Preview: Spurs v Southampton
That's it...season is over we are sunk without our Harry - Apparently!
The Punters on TV and the papers can't hide their pleasure in stating Spurs are a busted flush this season now Harry is out until the end of April. We will go into 'Free Fall' it`s all over for Spurs!
Spurs have taken a Premier League-high 38 points at home this season, winning 14 and drawing two. We have conceded fewer home goals (seven) than any other Premier League team, while creating the most scoring chances (212). Away our overall record has improved since last season. Our clean sheet ratio (44%) has jumped by 10%, and our organisation is evident through being forced into nine fewer defensive actions per game (41). Spurs average more than two goals per league game this season with Harry that goes down to 1.2 when he was out for the ten weeks at the beginning of the season. No one takes into account that our back line has changed 3 times this season and yet we have still maintained the best defensive record in the Prem at home. Pochettino makes the valid point that one of the best performances by any side this season came during that period when Kane was out and Son led the line in the 2-0 defeat of Manchester City. 'My job is to select only 11 players, but I was always happy with Sonny,' said Pochettino. 'He can play like a striker. One of our best performances was against City here and he was the striker when Harry was injured. We have different opportunities to play, use different formations. I'm sad about the Harry injury, but now it's about trying to find a solution and seeing who is the best to replace him.' During Harry's ten-game injury absence from mid-September to early November 2016 we lost just twice in all competitions we remained unbeaten in the Prem beating Manchester City 2-0 along the way.
We can argue about the rights and wrongs of playing Harry for a game against Millwall and, in hindsight, he wasn't really needed and that injury could have been avoided. But it is what it is, so now we have to face a tough defensive team in Southampton without the best striker in the Premiership. Someone who can score 19 goals from 22 Premier League appearances this season is going to be missed but as Poch says, 'We have enough players to try to replace him and win games. It won't be an excuse if we don't win games or achieve our aims because Kane isn't in the team.'
Son has had 23 games this season Janssen just 19. Son has 1,260 minutes under his belt whilst Janssen has just 663 minutes. Son's shot accuracy is just 52% whilst Janssen is 44%. Son's take on is just 45.00% whilst Janssen's is just 16.00 %. Even without Harry Spurs share the most number of points gained from losing positions with Pool with 14 points taken by each team through comebacks.
Southampton too are missing their main striker, Charlie Austin faces a battle to get back into the Saints team. Austin is still the club's top scorer this season with nine goals in all competitions, despite having not played since he dislocated his shoulder against Hapoel Be'er Sheva in December. He had to have surgery for that one leaving him with an extended period of rehab and recovery to get through. We all know that Saints are the last team to inflict a home defeat on us which was back in May last year. It was Ronald Koeman's men then that beat us 2-1 in the penultimate game of our season with two Steven Davis goals which led to Saints making their highest finish in 6th-place.
Saints think the odds have been evened out because Harry is not in the side which begs the question why everyone thinks we are a one-man team? Everyone is saying that our attack has been weakened through Kane's absence and the Saints think they will be catching us just at the right time. There is no doubt that Saints have found some momentum. Claude Puel's men are on a roll after back-to-back away league wins - in which they have scored four on both occasions. Last time out Saints defeated Watford 4-3 in a blinder of a game at Vicarage Road and prior to that they won 4-0 at Sunderland. While we have to make-do without our top marksman, Saints won't have that issue because their latest goal machine, Manolo Gabbiadini, will turn up at the Lane having netted six goals in his first four Saints appearances. However, whilst we may be missing our goal machine at the front, our defence remains the same and with all due respect to Watford and Sunderland we will be a bit of a tougher test for Gabbiadini. Since the change back to the 4-2-3-1 formation at Sunderland, Saints have netted ten goals in three games, with Gabbiadini, Dusan Tadic, Nathan Redmond and James Ward-Prowse forming a formidable attack. That offensive spearhead will be hoping to make it an unlucky 13 for Spurs cos we have won 12 games in a row at the Lane. Cedric Soares knows the organisation of Spurs is formidable but insists Southampton are in confident mood ahead of their 'very difficult' away fixture. Dembele has an ankle injury and is rated at 75 per cent to be fit for this one so Winks may get the call. But Winksy could be in the midfield even if Dembele is fit putting Son up front as striker. Southampton must do without Alex McCarthy, Virgil van Dijk, Matt Targett, Jeremy Pied and Charlie Austin, while Jake Hesketh is a minor doubt.
We owe it to ourselves to get back into the CL. After watching Leicester's performance you have to ask the question; why couldn't we do that? We have the chance to continue our winning streak. Southampton won't be easy but we need to keep winning until Danny and Harry are back so we can finish the job in April.