Leicester City vs Tottenham Hotspur.
Firstly, excuse my potential rustiness of my writing, but Spursex, uncovered a few incriminating photos of me wearing an Arsenal shirt as a young lad, and has blackmailed me into writing a few articles or the pics hit Twitter! Mind you, it didn`t do Harry Kane any harm..
Have I become spoilt in feeling that unless I hear the Champions choir fill my ears, its just not quite the same feeling of midweek football, but a defeat tomorrow, could be very bad news for Mr Pochettino and our already declining title hopes, though in reality were they more a dream over reality anyway? I believe its still all about those top four spots and lets worry about silverware, as and if it happens.
Will Poch look at this game as a means to rest a few and make minor rotation? Perhaps returns for Aurier, Rose, Sissoko and maybe one or two more will be a nice opportunity to rest bodies leading up to the festive period, whilst I also think that getting minutes in the legs is a huge benefit to allow a player to hit the ground running as and when needed. Don`t get me started on those that criticise Llorente for not being sharp, when his chances have been so fleeting.
Main interest of course may well be the return of Erik Lamela, who may be seen in a Spurs shirt for the first time on 13 months. Sure his best hope is probably a place on the bench, but that for me increases competition and aides our creative options, which may well make the likes of Dele Alli up their games a little.
Its not lost on me that Spurs perhaps miss having one of Wanyama or Dier protecting the defence. Does that make us more vulnerable defensive? For me, Dier has been excellent at the back, but do we need that shield regardless of who and what formation we use? Dembele, Winks and Sissoko are all excellent, but does playing a deeper role truly suit them or the team? Not for me, Get well soon Victor!
Last season`s superb 6-1 away win for Spurs and the Harry Kane four goals, might have been one of those freak results, but we seem to do pretty well on our trips to Leicester. Three wins and a draw in our last three seasons is better than our home results. But has Claude Puel already confounded his doubters in a bright and positive start at the club, whilst also showing he is tactically brave and willing to switch things to counter a strong opposition.
The reality is that Spurs really have to start showing their best football on a more consistent basis and look at playing at a higher and sharper tempo. Can we beat teams that sit back or like to play on the counter? We may find out a little more as Vardy and Co and bound to want to test us with their sitting on our defenders shoulders and going one to one. Could this be a real test for Dier and Sanchez and their recovery in particular and could it also be a sensible pick to look to Aurier and Rose in the wide roles with their greater pace?
Anyway, Its good to be back (for now at least) and please be gentle with me on my return to writing….
Written by Oxfordspur