As the World Cup approaches, the Premier League table is beginning to take shape. All teams will want to finish strongly ahead of the break with six matches remaining. Tottenham welcome Everton at the weekend, with both teams competing at different ends of the table. The home side are well placed in third position, just four points behind Arsenal at the top. They will be focused on remaining in touching distance by the time the season breaks. Meanwhile, Everton are in mid table, but are just four points above the bottom three. Frank Lampard will be looking to increase that gap.
After a disappointing two matches, Spurs have bounced back well with back-to-back victories across the Premier League and Champions League. It was important for the club to wrestle back momentum and they have managed to do that. There are still areas to work on for Antonio Conte, but they are in a strong position to have a very good campaign. Harry Kane and Son Heung-min remain the talismanic presences in the side. Both are in good form at the moment, which suggests that they can finish strongly before the interruption.
Everton have been a surprise package this season. Due to their financial issues and the sale of Richarlison, there were concerns that they would have a poor campaign. However, they have made some smart additions and they have been playing well under Lampard. Some will argue that they deserve more points than they have accumulated. This is a tough game for them, but they have a kinder schedule following this match. Saturday represents a match without pressure for them and they can pose problems for Tottenham.
Harry Kane and Son have now combined for 50 goals across all competitions. Kane has assisted Son 24 times, while the reverse has happened 26 times.
Everton have only won one of their last 19 Premier League matches against Tottenham.
After a slow start to the season, Son has been performing better in recent weeks and he is finding his stride in front of goal. In his last five matches across all competitions, he has scored five and got one assist. Although the goals have come in just two matches, he is starting to grow in influence on the pitch. He has the ability to influence every match that he plays in and when he is confident, there are few more devastating attackers in world football. Spurs will be hoping that he can finish strongly before the break for the World Cup. With South Korea competing in Qatar, Son will be motivated to get back to his best, as he will want to have a big influence on the tournament. Despite his country not being well fancied to do well, they could get through the group if they perform, and Son will be key to those hopes. Everton will look to sit deep and frustrate Tottenham this weekend. That could allow space for Son in the final third. There are few better strikers of the ball from range and that could play a part on Saturday.
Alex Iwobi has been undergoing a huge tranformation under Frank Lampard, which has been going under the radar. The Nigerian international has been used in a central role, with his abilities being shown in both halves of the pitch. He is hard working and able to win possession back, while his previous experience as an attacker means that he can cause problems with the ball at his feet. Iwobi is a powerful runner with the ball, and he can be very effective in central areas. This season, he has contributed a goal and three assists. Meanwhile, he is averaging 2.1 tackles per game. It is quite a turnaround for the former Arsenal player and he is now one of the first names on the team sheet for Lampard. His energy will be crucial if his side are to get into the game in central areas.
Emerson Royal is suspended following his red card in the North London derby. Dejan Kulusevski is closing in on a return, while Richarlison is a doubt for the meeting with his former club.
Abdoulaye Doucoure is a doubt for the trip to the capital. Anthony Gordon will be suspended for the game, while Nathan Patterson and Mason Holgate will be missing through injury.
It is going to be an important match for Tottenham, as they need to keep pace with the leading pair. They can’t afford to drop points in home matches against bottom half teams. Conte will understand the importance of being clinical and maintaining a good home record. In Harry Kane and Son, they should have the firepower to get the three points on Saturday.
Tottenham 2-0 Everton