After negotiating Newport County midweek to move into the 5th round of the FA Cup, Tottenham Hotspur turn their attention now to the big North London derby where they host Arsenal on tomorrow. The two North London juggernauts lock horns at Wembley this weekend, with the game sure to have top-four implications for both sides.
Tottenham, who earned a point in the thrilling 2-2 draw against Liverpool at Anfield last Sunday, sit 5th in the Premier League, just one point behind Chelsea in the race for the top four. Arsenal, meanwhile, smashed Everton 5-1 last weekend and sit 6th, four points behind us.
Mauricio Pochettino made wholesale changes against Newport, meaning he will have a fully fresh first-team for the weekend game.
Pochettino received a massive boost when Toby Alderweireld returned to the starting XI against Newport and played the entire 90 minutes. The likes of Danny Rose and Harry Winks played too, meaning Spurs have no injury concerns now.
New signing Lucas Moura is slowly adapting to the demands of the Premier League and our gaffer claimed the winger “could be in contention for Saturday.”
Lloris got a much-needed break as Vorm played against Newport on Wednesday; so expect the former to come back into the starting XI on Saturday, totally energised.
Trippier is the first-choice right-back right now and is expected to start against the Gunners.
The game against Newport provided a fine platform for Pochettino to ease Alderweireld into the first-team, and the Belgian looked good. Given that he completed the game unscathed, the centre-back could be in for the massive task of stopping Arsenal attackers on Saturday.
Vertonghen has been a pillar of strength for Spurs and he will line up alongside his Belgian compatriot, Alderweireld.
Danny Rose played on Wednesday but he is expected to sit out against Arsenal as Ben Davies is the first choice for us.
Wanyama gives us extra steel in the midfield. The Kenyan will be tasked with shielding the back-four, thereby breaking up Arsenal attacks.
Eric Dier’s erratic performances lately could see him drop out of the starting line-up. Dembele could be the one to benefit from it on Saturday as Poch would hope for a belligerent and solid presence in the midfield.
There are no question marks over who will start on the left-wing. Son Heung-min has been brilliant for us this season and given the weight of the game, he’s a sure starter.
Alli will have the big task of linking up well with the midfielders and attackers. The 21-year-old has attracted unnecessary criticism in the last few weeks but let’s hope he comes good on Saturday.
Eriksen’s importance for Spurs is difficult to state as he is the one capable of making the team look more fluid and free-flow in the attack. A definite starter against Wenger’s boys.
Having reached the landmark 100 goals in the Premier League, Kane’s confidence would be sky high at the moment. He has the ability to rip the Arsenal defence apart, single-handedly. Beware, Gunners!