Date: 29th September 2017 at 5:40pm
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Is this the dawning of the era of Sissoko!

Mauricio Pochettino believes that the previously considered donkey that is Moussa Sissoko has improved considerably to the point where we won’t be going for Ross Barkley in January! Sissoko was thought to be one of the worst signings since Paulinho and no one thought he was worth £30million. Sissoko has started only 13 matches in all competitions so far and we still await his first goal. He has just two assists in the Premier League but suddenly, with the future of Moussa looking fragile, Sissoko has a crucial part to play in the eyes of Poch. Has Poch seen something we haven’t or does he need Sissoko because he is running out of alternatives?

Moussa’s on-going foot and ankle problems have restricted him to only five starts this season, Wanyama hasn’t played since the 2-1 defeat by Chelsea on August 20 and while Harry Winks is back he has not yet regained the form he had before injuring an ankle at Burnley last April. Some say Sissoko, was impressive in the 3-2 win at West Ham last Saturday and one assumes, after Poch’s comments of Siss after the Apoel game, he is in the team for our game at the John Smith Stadium? Sissoko was signed to play wide on the right, but he had one of the best games of his career in the centre, when France were beaten by Portugal in the Euro 2016 Final. Though he isn’t Dembele, Sissoko’s strength and ability to travel box to box makes him dangerous in either zone – when in form! The arrival of Serge Aurier appears to have given him a lift, Sissoko spent a year playing with Aurier in Toulouse before he joined Newcastle in January 2013. Sissoko and Aurier combined effectively on several occasions last weekend which was an encouraging sign, especially if we are to break down teams this season, we will need that kind of power. Sissoko is not good out on the wing. Verts has said ‘Maybe he is used to playing more regularly on the wing than in the middle, but he has done better in the centre of the park.’ The injuries that we have sustained both short term and long term have shown just how thin we are in certain areas. Whilst Auriers suspension is not a major blow because we have Trippier for the Huddersfield game we don’t really have a like for like player for Dembele or Eriksen or indeed Dele Alli. Our back line is actually in better condition than our midfield in terms of depth so, with or without Sissoko, would passing up on Barklay be a good shout?

Statistically, in the 27 matches Spurs have played under Poch directly following a European tie, we have won just 12 times, drawn seven and lost eight. In percentage terms, that’s 44% wins, 26% draws and 30% losses. When directly compared with our domestic form over a period of 135 matches in the league and cup, in the same season as our European fixtures under Poch, we have won 56 times, drawn 23 and lost 21. That’s 56% wins, 23% draws and 21% losses. Based on those stats, matches played directly after a European game means we are 12% less likely to win and 10% more likely to lose. Statistically then this game with Huddersfield is in the balance! We all know how we played against Swansea after the Dortmund game! We will have to make sure that the boys are up for this one with no European hangover, like the ones that used to blight our post Europa League games. Yes, this game is going to be Towns biggest game of the season so far. Yes, it will be a chance for them to up their game and have a pop at one of the top clubs in the Prem. No, it’s not an excuse for us to have an off day! Huddersfield are better off against sides that come to play football especially under David Wagner. Wagner will know he is playing a very good team with a very good record against newly promoted sides. Getting six points from promoted teams is a habit for us we did it against Burnley, Middlesbrough and Hull last season, and Bournemouth, Norwich and Watford the year before. Given the high energy nature with which Town play under Wagner, it’s something that we may like cos it leaves space at the back.

These are the fixtures that Huddersfield have dreamt of all summer so you can bet they will play out of their skins. They haven’t faced us in 35 years which is why this game will feel more like an FA Cup round than a Premier League match as the Town fans will come in with no expectations except to see their team give it a right go. Town will have had a week to prepare for this game and will hope that two long haul flights will see a jaded Spurs team turn up. We have to make sure we don’t come out jaded and we must not pick up any more injuries because we have a really gruesome October to get through. I guess Demeble is being saved for the Real Madrid match so I don’t expect we`ll see him play against Bournemouth either!

