Key Player Battles: Tottenham v Swansea

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After a scrappy away win and clean sheet at newly-promoted Crystal Palace, Spurs’ opponents are Swansea in their first home game of the new campaign. Despite the elephant in the room that is Gareth Bale, Tottenham have looked unaffected by the ongoing saga, romping to a comfortable midweek victory in Tbilisi. New signings Roberto Soldado, Nacer Chadli, Paulinho and Etienne Capoue will make their competitive home debuts for the Lilywhites.

Swansea have started their season poorly, suffering a 4-1 home defeat to champions Manchester United, but have displayed promising form in the early rounds of the Europa League. Players such as Michu, Wilfried Bony and Pablo Hernandez all have the capability to trouble the Spurs defence; below are the key players battles for tomorrow’s encounter.

Roberto Soldado v Chico Flores and Ashley Williams

Huge things are expected of Tottenham’s new £26m striker this year, and with 4 goals in 3 appearances thus far, he looks like he will be an excellent acquisition for AVB. His movement, agility and business in leading the line will prove a challenge for any centre-back partnership and the Swansea pair are the first to take to the Lane to try to stop the Spaniard. Soldado is a true poacher; he is always looking for that half a yard to work a shooting opportunity, and is usually clinical when he finds it.

Michu and Wilfried Bony v Michael Dawson and Jan Vertonghen

But Tottenham aren’t the only side with a star striker on display. The Welsh side’s acquisition of Wilfried Bony from Vitesse already looks like a prudent piece of business and Daws and Jan will need to be ever alert to stop him. With bargain-signing of 2012 Michu just behind Bony, this Swansea side certainly possess goals and defensive midfielder Etienne ‘Beast MkII’ Capoue will need to help out his defence.

Nacer Chadli v Angel Rangel

In his 2 starts for Tottenham, Belgian Chadli has been positioned on the left, but his intent to cut inside and get a shot away with his right foot has been evident. Swansea’s Spanish right-back Rangel will need to be aware that Chadli’s shooting ability is thus that if he ever lets the Belgian make room for himself, it could be costly for his team.

It is a home game that Spurs will hope and expect to win, but Swansea are no slouches and will provide tough opposition at the Lane; keeping Michu and Bony quiet and providing Soldado with the necessary service will be pivotal in the outcome of the match.

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