Date: 21st November 2018 at 7:30am
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It was a successful November international break in many ways for Tottenham Hotspur, Harry Kane helped England to victory over Croatia and some small measure of revenge whilst Juan Foyth picked up his maiden Argentina cap…this is what many were waiting for though, Saturday evening and Spurs v Chelsea.

We welcome Maurizio Sarri’s third-placed side to Wembley for a 5.30pm kickoff and there is only a point separating both sides with 12 games played in the 2018/19 Premier League campaign, so as ever, it’s all to play for.

Form-wise, they come into the game with three wins and two draws, whilst we boast four wins and one defeat but their injury situation is more positive than our own as we continue to have Kieran Trippier, Davinson Sanchez, Mousa Dembele, Danny Rose, Jan Vertonghen and Vincent Jansson (remember him) listed as being out injured by physioroom.

However, I’m not aware (unless I’ve missed something) of any additional issues from the recent internationals and I believe both facial injuries picked up by Foyth and Erik Lamela recently continue to not keep them out of contention.

So, subject to manager Mauricio Pochettino’s usual tinkering, it’s pretty much as we were before for this one.

 

114 Replies to “Real Football Returns As We Host The Pensioners This Weekend – Match Thread”

  • Thank you for this match thread, Danny.

    Looking at your last sentence about “Pochettino’s usual tinkering”, got me thinking again about our injuries and disruptions to our team this season. And I think that we are doing rather well when we look at all the changes from match to match and just over the course of 12 matches. And, more out of necessity than choice.

    Looking at the squad but specifically at the players that most supporters would probably prefer and/or expect to see as regular 1st team starters in the PL, Here are 5 of them. And let’s see how many of the 12 PL matches they have all started in:

    Hugo Lloris, 8 starts.
    Jan Vertonghen, 7 starts.
    Danny Rose, 5 starts.
    Christian Eriksen, 6 starts.
    Mousa Dembele, 7 starts.

    Now 3 players that we would also have looked to as regular starters and options from recent seasons:

    Son, 3 starts.
    Lamela, 4 starts
    Wanyama, 1 start.

    Only 2 players have started in all 12 PL matches. (TWO!). That is Harry Kane and Lucas Moura. Harry’s appearances were of course to be expected as long as he was fit but, I doubt that Lucas’s number was to be foreseen. Toby and Kieran have started 11, which is also not a surprise. And, our good friend Sissoko has started in 6 PL matches, which I’m certain HAS surprised most Spurs fans. Many of whom would not have even wanted to see him on the bench.

    There are only two players that have featured but have not started any games. That is Llorente and Amos, both used as subs for next to no minutes.

    Is it any surprise that we have yet to see the team play at its most impressive best? Is it not surprising that we are doing so well?

    Chelsea by contrast have apparently only utilised 14 players as PL starters this season. Which begs the cheeky questions; “Why, with all of their great talent and financial resources, do they not rotate more often than they do? And, “How is it that they are just one measley point and place above us, given such continuity, when compared to Spurs?

    Anyway, as long as we beat them (any ol’ how) and rise above them, who cares?

    THFC 3-1 CFC!

  • Sorry… How could I forget Dele Alli? He should also be in that first list. He has only started 5 PL matches this season and been used as a sub twice…

  • As HT said thanks for the match thread Danny.

    HT….your post through forced rotation shows our squad isn’t as bad as others say, non, so-called, first choice player’s are standing up and being counted.

    I am also with you on your score forecast for Saturday evening, but just hoping our defence really comes into its own and does not concede, so a Geofspurs forecast. COYS

  • I’ve said it before and I’m sure someone could pull out the stats to prove me wrong, but I feel we seem to recover better than most other teams after International breaks. Maybe because the lads are more of a “team ” than the likes of Manure. I’m going for a 5-2 victory to the Lilliwhites.