Huddersfield town started off their first ever appearance in the Premiership with a loss to West Ham and then a credible away draw with Leicester and a draw away against Burnley. No doubt their fighting spirit comes from their manager who has performed miracles to get the club to be part of the PL. We meanwhile have failed to knock over Burnley and Swansea at Wembley but away our form is taking on a serious run. Huddersfield provides yet another team that, by rights, should be easily defeated. In fact, if a player like Dele Alli is out of nick then this match should be the ideal game to get himself back into form. Town will be marking Kane and Eriksen out of the game and it will be down to CB Schindler to keep him out, which may give Dele the space and time he needs to get on the score sheet. Verts is back so it will probably be Poch’s preferred formation of Sanchez Verts and Toby, Davies and Trippier on the flanks Dier in Front of the back line. However, although Winks played well on Tuesday Sissoko will probably play in the diamond that is Eriksen, Alli and Kane with Son coming on as the super-sub and Llorente on for Harry provided he has scored his hat-trick by the 75th minute! COYS!


72 Replies to “VS Preview: Huddersfield Town v Spurs”

  • Sissoko did play well in Cyprus, but our youngsters – Winks and KWP deserve and must get match time. They are possibly big names of the future, we do not want to lose.

  • Winks showed glimpses of having world class potential in Cyprus. His composure, ability to retain the ball in a tight spot, control, matureness and vision hinted at glimpses of Modric to me. One can only hope…

  • Winks will be a big player for us in the future, no doubt in my mind. Todays game is potentially a tough one, at the back they are pretty solid we will have to work hard to match them as well. Kane is on fire at the moment that I think will be the difference today, they won’t cope well with him..2-0 to the Lillywhites.

  • Sissoko, still is not worth 30quid let alone 30m. He’s not improving he is the Same old donkey.let hope he is gone in January. Must win game today.

  • Sissoko is clearly playing a lot better than last season, but that’s starting from a very low base. We clearly have a major ongoing problem with Dembele. Even if he gets back he’s not going to be able to play every game, it’ll be a bit like Ledley King’s last years with the club. So there is a spot there but no one is quite like Moussa. Sissoko has the power but not the temperament, Winks has the right attitude and plenty of ability but not the physique. Maybe the joker in the pack is Josh Onomah, we’ll see how he does at Villa. Maybe we bring in someone, but Dembele is a unique player so that won’t be easy. Or maybe we have to slightly adjust how we play because we can’t replicate what Dembele gives us.

  • It’s not ‘must win’ game but it is one we really want to win to keep in the current mix. There’s still 31 games to go.

  • spurticus …. I agree with you about Winks but isn’t there enough rubbish in the media about Kane being world class without starting them off on Winks too! 🙂

  • I’ve always said we need to start planning life without Dembele. Poor guy has had no luck with injuries and is a great miss. In his absence, need others, especially WInks to grab his chance before we dip in to the market for another CM. Yes, winks has great POTENTIAL and with more game time will improve.

    As for the game today, don’t know if Eriksen will be fit. If not, I’d like to see Kane + Llorente combo tried with son off the bench. The latter has gone back to being a bit part player of late. Sorry Geof, but I’ve got this down for a 3-1 to the mighty! COYS!

  • Critical …. I think Kane would be brilliant sitting just behind Llorente. He wouldn’t need to change his natural game and, apart from goals he might score, he could provide some assists to Llorente.

  • Agreed jod, dembele makes good players look poor, dembele glides Past players With ease. Geoff, when city and Chelsea are playing against each other then these games are a must win to keep touch.

  • Exactly Geof. Kane covers the most pitch in my view and plays a big role in AM area, often finding space to take a pop. Another thing I’d like to see tried against lower end teams is leaving a striker near half way line when defending so that we have an outlet and keep at least two of the opposition players at bay. Also, re Llorente, since Tripp is likely start, who better to provide those early crosses.

  • E17 …. To me the only ‘must win’ games are in knockout competitions or a game that clinches the league or avoids relegation. But I’m not arguing, just giving my thoughts, and I know what you mean. Winning makes life so much easier!

  • We still need more zip and creativity up front. Too much depends on Erickson and Alli being on form.
    I’m looking for Winks, Son and N’koudou to come on if things don’t work out – and NOT with just ten minutes to go!

  • That’s a valid point geoff, only reaso I say a must win, is because we need to win all games 3-0 now you have to agree with that. I mean you did predict the score on Tuesday lol.

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