Kane’s 8th hat-trick in the calendar year. With his three goals, the 24-year-old eclipsed Alan Shearer’s 22-year-old record of 36 Premier League goals in a calendar year, taking his tally to 39 for 2017.
Swansea, on the other hand, are at the rock bottom of the table, following their 5-0 drubbing at the hands of Liverpool at Anfield.
On Thursday, Swansea City appointed ex-Sheffield Wednesday manager Carlos Carvalhal to steady their sinking ship. The manager admitted they indeed need a miracle to avoid relegation and a defeat against an in-form Spurs side.
The last time the two sides met, Swansea frustrated Spurs at Wembley with an all-out rearguard action. The struggling Swans fans would expect their side to at least put up a fight against Mauricio Pochettino’s side and not just surrender.
Toby Alderweireld (hamstring) and Victor Wanyama (knee) both remain sidelined, although the latter is close to returning, according to Pochettino.
Meanwhile, Harry Kane and Jan Vertonghen have to be cautious against Southampton as they are just a booking away from suspension.
The French international is the first choice for Pochettino in goal and would be keen to keep a clean-sheet at Swansea.
Aurier continues to impress with his performances and it’s only a matter of time before he displaces Tripper as the team’s No.1 right-back.
The Colombian adds much more solidity to the back-line. Should retain his place, against Swansea.
Jan Vertonghen has quietly asserted himself as the leader of Spurs’ notoriously parsimonious back-line and has consistently outshone countryman Toby Alderweireld over the past 12 months.
Going by the rumour mill, it remains to be seen whether Rose will stay with Spurs after January. However, his good form means another start in the Premier League is a possibility.
If one asks what Dier’s actual position is, it’s the defensive midfield role. The England international’s versatility remains appealing but he is not a ‘centre-back’. His general role is protecting the back four, doing the dirty job in the middle of the park and contributing to attacks whenever needed.
Dembele is slowly starting to pick up the tempo following his injury. The Belgian adds steel and a lot of robustness to the midfield, which is essential as games are majorly won in the midfield.
Eriksen’s trickery and magical passes will be required in Wales if Spurs are to return home with three points.
If Alli could keep away the notorious gimmicks, he could become a world-class midfielder. The way he scored against Southampton was sweet, just sliding the ball past a sprawling Forster from outside the penalty area.
Son, in every aspect, looks to be a fantastic buy for Poch. His work-rate off the ball makes him an even better player to have in the squad. Must start at the Liberty Stadium.
Kane became Premier League’s top scorer in a calendar year and ensured he finished ahead of Lionel Messi as the leading man for club and country. He took only 22 minutes to beat Alan Shearer’s record that had stood since 1995 and by the final whistle, Kane had completed the year on 39 goals in the Premier League and 56 for club and country, thanks to 2 back-to-back hat-tricks. Will start.