Tottenham returned to winning ways in devastating fashion and they will be looking to maintain their positive momentum with another victory against Brighton on Wednesday. A lot of their rivals dropped points over the weekend and that has opened up an opportunity for Spurs to climb the table, but they must go on a winning run to establish themselves in the top four. However, the Seagulls won’t go down without a fight as they will be determined to put an end to their poor run of form. They won’t have chosen a trip to Wembley, but they have nothing to lose.
There remain tactical issues with the Tottenham team, as their defensive organisation isn’t cohesive without Toby Alderweireld. They could see Victor Wanyama return over the Christmas period, as the midfielder is training again, but he is unlikely to feature on Wednesday. That said, Spurs showed on Saturday that they can blow teams away, especially those outside of the top-six. Stoke were blown away and they could have conceded more than five on another day. Son Heung-min and Harry Kane were excellent and Mauricio Pochettino will be hoping that they can continue to perform over the coming weeks.
It was always likely to be a difficult season for Brighton and their supporters will be pleased that they are outside of the relegation zone. However, their performance on Saturday was a worry as they were played off the park by fellow promoted club Huddersfield Town. The Seagulls have only taken two points from their last five matches and another defeat will put them in even deeper trouble. That said, they have nothing to lose going into this fixture as nobody is expecting them to take any points. They can approach the game with freedom and a good performance could be enough to put them back on track, even if they are on the losing side.
- It has been a year to remember for Harry Kane and he has now scored 50 goals for club and country. He is now appreciated on a European stage as well as at home.
- Brighton have failed to score in three of their last four Premier League matches. Their failure to buy a striker could haunt them over the Christmas period.
The easy choice for Tottenham’s key man is Harry Kane and that is due to his consistency in front of goal. The England international has scored 50 goals for club and country in 2017. It would take a brave man to back against him adding to that tally before the new year. He returned to form on Saturday as he scored twice against Stoke City. Although it was a match that Tottenham were expected to win, they were in poor form and their striker stepped up to put the result beyond doubt. Brighton will look to be well organised and frustrate the home team on Wednesday. One of Kane’s biggest strengths is that he can score from nearly any angle inside the final third. If the Seagulls set up deep, the striker isn’t afraid to take a shot from distance and he has shown before that he is capable of scoring from range. He is always Spurs’ biggest threat and he is the player that the visitors will be most concerned about.
The centre-back has been one of the Seagulls’ most important players in recent seasons and he has showed signs of being a Premier League quality defender. There have been calls for him to receive an England call-up. These may be premature, but they underline how highly Dunk is thought of within the game. He is very assured with the ball at his feet and he won’t be afraid of stepping out of defence on Wednesday to move his side up the pitch. As talked about above, Harry Kane is the danger man and Brighton will need their best defender to be at the races on Wednesday to stop him. If the visitors are to win, they will need to offer an attacking threat and that could come from set-pieces. Tottenham look fragile without Alderweireld and their organisation at the back has suffered as a result. Dunk can threaten from set pieces and that could be important at Wembley.
Davinson Sanchez will be serving the second of his three-match suspension, which means Tottenham are probably going to continue with a back four. Erik Lamela will be hoping for more minutes as he steps up his recovery. However, Toby Alderweireld and Victor Wanyama remain on the sidelines.
Brighton have no fresh injury concerns as Steve Sidwell is their only absentee. They may be tempted to make changes from the team that lost to Huddersfield, with Anthony Knockaert an option to bring into the team. After a poor error from Mat Ryan, the goalkeeper position is up for grabs and Tim Krul will be pushing for a chance.
Tottenham have had some poor results in recent weeks, but they returned to winning ways against Stoke and did so in convincing fashion. Since Pochettino took over, they have been very good against the teams outside of the top six. Another dominant display is likely on Wednesday, as Brighton have been on a poor run of late and showed little to suggest they can cause problems for the home team. The Seagulls will work hard, but the gap in quality will tell.
Tottenham 4-0 Brighton and Hove Albion