Roberto Martinez, manager of Everton gestures during the Capital One Cup second round match between Barnsley and Everton at Oakwell Stadium on August 26, 2015 in Barnsley.
Despite matters off the field continuing to steal the headlines, Roberto Martinez will be quietly confident that his side are heading in the right direction once again after last season’s disappointment
Victory over Southampton proved the quality in the side, and despite suffering their first defeat of the season last time out against Manchester City, Martinez certainly has plenty to be feeling optimistic about as he prepares to take his team to North London.
Everton matched City for long spells but the title contenders clinched all three points with a clinical attacking display, and the result was quickly forgotten when the Toffees returned to action in a dramatic League Cup clash with Barnsley in midweek. It was far from the perfect display, but Martinez’s side showed impressive resilience by coming from behind twice to win 5-3 in extra time.
Adding to the squad is a possibility in the final days of the transfer window, but the real challenge for the club is to follow through with their claims that John Stones will not be sold to Chelsea, despite the defender handing in a transfer request.
The speculation has not yet affected the 21-year-old’s form and Martinez will be fully aware how crucial he will be to his side’s hopes this season, and more rumours will be unavoidable as he looks for a second win of the season on the road.
Recent form: DWL
Recent form (all competitions): DWLW
Mauricio Pochettino manager of Tottenham Hotspur looks on during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford on August 8th.
Despite reports picking up pace in the closing stages of the transfer window, Spurs are unlikely to have any new signings in place for Saturday’s game and Pochettino will once again be without Christian Eriksen, who is battling a knee injury.
Alli’s stock continues to rise after coming off the bench to score against Leicester and he could be rewarded with his first start as a replacement for Erik Lamela, but Mousa Dembele and Nacer Chadli could keep their places in an attacking trio behind Kane.
Martinez decided against leaving out most of his key men against Barnsley on Wednesday night, but Tim Howard, James McCarthy and Ross Barkley are among the players expected to earn recalls.
Gerard Deulofeu, who signed for the club earlier this summer after his impressive loan in the 2013-14 campaign, has fully recovered from the hamstring injury that kept him out at the start of the season and his fine display as a substitute in the League Cup win could see him start at White Hart Lane.
Spurs possible starting lineup:
Lloris, Walker, Vertonghen, Alderweireld, Rose, Dier, Mason, Alli, Chadli, Dembele, Kane
Everton possible starting lineup:
Howard, Coleman, Stones, Jagielka, Galloway, McCarthy, Barry, Barkley, Deulofeu, Cleverley, Lukaku
Head To Head
Spurs were victorious in the most recent meeting between the two sides thanks to Kane, who scored the winner in a 1-0 victory on the final day of last season at Goodison Park.
The result completed a league double for Pochettino’s side following their 2-1 triumph in the reverse fixture last November.
Three successive wins against the Toffees mean that Spurs head into the game unbeaten in the last five meetings, and Everton are searching for their first win over the North Londoners since Nikica Jelavic netted a stoppage-time winner in a 2-1 win in December 2012.
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