A quick chance to get back in the saddle after being rudely and roughly thrown on Sunday. Continuing the horsey theme, the obstacle of Brighton at home is one we should be able to hurdle with comfort as we look to reach the League Cup quarter finals, but ours is a steed that one is starting to look at with doubt rather than confidence, or I am anyway.
The insipid way we collapsed after half time against Newcastle was in contrast to the good win against Asteras Tripolis, probably a better team than the barcodes, but was hot on the heels of some woeful defending at Man City. Kaboul’s revival appears short-lived (the draw at Woolwich says as much about the Arse as it does us given their performances and results since), Vertonghen remains annoyingly mercurial and Dier’s lack of speed is being exposed regularly. The fact that Rose is escaping criticism despite his persistent poor crossing and average defending says it all. We have no pace in midfield and, Kane and Eriksen apart, an almost total lack of goal threat.
I’m making it sound like we shouldn’t bother turning up of course which is ridiculous but I did find the performance on Sunday particularly depressing.
Brighton are 21st in the Championship with only 2 wins from 14. They have though drawn an amazing 6 of their last 7 league games suggesting that they have a certain stubbornness about them. Being backed by 4,000 travelling fans will no doubt increase this fortitude. It’s a big day for them (he says patronisingly).
Their leading scorer is a defender, Lewis Dunk, suggesting that Federico Fazio needs to be alert at set pieces. The big lad should start I guess along with Dembele, Townsend, Lennon, Davies, Vorm and Kane. Naughton is rumoured to be fit and ready to play. Capoue deserves a night off as does Mason but who will play alongside Dembele if neither of these two starts I don’t know. Bentaleb is injured I think and Stambouli has disappeared. Paulinho? Lamela, Soldado and Chadli will be used to fill the remainder of the places.
Note – my team prediction this time last week was woeful so don’t take any notice of what I say.
Pochettino will be pondering changes up front I’m sure. A good performance from someone here will make them hard to ignore at the weekend, especially if it’s from Kane.
We should win and the potential rewards, ie a kind draw, are there with Bournemouth, Sheffield United and Derby still in the competition. COYS.
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