After a lengthy international break, we are just a day away from our weekly dose of Tottenham. The Lilywhites face the Canaries at White Hart Lane, eager to return to winning ways after our narrow loss at the Emirates. Norwich won their last game, at home to Southampton, and will be looking to continue their fine record away at White Hart Lane, having won and drawn here in the last 2 seasons. Below are the individual player battles that will most likely decide the affair.
Ricky Van Wolfswinkel v Michael Dawson and Jan Vertonghen
With the fitness of Younes Kaboul still needing to be built up, it is likely that Daws and Jan will retain their places in the heart of defence. With the recent performances of our English captain called into question, it is vital that he performs against Norwich – especially with RvW lurking. The Dutchman got off the mark at home to Everton and has already proved that he is a handful for the defence.
Roberto Soldado v Russell Martin and Sebastien Bassong
But we also have a potentially match-winning number 9 of our own in the ranks – our £26m Spaniard. He has already netted 2 league goals – admittedly, both from the penalty spot – and with the newly found service of Christian Eriksen and Erik Lamela should add to that total in the coming weeks.
Nathan Redmond v Kyle Walker
The 19 year-old Englishman scored a cracker at home to Southampton the other week and with our full-back being seriously under-fire after inhaling laughing gas and then performing poorly for England, this could be a crucial battle on Saturday. We all know that Walker has huge potential but he needs to start demonstrating it! Redmond will be a tricky challenge to cope with but Walker’s pace should be enough to see him through.
Christian Eriksen v Leroy Fer
Our new number 10 should take to the Lane’s turf for first time on Saturday, with the small task of solving our lack of creativity of the previous year. And the Great Dane will be up against his first defensive midfielder of the season – new Dutch signing Leroy Fer. He’s 6ft 2 and built like a complete unit – but will he be able to stand with the finesse and trickery of Eriksen? That is the question. Soldado needs some service, sooner rather than later.
I get the impression that until our new signings settle, we are going to have a few scrappy matches; Norwich could be another. We need to hope that Eriksen can bed straight in – we’re not going to be awarded a penalty in every game.
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