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Friday Hoddle of Coffee: Weekend Preview September 23, 2016

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Let’s get ready for the weekend.

Tottenham Hotspur v Gillingham - EFL Cup Third Round Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Hey all. I’m back. My last two weeks have been mostly terrible. So y’all are going to help me forget about how technology has suddenly decided it hates me and how my family is in the middle of moving by talking with me about Spurs. Sound good? Great.

I liked what I saw from Vincent Janssen yesterday, but the two concerns I have are that he did play fairly narrow and we didn’t provide enough vertical runners to support him and benefit from his outstanding hold-up play. I’m guessing the latter concern will be addressed this weekend as I expect to see Dele Alli or Heung-Min Son back in the lineup, both of whom should provide some good link-up play and support for Janssen. But I do worry a bit that we’re going to be extremely narrow while playing a newly promoted team that is likely to sit deep and say “we’re going for a smash and grab win, but if it finishes 0-0 we don’t care.”

Trying to break down a team like that when you’re too narrow is exceedingly difficult. With Ben Davies likely to start again at left back, that removes another possible source of width in the team as Davies does not get forward nearly so well as Danny Rose does. For this reason, I suspect a great deal will hinge on Kyle Walker’s ability to get forward down the right. In addition to that, we’ll rely a lot on Lamela, Eriksen, and Alli (if he plays) to really be on their games in possession. All three are able to crack open a packed defense with a well-placed pass, but it’s no sure thing. I’m nervous. I think we end up winning, but I bet we have more trouble than many would expect. Your thoughts?

On to the links:

The “bench Rooney” crowd is growing. (I wrote a bit about the debate on my personal site this week.)

Unusual Efforts on Sassuolo is worth your time.

Tom Payne wrote for The Ringer about new City keeper Claudio Bravo.