Spurs are a few days removed from a dominating, yet strangely unconvincing, 4-1 FA Cup victory at Colchester United, and are now back in league action. Boasting the joint best goal differential in the Premier League, Spurs are five points behind league leading Leicester City, and just two points out of second place. A win today, combined with Leicester dropping points to Liverpool, makes prospects of a Spurs title challenge extremely exciting.
Norwich, by contrast, are struggling and are only two points above the drop zone coming off of an exciting but demoralizing 5-4 home loss to Liverpool last week. Any kind of result against Tottenham should be considered important points, and the four goals they scored against ‘Pool show that they have some offensive weaponry that Spurs shouldn't take lightly.
And Tottenham will likely be debuting its new defensive partnership, with Austrian center back Kevin Wimmer making his first Premier League start alongside Toby Alderweireld. This match could be a bellwether as to Spurs' defensive efficacy for the next few weeks. A solid match from Wimmer should help assuage any jitters from Spurs fans about the wheels falling off the wagon.
How to Watch
Date/time: Tuesday, February 2, 2016, 7:45 p.m.. (UK), 2:45 p.m. ET (USA)
Venue: Carrow Road, Norwich, UK
Official: Kevin Friend
TV: NBC Premier League Extra Time [The "extra channels"] (USA), not televised (UK), Sportsnet World (Canada), Fox Sports 2 (Australia), other listings at livesoccertv.com
Streaming: NBC Sports Live Extra (USA)
Radio: Audio streamed at tottenhamhotspur.com, also BBC Radio London and TalkSport
The biggest question surrounding Tottenham's lineup today basically comes down to whether Erik Lamela or Son Heung-Min gets the nod. Mauricio Pochettino often has his set players, and lately it's been Lamela getting the starts in the attacking midfield band ahead of Sonny. But Son made his move into the side in Spurs' last league match, with Lamela playing 90 minutes against Colchester on Saturday. With only three days rest between matches, my guess is that we'll see Sonny alongside Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen today, with Lamela coming in as an impact substitute late.
I don't anticipate many other changes, apart from Wimmer stepping in for Vertonghen. We've seen the Dier-Dembele pivot enough to know it's Poche's first choice pairing, and
with Rose/Trippier playing at Colchester, the rotation puts us back to our "first choice" league fullbacks of Kyle Walker and Ben Davies. I am dumb: Davies started at Colchester, not Rose, so I don't know what we'll see fullback-wise. But I'm sticking with Davies because reasons.
The rules remain the same in the Prediction League -- one point for a correct prediction and a bonus point for getting the score correct. Here are the current standings:
|Earl of Shoop||8|
Dustin Menno: Norwich’s two big signings were Scottish Messi and a super young kid from Coventry. I think we’ll be okay. 3-0 Spurs
Michael Caley: TBD
Skipjack: 69-0 Spurs. It will be nice.
Ben Daniels: 4-1 seems to be our favorite scoreline so I'm going with that. 4-1 Spurs.
55thVin: F*** you, Ben, for picking this scoreline one minute before me. Ben Daniels is an a***hole. That's my analysis. 4-1 Spurs.
Luke Zimmerman: Norwich City gonna Norwich City. Spurs are going to let off some steam to the tune of a 2-0 win that won’t even feel that close. 2-0 Spurs
Earl of Shoop: Good clubs beat Norwich.
Tottenham are a good club.
∴ Tottenham beat Norwich
Matt Pachniuk: We've always had Norwich in our back pocket and today will be no different. Don't think we will sweat too much. 3-0 Spurs.
Jake Meador: Matt - Other than the time they beat us late in the season at the Lane totally screwed us for top four.But yes, we should win today. I'll say 3-2 Spurs--probably due for a couple defensive wobbles w/ Wimmer making his first EPL star.
GN Punk: I don't expect to see the feisty, upbeat Norwich that took it to Pool. We're much better and we're playing well. Spurs 3-0
Brian Mechanick: I am quite scared about the Jan-less defense, but I'm feeling a big Eriksen game gives Spurs a tough road win. Spurs 2-1
Ed F.: In a league with fewer hopeless teams Norwich would probably be struggling to avoid the drop zone this season. You can almost bet that Steven Naismith will get to have a little fun of his own with Jan out though, so calling this as a 4-2 win for Spurs.
Bryan Ashlock: In this same fixture on boxing day, Spurs won 3-0. Since then Norwich have signed Timm Klose, Steven Naismith, Ivo Pinto, Matt Jarvis and Patrick Bamford. They've also lost three consecutive games. Here's to a fourth. 2-0 Spurs