Match Preview, Everton vs Tottenham.

Match: Sunday 3rd November 2013. Kick off 1:30pm. Live on Sky Sports 1 from 12:30pm.

Premier League

An exciting game in prospect, two teams who are fighting to get top four, both having very good starts to the season. Last time out in the Premier League, we scraped past a very resilient Hull City side at White Hart Lane 1-0, an uninspiring performance to say the least, but another three points and clean sheet that sits us in fourth place with nine games gone. We then faced up against Hull again in Capital One Cup, drawing 2-2 after extra time, winning 8-7 on penalties, another poor performance, but it wasn’t our first team, although a strong team, there was 8 changes from the game against Hull in the PL. It’s a very different proposition on Sunday, Everton will be playing a totally different game to that of Hull, more expansive, so you can expect a more open game, hopefully this gives more space to our creative players, and gives Soldado some more chances up front. Away from home we’ve been impressive, hopefully we can continue our great results at Goodison, but it’ll be a very difficult game for sure.

Everton have extremely talented individual players, with the players coming together to create a team able to challenge for the top four. I think the Toffees lack depth in their squad so will find it difficult later on in the season when injuries could strike, but their team can challenge any other team in the top six. They have started the season on fire, being the only team that is unbeaten at home in the League, sitting in sixth place, level on points with fifth place Southampton, two points ahead of Manchester City in seventh and four points ahead of the Champions Manchester United. They sit only one point behind Spurs in fourth, so it’s going to be a very interesting game! Their main threat is no doubt Romelu Lukaku, the big Belgian has had a stunning start to his Everton loan period from Chelsea, scoring five goals in five apperances, it’s going to be a miracle if we can stop him. Other than Lukaku, Everton have former Spur Steven Pienaar, Kevin Mirallas and Leighton Baines to help provide creativity and goals. Very tough game indeed!

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We need big performances from the team on Sunday, defensively, it will be our biggest test away from home, so concentration levels have got to be as high as possible, no mistakes, otherwise we will get punished. Andros Townsend has been a big player for us this season, and we need him to be on top form again as he faces up against one of the best left backs in the League, Leighton Baines. A tasty battle between the two English team mates. Massive game for our creative force, including Townsend, they need to create more opportunities for Soldado who has been starved of service, so Eriksen or Holtby, whoever starts, needs to up their game! Aaron Lennon needs to use his pace and width to our advantage, and get to the byline and get crosses into the box, and that’s the same with Townsend, switching wings and making it difficult for the full backs is what I want to see. Moving the ball quickly is key in this game, we’ve been too slow so far this season, so getting the ball to our creative players more quickly on the counter is important. Our best player at this, in my opinion, is Capoue, he breaks up the play superbly and his passing is very good, he’s back from injury, and I’d like him to start this game. Danny Rose is still out with injury, so Vertonghen will be needed at left back, which is disappointing, but Jan is more than capable. Nacer Chadli, Zeki Fryers and Emmanuel Adebayor are also out of the game, with Kyle Naughton a doubt. Andros Townsend is fit after his heavy fall against Hull, and Younes Kaboul and Capoue are available, although Younes isn’t expected to play as he played 120 minutes in the Capital One Cup. Paulinho played 120 mins also against Hull, and looked absolutely shattered during the game, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see him rested.

Match Stats and Facts provided by FourFourTwo

– Everton have taken 28 points from their last 10 Premier League home games.

– Tottenham have won four games by one goal to nil in the Premier League this season, equalling their total from last season.

– Tottenham lost only two of their first 15 Premier League games at Goodison Park but have won none of the last six (D3 L3).

– Spurs last scored more than twice at Goodison Park in a league game back in August 1984 (W 4-1). They have played 28 games there since.

– Andros Townsend has had 22 shots from outside the box this season, only one fewer than Hull City have in total.

– Spurs have scored more penalties than any other side in the top-flight this season (3).

– No player has assisted more Premier League goals than Kevin Mirallas (4) this season.

– Tottenham have played more long passes than any Premier League side this season (557).

– Everton have made more last-man tackles (7) than any other side.

– Tottenham are yet to concede a goal to a non-London side in the Premier League this season.

My preferred team to face Everton at Goodison Park in the Premier League:
4-2-3-1
Lloris
Walker – Dawson – Chiriches – Vertonghen
Dembele – Capoue
Townsend – Holtby – Lennon
Soldado

A big game! You can follow my twitter, @AddictedtoSpurs, for updates during the game, videos of the goals, and pictures. Let’s get revenge on Halloween after our horror show last year against Everton. COYS!!

Andre Villas Boas ahead of our game with Everton:

Match Review, Arsenal vs Tottenham.

Arsenal 1-0 Tottenham.
Giroud 23′

Obviously a more than disappointing day. Losing to Arsenal is never, ever good. I think both teams played quite poorly. Sloppy with the ball, no cutting edge and if you were a neutral, not a very entertaining game. They took the lead through Giroud after some really poor defending from Dawson and Vertonghen. First half, we were really poor and they deserved to be leading. Second half, we tried to push for the equaliser and dominated most of the half, but we still couldn’t find that cutting pass to open up Soldado or Defoe for a clear cut chance. The creativity is needed, that man can be Eriksen. A late push and a lot of nerves didn’t push an equaliser, and we lost the battle.