    Lloris
    Aurier, Alderweireld, Foyth, Davies
    Winks, Dier
    Eriksen, Dele, Son
    Kane

    Son (2)
    Kane (1)
    Dele (1)

    Late consolations for Hazard and Willian with Lamela rounding things off for us with a fifth from the bench

  • Yet again I will be at Wembley Stadium for this game,and enjoying the facilities.. LOL… We will need the same resolve as in the last game we played them, a repeat of Dele’s brilliant goal would be welcome , and our defense / MF to be strong again. So usual 1st team starters and sissoko (what am I saying?) but to be fair he has shown a good improvement last few games. Score 2-1 spurs. COYS

  • Geofspurs….me thinks I got your forecast right in my last post, great minds lol!

    This game will not be easy, nah! what am I saying, a great win in the making as we hit our stride, Sissoko to tear em apart, think I will have a lay down. COYS

  • A hard game, Sarri has got them playing. We will struggle if they score first. If he plays we may get to see what we missed with Ross Barkley now looking a very cheap £15M player.

  • We need to play a strong midfield for this bad boy. They have some really good players.

    If Toby and Foyth are our CB’s then they will need some cover from our midfield.

  • Our Argentina players, Lamela and Gazza will probably not be ready for this match. Having played in Argentina early on Wednesday morning. Kick-off was Tuesday at midnight, UK time. (Foyth as well, even though he was an unused sub)…

    I’m assuming that they will only just have returned, ready for training by tomorrow. ………

    And, it is of course, yet another busy and exciting week for Spurs with 3 more crucial top-notch matches. Chelsea on Saturday, followed by Inter in the CL (must-win) match on Wednesday and then back to the PL for Arsenal on the Sunday…

    So, Pochettino has his work cut out again for a difficult but careful and astute balancing act with his squad and team choices. I’m certain he’s up to the task. I’m sure the players will also all be up for it too.

    This is what Lucas Moura had to say about the week ahead, as seen on the THFC website:

    “Brilliant, brilliant games and an amazing week,”

    “These are all huge matches – Premier League, Champions League – and I can’t wait for these games. We want to win. We need to win. We still believe in the Champions League.

    “We’re working so hard, we’re near the top in the Premier League and it’s not easy, every game is so tough, every game is a test…

    (I do like his enthusiasm and high-spirited attitude to it all).

    …“It’s a dream to play these games and as I always say, I am privileged.”

    All the best Lucas, Poch, Jesus, Harry, Hugo, Harry and all…

    Up, up, home and away… COYS!

  • The Argentinian players are only due to return Friday and should not be in contention for the Chelsea match. This, added to our injury list, will mean that the squad will be very thin.

    I am guessing Eric Dier will play CB for this one, given Jan and Sanchez’ injuries, and Foyth’s unavailability. The back 4 picks itself.

    In midfield, I am guessing Winks and Wanyama, with Ailli, Eriksen, Moura and Son all vying to play in attacking roles.

  • HT- I wouldn’t read too much in our “rotation” this year – a lot of it has been dictated by injuries. They are part of the game, but we’ve been hit particularly hard.

    I believe that had our best 11 been systematically available, players like Jan, Lloris, Mousa, Eriksen, and Alli would have featured far more.

    It’s quite different to rotate because of all the amazing squad options you have on the bench, or rotate out of necessity because you’re struggling to put together a fit match day squad…

    For the Chelsea match, I expect new faces and an original lineup, but mostly because we’re forced into it, not because that’s the best team we could have lined up, had everyone been available.

    This being said, this is the sort of game which should be seen as an opportunity for young players like Skipp or KWP. If they come in and impress, that will be important for their future. It’s also a hard thing to be thrown in at the deep end.

  • BS …. I don’t think it matters whether we rotate by choice or are forced to because of injuries. The fact is that we have been rotating players since the start of the season and we’re still getting results. I don’t know what our ‘best eleven’ is but, whatever it is, I doubt that they will play together for a string of games unless we drop out of some competitions. I guess it’s lucky we have such a deep and useful squad.

