Interim Tottenham manager Tim Sherwood will be hoping to get his club’s season back on track this weekend when they travel south to play Southampton.
Both teams haven’t been in the best of form recently, although Southampton aren’t coming into this game on the back of a 5-0 defeat at home like their opponents. That defeat against Liverpool was the last straw for the Tottenham chairman and Andre Villas Boas was subsequently sacked as manager on Monday.
Saints manager Mauricio Pochettino will be hoping to exploit Tottenham’s situation and add to his side’s good record against bigger clubs at home with a win over Spurs on Sunday.
Mauricio Pochettino will be without a number of players for this match. Artur Boruc is out of action with a fractured hand and Victor Wanyama, Danny Fox and Kelvin Davis still have some time to wait before a return is likely. Nathaniel Clyne could return soon but it is unlikely he will feature this weekend.
The new Tottenham manager also has several injuries in his side. Younes Kaboul and Jan Vertonghen are still out for the foreseeable future and perhaps more worryingly for Spurs given this player’s contribution recently, Andros Townsend will also be unavailable after suffering a hamstring injury this week.
Eurosport have some interesting statistics for this game:
- Jay Rodriguez has scored Southampton’s first goal in each of their last four league games.
- The Saints conceded just five goals in their opening 11 league games but have conceded 10 in the five games since then.
- All of their goals this month have been scored by Rodriguez (3) and Dani Osvaldo (2).
- Tottenham have defeated Southampton on three of the last four times they have played each other in the league.
- None of Tottenham’s strikers have scored in the Premier League since October 27th.
- Only Arsenal have managed to pick up as many points in away games as Tottenham have so far this season (16).
Rodriguez has been enjoying a relative improvement in his performances recently, scoring three goals in the league so far this month. This has brought his total up to six goals for the season, so he is definitely improving. He has scored these goals from 15 shots on target. However, he has attempted 27 shots overall so he only has a shooting accuracy of 56%. His chance conversion rate is only 22% but his clear-cut chance rate is much better. He has scored four and missed only one clear-cut chance, giving him a conversion rate of 80%. The striker has also managed to create eight chances from open play for his team mates as well as getting an assist. When you include the assist, he creates a chance every 126 minutes. While his team mates will be grateful, this is by no means the best statistic in the league and is one he can improve. Given his form in front of goal recently, Tottenham’s troubled defence will have to pay close attention to Rodriguez.
Tottenham’s defence is an area which requires special attention from the manager if they are to stop conceding so many goals. Looking at the defenders currently available for selection, Kyle Walker is perhaps the most able to stop this from happening. The right back has attempted 33 tackles so far this season with a success rate of 78.79%, meaning he is making a tackle every 44 minutes. He has also intercepted the ball 44 times and made only one defensive error so far this season. These defensive statistics should give Spurs fans reason for optimism. Of course, Walker is also known for his ability to get forward and put the ball into attacking positions. Indeed, he has created 26 chances overall of which 20 were from open play. He also has an assist to his name. These statistics in particular already put him ahead of Jay Rodriguez in this area. If Walker can maintain this level of performance in defence, then it may go some way to preventing another Tottenham defeat this weekend.
Southampton haven’t been playing as well recently as they were earlier in the season but they have enjoyed good performances against the bigger clubs at home. We all know about Tottenham’s difficulties in front of goal and while they have the most away points in the league, they have been in disarray recently. I think this will all contribute to a 1-0 win for the Saints.