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There were not really any players that stood out as being great, overall a poor and not an exciting performance. We really need to improve, but it’s really early days and the team need to settle in. Townsend was impressive first half, but was a little too greedy. Still our only real threat going forward. Dembele needs to up his game if he wants to keep his place, with the midfield prowess we have. Dawson looks out of his depth in the high line and I can’t wait for Kaboul to be back fully fit. Erik Lamela came on and showed his class already, getting a few shots away and on the ball he looked a threat. Exciting. We can’t dwell on this at all. We move on. It’s a long season. Our next game is against Norwich at the Lane on the 14th September. COYS!

My player ratings for today’s team that faced Arsenal:
Lloris – 9 Man of the Match
Walker – 5
Dawson – 4
Vertonghen – 7
Rose – 6
Townsend – 6
Capoue – 5
Paulinho – 7
Dembele – 4
Chadli – 5
Soldado – 6

Subs:
Defoe – N/A
Sandro – 6
Lamela – 6

Match Preview, Dinamo Tbilisi vs Tottenham. (First Leg)

Our Europa League campaign starts here. A trip to Georgia in the two legged tie to take us to the Group Stages. On paper, we should cruise into the Group Stages, but away from home, in what is expected to be a hostile environment, it could prove a difficult task. I wasn’t too happy about having to qualify after coming fifth, but it’s another game for the youngsters, and team building, so it has it’s positives, but it has a few negatives, as it is close to our game against Swansea on Sunday. I fully expect a weakened team though. Honestly, and I think this goes for most, I don’t know what Dinamo Tbilisi can offer in this game, but it’ll be interesting to see!

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Expecting a younger, and weaker team to face Tbilisi, but one certainly capable of a win against a supposedly weak team. We’ve got a lot of strength in depth, so I’m confident we can see off the challenge away from home, and finish off the tie at White Hart Lane. Etienne Capoue could get his first start for Spurs, and he’ll give us a lot of stability, and it’ll be great to see him play fully in a Spurs shirt, Sandro has a run for his money in the defensive midfield role, for sure! I wouldn’t expect Soldado to start, so Jermain Defoe should come in, or Harry Kane, who has been impressing for the Under 21’s. Solid Brad Friedel in goal is expected, with Lloris getting a rest on the bench. Younes Kaboul could get a start as he returns from an injury, which is a massive plus. Other youngsters I’d like to see get minutes are the extremely promising Tom Carroll and possibly the improving Shaq Coulthirst. Always nice to win, and it’ll be good for the youngsters to get some minutes with the first team. The game is being shown live on ITV 4, on Thursday, August 22nd, Kick Off at 5:00pm. COYS!

My predicted line up for the game in Georgia:
Friedel
Naughton – Dawson – Kaboul – Fryers
Townsend – Capoue – Carroll – Chadli
Sigurdsson
Defoe.

Choosing a line up is obviously very difficult in a game like this, any team could be picked!

Etienne Capoue, the French Tank.

Yet another signing in what has been a brilliant window so far. Etienne Capoue has joined Spurs from Toulouse in a reported £9 million deal and a 4 year contract. The 25 year old French international known as the ‘French Tank’ back in his homeland is a centre defensive midfielder, but can also dip into the centre back position when required.

Competion.

Etienne will have to work hard to gain a place in the first team, with the quality we have in this area, but he will give our starters a run for their money, and this is always good. Squad depth and competition for places is needed when you build a squad trying to challenge for top honours. Capoue plays in the same position as Sandro, and it is now a battle between them for the starting spot.

Needed?

Personally, I think Capoue was needed. With Huddlestone leaving to Hull, Livermore to Hull on loan, and Scott Parker looking to be out the door, there is a definite space for Capoue. He is a better player than those three, and a France international, so it is good business to offload them and bring in Etienne in my opinion. We already had a very strong competition for places in the midfield with Holtby, Sigurdsson and Carroll, but they are much more attacking players. We lacked a back up for Sandro, and I’m very glad we now have it.

Attributes.

Capoue is a tank. He is so strong, with and without the ball. He can sit in front of the defence and make key tackles and interceptions. He made more successful interceptions than Mousa Dembele, Frank Lampard and Tom Cleverley combined last year in France, which shows you how important he is defensively. He scored 7 goals last season for Toulouse, and for a defensive midfielder/centre back, this is very impressive. A definite threat from set pieces. Experts on the game in France say he was the best player in the league last year apart from PSG’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic, which is massive praise indeed. Also, the Toulouse president explained Capoue as the best player Toulouse have produced in 20 years.

Summary.

This signing could turn out as a shrewd move from Daniel Levy and AVB, as he is highly rated in France, and with the World Cup coming up for Capoue he will want to show what he can do, and be starting regularly. A hard task, but it seems as though he has the ability to really push Sandro, Paulinho and Dembele for their starting berth.

Another signing, and more to come. Looking good for the new season. COYS!

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