Tottenham are languishing in mid table with pressure increasing on Jose Mourinho. They welcome Everton to North London on Monday night. It will be a huge test for the home side, who need to show more consistency during the run in. There will still be faint hopes that Spurs can finish in the top four, but they will need to be perfect over the rest of the season. A defeat on Monday would see them fall below their opposition in the table.
The decision to replace Mauricio Pochettino with Jose Mourinho was seen as a poor one at the time by many supporters. The performances and results since have done little to increase the Portuguese manager’s popularity. His comments following the defeat to Sheffield United have raised concerns, as he is already alienating the players. Some will excuse him until he gets to make changes to the squad, but he is clearly underachieving with the talent he does have at his disposal. Considering the praise Pochettino received for his coaching, the lack of improvement in individuals is a huge worry.
Everton have had a strange season. They are set to finish in mid table, but there is growing optimism that they can have a bright future. This is due to the arrival of Carlo Ancelotti as manager. It was seen as a huge coup for the club, as his recent clubs include Bayern Munich, Napoli and Real Madrid. As a multiple winner of the Champions League, he will have ambitions of challenging at the top of the table. This match will offer them a good chance to show how far they are from that level.
Harry Kane has now scored against all 29 teams that he has come up against in the Premier League.
Prior to the Leicester match, Everton had gone 38 league matches without a penalty.
Harry Kane has returned to the team following the resumption of the Premier League season. There was some rustiness in his performances at the beginning, but he is slowly starting to find his groove. Against Sheffield United, he was the only bright spark for Spurs, as he had a number of good chances and looked to carry the goal threat some feared he had lost. He had an expected goals (xG) of 0.7 during on Thursday. To provide context, he averages 0.45 xG per ninety minutes this season. It is only one game, but it will be hoped that he can maintain this level of threat. Supporters will be fearing that he is outgrowing the club given they are set to finish outside of the top six. However, his focus will be on Tottenham and he will be wanting to end the season strongly.
The Brazilian is quickly becoming the central figure in the current Everton team. Richarlison now has 11 Premier League goals this season. It will be his aim to surpass 13, the amount of goals he scored in the previous campaign. Since his arrival in England, he has continued to improve and he has a good record against the traditional top six. The defensive issues of Tottenham will play into his hands, as he has the intelligence to cause them problems. His work rate could be an asset on Monday, as Spurs look uncomfortable when they are pressed. Ancelotti will know that this is a big opportunity for his side to get another major scalp. They will be coming up against a team very low on confidence at the back. Richarlison is the player that could star for the visitors.
Dele Alli is facing a late fitness test ahead of the visit of Everton. Troy Parrott, Japhet Tanganga and Juan Foyth remain on the sidelines.
Richarlison and Djibril Sidibe are both expected to be fit to start for the visitors. Theo Walcott remains a few days away from a return.
This is going to be an indicator of where Tottenham are under Jose Mourinho. The Portuguese manager used to be a guarantee of success. Daniel Levy was hoping that he would bring trophies to the club and mark the start of a golden era at the new stadium. However, he has yet to convince the supporters that he can achieve what Pochettino failed to do. In some ways, Spurs may benefit from the matches being played behind closed doors, as the mood online is a worrying one. It is difficult to see them beating a well organised Everton side. A score draw could be the result on Monday.
Tottenham 1-1 Everton