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Opinion: How could Ange Postecoglou line up with Tottenham for the first game of pre-season?

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Opinion: How could Ange Postecoglou line-up with Tottenham for the first game of pre-season?

The 2024/25 pre-season is officially underway. Players and coaches are reporting back to duty, as has been the case at Tottenham Hotspur as well.

Not all are on active duty from day one, of course. Many of Spurs’ South American and European players are either still involved in the Copa América or Euros, respectively, while their head coach Ange Postecoglou himself is on punditry duty on English TV for the latter.

Regardless, the season is underway. Players are active again not just on the training pitch but also in moving to different clubs. Spurs have had their own fair share of player arrivals and departures already, and many are soon to follow.

With players back at Hotspur Way, focus returns to club football as Spurs begin their pre-season in less than ten days against Scottish side Heart of Midlothian.

Here, we take a look at the tentative side we could see facing Hearts and what kind of setup they would be setting up.

In terms of setting up on the pitch, we can expect Postecoglou to go with a 4-2-3-1 setup from last season and build upon it, with the fullbacks taking turns in inverting during build-up, one of the two midfielders in the two sitting back with the other being a #6-#8 hybrid, and the attacking midfielder being the #8-#10 hybrid, with the wingers offering and maintaining width and the lone striker presence up top, occupying the opposition centre-backs and remaining mostly central.

Between the sticks, while Guglielmo Vicario is away recuperating from the Euros, we can expect academy graduate Brandon Austin to come in. Having recently re-signed with the club until 2029, the 25-year-old started Spurs’ one-off post-season game against Newcastle United at the end of last season Down Under, hinting at him being his gaffer’s second choice.

In the centre-back positions, expect 19-year-olds Alfie Dorrington and Ashley Phillips to deputise for the currently-away Micky van de Ven and Cristian Romero. Pedro Porro can be expected at right-back with Emerson Royal heavily linked with an exit, with Destiny Udogie being the preferred left-back, though expect Ben Davies to come off the bench to assume either of the left-sided centre-back or the left-fullback roles.

In the midfield, expect Oliver Skipp to be the sitting midfielder alongside Yves Bissouma, who would take up the #6-#8 hybrid in the defensive pivot and pair James Maddison in the midfield in going up front as an #8 in attack. The 18-year-old Archie Gray, arriving from Leeds United, can be expected to come off the bench and play either a defensive midfield role or play out wide as an inverting right-back.

Up front, Dane Scarlett, who spent last season on loan at Ipswich Town, can be expected to deputise for Richarlison if the Brazilian is not deemed fit, with Timo Werner and Dejan Kulusevski offering the width on the left and right, respectively. The young Brennan Johnson can come off the bench to take up a role on either flank.

More Tottenham Hotspur News:

Spurs’ first competitive fixture of the 2024/25 season is scheduled to be their Premier League opener away to the newly-promoted Leicester City—a Monday night affair.

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