The News from White Hart Lane Land appears to be that there is no news.
Transfers In? Nothing.
Transfers Out? Zilch. (Though rumour has it Tom Carroll is reportedly searching for property in the Mumbles)
New Injuries? None.
Sightings of Erik Lamela? None.
The facts regarding West Brom’s Groundhog Day ability to replay exactly the same game every time we come up against them have been much regurgitated this week – place your money on a 1-1 draw. The variation in this season’s meeting at the Hawthorns in October was that the Baggies took the lead and we equalised instead of the normal vice versa situation. We should’ve been well clear by the time all the action unfolded late in the second half, Dele Alli was our goal hero that day but could’ve put us well into kick-back-with-a-cigar mode before half time if he’d been wearing his recently rediscovered Adidas Clinical shooting boots.
As has also been much rehearsed, Albion aren’t all about tree trunks at the back and a big lump up front any more. In Matt Phillips, Chris Brunt and our very own recently departed Nacer Chadli they have the ability to break effectively and provide bullets for Salomon Rondon. Judging by their attitude in the recent games at Stamford Bridge and the Haemorrhoids this doesn’t mean that we’re going to be facing an onslaught in our own backyard, in both games Pulis set out his team in a ‘let’s see if you can get through our six at the back’ formation and in both matches the home team did, though the goals in the 1-0 defeats were late on.
They are without Jonny Evans but otherwise have no reported injury issues I believe and no-one in Gabon at the AFCON.
We can expect plenty of possession and what we do with it will be a measure of how much we’ve improved during the last few months. A big feature of the games against Palace, Sunderland and Leicester for starters was how much we had of the ball but were unable to do anything with it. In Pochettino’s press conference he talked about moving the ball around quickly to create openings and certainly in the early part of the season we seemed incapable of building an attack faster than the speed that the new North Stand is going up at.
Four at the back would be my guess though the recently successfully three in defence option seems to give us more width through Rose and Walker and will also mean that we can play all of Toby, Jan & Dier when we attempt to defend against the Baggies inevitable threat from corners and free-kicks. Maybe it’ll be three after all.
Alli will join Kane in what almost amounts to a front two these days with Wanyama and Dembele behind them. Eriksen makes eleven. So the same team as against Chelsea?
We shall see.
Anthony Taylor is down to referee. We’ve seen him just once so far this season, at the Britannia/Bet365 in September. Happy days.
Have something to tell us about this article?