Tottenham travel to Brighton on Sunday in a fixture that will have ramifications at both ends of the table. It is important that the visitors get back to winning ways following their disappointing defeat to Liverpool. The loss was compounded by an injury suffered by Harry Kane. The striker has avoided injury this season, but he will now be missing for a few weeks. This will increase Brighton’s confidence going into this weekend, despite their own poor home record.
Jose Mourinho will know that they can’t drop many more silly points as the race for the top four heats up. If they win their game in hand, they would be in 5th position. Although there has been a lot to like about Tottenham this season, they aren’t currently in a top four position. They will need to move above one of Manchester City, Manchester United, Leicester City or Liverpool. The loss during the week to Liverpool was a major blow, as a victory or a draw would have put Spurs into a strong position. With Chelsea and Manchester City in the next four, it is important that they win this weekend.
For Brighton, they remain in a relatively precarious position towards the bottom of the league table. They are involved in the relegation battle, but there is reason to be optimistic that they can start to move in the right direction. Graham Potter will know that the underlying statistics are positive and he will be hoping that results start to match them. They face Tottenham and Liverpool in their next two matches. Their position may get worse before it gets better.
Brighton have just one victory in their last 19 Premier League home matches. They need to improve their home record, otherwise they are destined to remain in a relegation battle.
Tottenham have now failed to keep a clean sheet in four matches across all competitions.
The French striker enjoys playing against the top six teams and he will be relishing the opportunity to play a prominent part this weekend. This season hasn’t been the best for Maupay, but he does have seven goals to his name and looks set to beat his goals tally for last season. His goal threat could be crucial to Brighton’s survival hopes and Potter will know that. There have been some issues with the striker in recent months and he hasn’t always been in the team, but the Seagulls will realise that he is important to the rest of their campaign. Tottenham are good at the back, but they are prone to an occasional individual error. Maupay has the intelligence to benefit from those. He will be a constant threat throughout the match and if they are to get a result, he will have a major part to play.
The injury to Harry Kane will be a bitter blow to Tottenham’s top four hopes. Last season, Mourinho will say that injuries prevented the side from having a real go at finishing in the Champions League places. There was a noticeable improvement after the restart, when Mourinho could call on his fully fit squad. This will be the first major test of whether Tottenham have learnt to cope with a major absentee. Son Heung-min will have to step up and become the most important player in the team in Kane’s absence. Gareth Bale may be drafted in to assist the South Korean, but it is Son that the team will be built around. This season, he has contributed 12 goals and six assists in the Premier League this season. It is shaping up to be his best season for both. A big performance this weekend will be needed to help Tottenham to a crucial three points.
Tariq Lamptey and Danny Welbeck are a few weeks away from a return to action. They are the two major absentees at the moment. Jose Izquierdo, Alireza Jahanbakhsh and Jason Steele are other absentees.
Harry Kane is the major blow, as he will be missing. Sergio Reguilon, Dele Alli and Giovani Lo Celso are all missing for the visitors.
Brighton do normally perform well against top six teams, as they are positive and look to play on the front foot. However, they rarely get the results that their performances deserve. Tottenham are excellent on the counter attack. In that respect, this should be a good matchup for them, but they will be missing their main creator in Kane. It will be interesting to see whether Son is played centrally or either Vinicius or Bale are brought into the team. In the return fixture, Bale scored the winning goal. This could be a good opportunity to bring him into the team. Spurs should have the quality to win, even without Kane.
Brighton 1-2 Tottenham