Tottenham will be looking to recapture the form they had at the start of the season when they welcome Southampton to White Hart Lane on Sunday afternoon.
It will be the first time Mauricio Pochettino has faced the Saints as manager since leaving the club for North London during the summer. However, while the decision seemed the obvious decision to make amid the purging of Southampton’s squad, Pochettino’s Spurs now find themselves five points behind his old team who are in second place.
For Southampton, this is their chance to get one over on their old manager who felt he could not take them any further and for Ronald Koeman, it is an opportunity to show the club’s fans that he was the right man to replace his predecessor.
Tottenham played during the week in the Europa League, albeit with a heavily changed team, and so could find it difficult to beat this high flying Southampton side.
Etienne Capoue and Danny Rose are both suffering with knocks but both could return from injury in time to at least play some part against Southampton. Kyle Walker is the only player who will definitely miss this weekend’s game.
Florin Gardos could be in line to make his return for Southampton this weekend but it will be too soon for the trio of Maya Yoshida, Sam Gallagher and Lloyd Isgrove. Jay Rodriguez and James Ward-Prowse are the Saints’ only other long term injuries.
- The last time these two sides met at White Hart Lane in the league, Tottenham emerged victorious in an entertaining 3-2 win.
- Spurs have won all four league games between the two sides since Southampton returned to the Premier League.
- Of the eight league goals scored by Tottenham so far this season, Emmanuel Adebayor has been the only striker to contribute with just one goal.
- Southampton have won their last four league games – this is the first time since 2001 that they have managed to do so.
- They have conceded just four goals in the league, less than any other side.
- This has been their best start to a season since 1983-84. They finished second that year.
Tottenham Hotspur – Nacer Chadli
Chadli has looked like a different player this season. In just five league appearances he has managed to score four goals. This is in contrast with the one goal he managed to score in 25 appearances last season. According to Squawka.com he has averaged a 55% shooting accuracy so far, hitting the target with six of his 11 attempted shots. He has also managed to create five chances for his team mates, although none of these have resulted in assists for him as yet. His passing has been very good in the games he has played and when you look at this statistic in detail, you see that he has so far managed to achieve an 85% success rate. The only thing the Belgian has not been great at has been the duels he has been involved in. He has managed to successfully tackle three opponents from five attempts, but overall has only managed to win 32% of his duels. However, he has perhaps been Tottenham’s most dangerous player and Koeman will have suitably plan for this on Sunday.
Southampton – Graziano Pelle
While Pelle may not have reached the heights of Diego Costa, he has undoubtedly been one of the best strikers bought during the transfer window. In six appearances for Southampton, the Italian has scored four goals from 19 shots at goal. According to Squawka.com he has managed to get nine of these on target, meaning that he has a 47% shooting accuracy so far. He has also contributed in the creativity department by making 10 chances for his team mates, although only one of these has actually resulted in an assist. Compared to his counterpart at Tottenham, he has an inferior passing accuracy of just 65% but has managed to win more of his duels than Chadli (44% of them to be exact). He has always managed to get himself into dangerous positions as far as opposing defenders are concerned and when you consider how Tottenham have played so far this season, this could be a problem on Sunday if they do not prepare properly.
Erik Lamela has shown why Tottenham missed him last season by creating 10 chances and making three assists in his six league appearances so far. If you think he can get another assist against Southampton on Sunday, why not head over to Tailorbet and put some money on him to do so at odds of 3.78? You can make the bet here.
It is an interesting game due to the fact that Pochettino will be coming up against his former Southampton players for the first time. Put this together with the fact that the Saints have played better than the North London side and we could have an exciting game on our hands. I don’t think Spurs will lose a third league game at home in a row but I still think they will be able pick up a point against Southampton after a 1-1 draw.