Tottenham desperately need to find form despite the miniature injury crisis that they are going through when they host fellow Champions League-hopefuls Everton on Sunday afternoon. The Toffees are thankfully without Pienaar or Fellaini through suspension, but the Lilywhites could be missing Sandro, Kaboul, Bale, Lennon, Defoe and Gallas when they kick off at 2.05. Below are the player battles which could decide the result of the game.
Leon Osman v Scott Parker
The Everton midfielder has been in great form this campaign, even managing to earn a call-up from Roy Hodgson to the England squad despite age not being on his side. Parker has been inconsistent since his return from injury in December, but he will need to be at his best to stop the tricky Osman. His goal against Manchester City a couple of weeks ago was something to behold and just shows how we can’t afford him the space to shoot or work an opportunity.
Emmanuel Adebayor v Phil Jagielka and Sylvain Distin
This is the type of player battle that makes your heart sink as a Spurs fan, yet without the natural width of Aaron Lennon and to a lesser extent Gareth Bale, the Togolese striker will need to hold the ball up and feed Gylfi Sigurdsson and Lewis Holtby. Spurs aren’t able to rely on Gareth Bale to create opportunities on this occasion; Adebayor needs to make sure he can effectively interchange with our substitute attacking midfielders.
Seamus Coleman v Lewis Holtby
Young full-back Seamus Coleman has shown his attacking potency on a number of occasions this season, and it will require a certain amount of discipline from our left sided attacking midfielder to restrain his influence on the game. I assume that this player will be Holtby. He will need to help cut off the supply into Jelavic or Anichebe, both of whom are capable of getting a goal. The young German should be suited to this role; he is an extremely hard working player and will be committed and determined to stopping any Everton attacks down our left flank.
Gylfi Sigurdsson v Leighton Baines
The Icelandic former-Swan has been gradually finding his feet in the Premier League this season and is arguably now our most in-form player. He always looks as if he has a goal in him and he also has very accurate crossing ability into Adebayor or Dempsey (if either of them can be bothered to get into the box). Everton’s English left-back will have to be on guard because Gylfi isn’t afraid of shooting from outside the box; indeed, he very nearly scored in such a fashion in the return match at Goodison Park.
We’ll just have to see how an injury-hit Spurs can do. Let’s hope the fans at the Lane get behind the team and encourage a great performance. COYS!
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