Tottenham return to Premier League action on the back of a poor performance away to Royal Antwerp in the Europa League. They will host Brighton and Hove Albion as they attempt to put a poor run of home form behind them. In the previous two home Premier League matches, they have conceded late equalisers to Newcastle United and West Ham United. They should have seen out both matches, but those memories will be fresh in the mind and Jose Mourinho will be demanding a much better showing of game management on Sunday. The visitors have received a lot of praise for their performances this season, but results haven’t been the best and Graham Potter will know that good displays will only get him so far.
Despite their dropped points, Tottenham have established themselves in a strong early position. They are currently in 5th place, just two points behind early pace setters Everton. Jose Mourinho is a manager that knows what needs to be done to compete at the highest level. There were some early teething problems, but he looks to be a great fit for Spurs in their current guise. Strangely, his reputation as a great defensive coach hasn’t led to the team tightening up at the back. In fact, they have been one of the best sides to watch on the ball, with Harry Kane and Son Heung-min taking their games to a new level. With 16 league goals, they are currently the Premier League top scorers and they will be hoping to add to that tally on Sunday.
Brighton have had a strange start to the new season. They are one of the teams praised most often for their style of play, but the results haven’t backed the performances up. The Seagulls have won just once. The recent results against Crystal Palace and West Brom feel like a step back for Potter, as these are teams that they should have beaten. In the match against Palace, they conceded one shot, a penalty that was converted. However, they failed to make their dominance count and had to rely on a last minute equaliser to take a point. Meanwhile, on Monday, they dominated the first half against West Brom, but once the Baggies equalised, it was the visitors that looked the most likely winners. There is work for Potter to do in order to convince supporters that he is taking the club forward.
Harry Kane has now contributed eight assists in six Premier League matches. This is now his best campaign for assists.
The Seagulls have lost just one of their last ten away matches in the Premier League.
The South Korean is in the form of his life and looks ready to have his best Premier League season to date. He already has eight goals to his name, which is just three off his tally for the entirety of last season. At the age of 28, he is approaching the peak of his career and he looks to be ready to establish himself as one of the best in the division. For a long time, he has been explosive and produced some fine moments for Spurs. However, now, he has added consistency to his end product and the team are reaping the rewards. Although those that have looked at his underlying numbers will suggest that it is unlikely to be sustainable over the long term, Son is full of confidence at the moment and looks like he will score every time he gets a sight of goal. According to Understat, he has a season xG of 3.06, so he has overachieved this by quite some distance. His form is unlikely to continue at the current rate, but he will continue to be a huge threat to opposition teams. Brighton are a team that are happy to press high and that could leave space in behind for him to exploit.
It is shaping up to be a much better second season for Neal Maupay at this level. Since joining Brighton, he has been a solid operator, but he is now ready to reach the next level and become a very good Premier League striker. A return of four goals in six matches is impressive and his goal threat will be important in determining how the Seagulls fare this season. The arrival of Danny Welbeck will bring competition and experience, but the Frenchman remains the first choice striker on the South Coast. His average of 3.2 shots per game is very encouraging and shows that he is regularly getting into the right positions. Tottenham have struggled to keep clean sheets so far this season, with Monday’s shutout at Burnley being their first in the league. In Maupay, Brighton have a player that can cause their hosts problems on Sunday.
Eric Dier and Tanguy Ndombele are both expected to be passed fit after being rested during the week. Gareth Bale could be in line for more minutes as he rebuilds his fitness.
Lewis Dunk is serving the second match of his suspension, which is a major blow as he was missed against West Brom. Davy Propper could be back to feature and Welbeck could make his debut.
At some point, fatigue will impact Tottenham, due to the number of matches they are having to play, even if Mourinho continues to rotate. Son and Kane will return to the team on Sunday, with both in the form of their lives, you would expect them to have enough to beat Brighton. The Seagulls usually play well against the top six teams, but they will be hurt by the absence of Lewis Dunk. They don’t look as assured in or out of possession without their skipper. For that reason, a home win looks to be a good bet.
Tottenham 3-1 Brighton