Tottenham will return to Premier League football this weekend with a spring in their step. They overcame the odds to qualify for the next round of the Champions League after taking just one point from their opening three matches. They welcome Burnley to Wembley on Saturday and will be looking to take all three points.
The performance at the Nou Camp was very good. It could be said that Los Cules rested key players for the match, but it was still a talented team that was put out by the home side. On another day, Tottenham could have won the game. They certainly had the chances. Mauricio Pochettino’s men have been going under the radar, but they could put themselves among the leading pack with a strong festive period.
Burnley are battling at the other end of the table and it is shaping up to be a difficult campaign. It is completely different from last season when they were pushing the top six. Last weekend, they managed to record a huge victory over Brighton and they will be keen to follow that up with a strong showing at Wembley. It is difficult to see them taking anything from the game, but they must perform well.
Serge Aurier, Kieran Trippier, and Juan Foyth will all face late fitness tests ahead of Saturday. Davinson Sanchez could make his return, while Victor Wanyama and Mousa Dembele remain long-term absentees.
Johann Berg Gudmundsson and Steven Defour are both doubts for the visitors. Stephen Ward and Nick Pope remain a few weeks away from a return to action.
- Tottenham have taken 36 points so far this season, which is their best start to a Premier League campaign.
- Burnley kept a clean sheet last weekend. It was only their third at home in their last 18 league matches at Turf Moor.
The South Korean has been very good during recent weeks and offered support to Harry Kane. At times, Tottenham can be reliant on the England captain to score their goals. However, in Son Heung-min, they have a player capable of easing that burden. They missed him during the opening weeks of the season as he was on international duty. Lucas Moura stepped up to grab his chance and it looked like Son had been pushed down the pecking order. He has had to work hard to move back into contention for a starting place and he has managed to do that. Son has scored two and assisted once in his last two Premier League fixtures. He is reaching his best form ahead of a busy Christmas schedule and he will be influential for Tottenham in the weeks ahead. Burnley haven’t been at their best defensively this season and there will be space for Son to exploit. He will be the danger man on Saturday.
Burnley need to get back to their strong defensive ways of last season and James Tarkowski is central to that. The Englishman is one of the most talented players at the club and he will have to be very good if the club are to move away from the bottom three. He is important at both ends of the pitch, as he showed last week as he scored the winner against Brighton. This weekend, set pieces will be crucial and likely offer the best chance of a goal for the visiting side. If they can get good deliveries into the box, Tarkowski will pose a threat. At the other end, he will have to be at his rock solid best to keep Tottenham out.
This is going to be a great opportunity for Tottenham to consolidate their position in the top four. They are playing before many of their rivals and they could set the marker this weekend, which has to be seen as a good thing. Burnley got a win last weekend, but they are still in a poor position in the league and it is difficult to see them getting anything from a confident Tottenham team