Match date and time: Sunday 9th February 2014. Kick off 1:30pm.
Competition: Premier League.
Venue: White Hart Lane.
TV: Live on Sky Sports 1 from 12:30.
After two difficult results against Manchester City and Hull City it’s crucial we bounce ourselves back into the top 5 in the Premier League. It’s a massive game, playing against a team only 1 point ahead of us we need to get a win and try to put a run together. At White Hart Lane we have to make our home advantage count against a well drilled, offensively talented Everton side who play very good free flowing football. It’s important that defensively we are solid and contain the Everton attack, but at home it should be about our attack and what we do with the ball, not them. That’s how we need to make it at the Lane. After what I’d call a sluggish performance against Hull City, we need to show more offensive guile and be much more clinical when we get our chances in front of goal, but also create more clear cut chances for our strikers, especially Adebayor, who needs to have more chances than he did against Hull City. After reverting to the 4-4-2 formation against Hull, I’d switch back to the 4-2-3-1 formation for this game. It’s going to be a difficult game for us, no doubt about that, but I think it’ll be an exciting one. Hopefully we can come out on top.
Everton have been brilliant this season, Roberto Martinez has come in and got the Toffees playing free flowing passing football which has got them results, crucially. The sit in 5th place, 1 point ahead of us so this game is very important for both teams. They went to Anfield 2 weeks ago and got spanked 4-0, so that will have taken some confidence out of the team, but also will spur them on to make sure a result like that is not repeated. They have already responded last week, beating Aston Villa at Goodison 2-1. The team news for Everton is that Gerard Deloufeu, Seamus Coleman and Lacina Traore return from injury and are in contention to start for the Blues on Sunday. Everton will be without defender Antolin Alcaraz through a muscle injury and striker Romelu Lukaku with an ankle injury. Everton have a lot of talented players, Kevin Mirallas has become a top player, scoring goals and being overall much more involved than last season, he will be key to them on Sunday. Also, full-backs Leighton Baines and Seamus Coleman love to bomb forward and our full-backs and wingers have to be on top form defensively and offensively to contain them.
The team news for Tottenham is that Erik Lamela (thigh/back), Vlad Chiriches (back) and Sandro (calf) are out of the game to face Everton sadly, it’s very unfortunate as all three are key players in my opinion. Back in contention are Andros Townsend, Mousa Dembele and the rest of the squad are all back and available to start, including Younes Kaboul, Jan Vertonghen and Paulinho. Team selection is becoming more and more difficult with key players returning from injury, it’s a great problem to have though. I like Nabil Bentaleb and believe he has a massive future ahead of him at Spurs, but when Paulinho and Dembele are available it’s quite simple, he doesn’t get a look in, yet. He hasn’t got the experience to compete with two internationals like Mousa and Paulinho. With Townsend back, we have a spot on the left hand side crying out for him, for his direct approach and offensive flair. Eriksen in the middle works better than on the left, and Townsend in my opinion is better on the left than the right hand side, so he can get crosses in and get balls into Adebayor, he could be a crucial player coming into the end of the season. In defence, with Vlad Chiriches out of the game, I’d pair Jan Vertonghen and Younes Kaboul, but I fully expect captain Michael Dawson to retain his place alongside Jan Vertonghen.
Match stats and facts provided by FourFourTwo
– Tottenham (288) and Everton (292) have lost more Barclays Premier League games than any other side.
– Everton have lost only two of their last 13 Barclays Premier League encounters with Tottenham.
– Spurs have had loss/loss results in their last five home defeats against top-six teams.
– Everton have won only one of their last five Barclays Premier League away games (D3 L1).
– The Lilywhites have won 12 times in the Premier League against Everton at White Hart Lane – only against Newcastle (also 12) have they won as many times at home in the competition.
– Spurs have had both teams scoring in their last three matches.
– Only two players have made more Premier League assists for Tottenham than Aaron Lennon (41) – Teddy Sheringham (44) and Darren Anderton (67).
– Everton are the most fouled side in the Premier League this season (315 times).
– Everton have conceded first in their last three away matches against top-six teams.
– The Toffees have conceded the most penalties in the Premier League this season (6).
– Tottenham have won four penalties this season in the Premier League, only Liverpool (5) have been awarded more.
– Spurs have had more goals in the second half in their last three home matches.
– Leighton Baines (0) has fewer Premier League assists than team-mate Tim Howard (1) this season.
– 12 of Tottenham’s 19 assists this season have been supplied by players signed last summer.
Massive game in which I’ll be attending, so I’ll update as much as possible from my twitter account @AddictedToSpurs, let’s get a win to put us back on track in the race for top four! COYS!!
My predicted/preferred team to face Everton at White Hart Lane:
Walker – Kaboul – Vertonghen – Rose
Paulinho – Dembele
Lennon – Eriksen – Townsend
Tim Sherwood’s pre match press conference: