Thanks to Wednesday’s performance and result it is with a spring in our step that we approach this Saturday’s meeting with Burnley at White Hart Lane. The backs to the wall win at the Liberty last weekend was boost enough to the spirits but the emphatic nature of the way we made it through to a winnable semi final will, as I say, have given everyone at the club – as well as the supporters – some reassurance that things are going to plan.
Talking of morale, Burnley will be feeling that life in the Premiership isn’t so bad after all given their most recent result, a 1-0 win over the currently hapless Southampton. They’ve had three wins in their last six league games and now sit 17th in the table, one point clear of the bottom three.
The Clarets will be daft to come at us in the same way Newcastle did on Wednesday, the away team’s commitment then gave us space in front and behind their back four, something we struggle to create by ourselves, mostly due to our lack of pace and width, especially at home. On the right hand side this problem is largely addressed by the return of Kyle Walker. We’ve missed him. On the left, we have more of an issue, one compounded by the insistence of Pochettino on playing wide men on their ‘wrong’ foot – at least on the right now Walker has the speed to take advantage of the space created when Lamela/Townsend etc stumble inside.
The coach will perhaps be contemplating a change up front. Soldado was anonymous last week and the time may have come for Eriksen to move inside and support Kane instead of the latter behind the Spaniard. It’s a risky one as Kane is at his best facing goal but it’s probably worth it given the confidence that (the right-footed obviously) Chadli is playing with on the left.
Mason should return alongside Bentaleb in the centre, though as the latter played during the week he’s unlikely to last the game.
Burnley are hardworking of course, just like everyone is these days, and in Danny Ings have a threat that our less than nimble footed centre back pairing won’t look forward to facing. We have enough about to us to ensure that isn’t an issue though hopefully and all being well should be able to snaffle the points and head to Leicester next Friday with enough momentum to get the likes of Southampton and West Ham worried.
Mike Jones is the latest referee to have to cast an eye over what Erik Lamela thinks is tackling – the way he’s going it’s only a matter of time before his quiff gets first use of the shower.