  • This game is not really the time for untried (PL game) teenage players. The argentina players can sleep on the plane to alleviate jet lag, It worked for me years ago on a few red eye from flights from NYC… So expect a back Lloris, a 4 man defense Toby Sanchez / Dier Davies Aurier and sissoko winks DMF Dele Ericsson Moura AMF Harry ST

  • “HT- I wouldn’t read too much in our “rotation” this year – a lot of it has been dictated by injuries.”

    I obviously realise that, BS. And it was the whole point of my opening post. I was highlighting how impressive our PL season has been so far imo, given all of our players injures and the necessary changes MP has had to make…

    You then go on to say that for the Chelsea match you “expect new faces and an original lineup”. And that: “This is the sort of game which should be seen as an opportunity for young players like Skipp or KWP.

    New faces? Original lineup? Did we buy some new guys during the break? Is that allowed outside of the TW?

    In fact we have a a bunch of very familiar players to call upon in spite of injuries and the Argentina players probable absence. For example:

    Here’s a possible line-up:

    I’d call it similar to Parklaneyiddo except for Jan coming back in for Foyth and with perhaps Lucas and not Son. Even though Son didn’t travel and play for S Korea for a change. But, it could be that Eriksen may need resting with Inter in mind. Nevertheless our options up front are still good ones.

    I picked Jan because he has been training all week. But if not, then maybe Dier with Toby and with Wanyama alongside Winks… Or Sissoko!

    Whoever plays, I still believe we are strong enough to conquer Chelsea on the day.

  • “New faces? Original lineup? Did we buy some new guys during the break? Is that allowed outside of the TW?”

    I as referring to the possible need to pick from our academy to make the numbers. Apparently Jan is in contention which is a hugely welcome development, but even so, we are still hit hard with injuries and may struggle to fill the bench with senior players only.

    And given that academy players have found senior minutes hard to come by recently, I’d say they are “new faces”.

  • Oh well… Another failed attempt at humour on my part…

    I was also just saying that imo, I think you are wrong with your suggestion. And I really don’t think MP will start experimenting in a PL Chelsea match, unnecessarily so. We have very good options in spite of the missing ones. All from a squad that really has been proving itself worthy and pretty strong, so far this season

    But, if Poch was to play KWP and not Davies or Aurier. And if Skipp started ahead of Winks, Dier, Wanyama or Sissoko, I’d be surprised. But, you never know… Poch Knows! I hope…

  • Geof – ” I don’t think it matters whether we rotate by choice or are forced to because of injuries. The fact is that we have been rotating players since the start of the season and we’re still getting results.”

    Getting results is what matters so indeed, it’s a positive that we are getting them despite the rotation.

    However, I still think it’s important to differentiate. We have been getting results in spite of forced rotation (and sometimes, we have really struggled to get them), not because we have been spoiled for choice, or because said rotation has given us a better chance to win.

    Presenting the situation as you did would imply that our squad is good enough as it is and doesn’t need to be strengthened. We have done very well to grind out results, but I am a bit more skeptical than you are that this is a sustainable way of getting results.

    I am still reluctant to trust players like Sissoko for example, just because he’s had a few good games recently. Over his Spurs career he’s still a hugely erratic player and he’ll need to do a lot more, for a lot longer, before he can be considered a reliable squad member in my opinion.

    Just concluding that the recent rotation hasn’t hindered results only tells part of the story for me. I think it’s easy for all to see that we lack fluency and that we are currently not playing the type of football that this team is capable of playing when we are at our best.

  • If Eric Dier is playing center back against Chelsea then probably as much chance of us getting a clean sheet as at a Albanian brothel. With all our injuries a draw wouldn’t be a bad result. I see us beating the scum next week and probably inter aswell so if we don’t lose to the Chelsea scum that would be an excellent weeks work. Big week for our season I won’t be sitting down to watch any of these games

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