Tottenham Hotspur conclude what has already been an epic week of football when they host Swansea City at Wembley Stadium. Spurs posted a dominating performance at Goodison Park last Saturday as they thumped Everton 3-0. Harry Kane found the scoresheet for the first time this season, putting two past Jordan Pickford, as Tottenham were comprehensive in their performance throughout. Yet even that match seems an afterthought after the cracker of a Champions League fixture on Tuesday against Borussia Dortmund. The first twenty minutes of that match were electric, with three fantastic goals between the two sides. Spurs sat back and countered in an unusual, yet effective strategy from Pochettino, which saw them triumph 3-1 on the day, and in the process finally destroy the Wembley narrative. Securing three points against Dortmund, the side that ultimately stands between them and the knockout stages of the Champions League, is a massive result.
With the win on Saturday, Spurs have earned seven points from twelve and sit fifth in the table, one point behind Watford in fourth, two behind Chelsea in third, and three points adrift from the top of the table spots currently held by the two Manchester sides. Swansea seem to have a bit more promise about them this season, but with just four points won, three of which were gained against abysmal Crystal Palace, they sit in fifteenth place in the Premier League, only one point separating them from the relegation spots.
Swansea seem to have met their prerequisite of having two former Spurs players on the roster again this year. Tom Carroll, the legend, has not only formalized his restraining order against this site in the past year, but also secured a starting place in Swansea’s starting eleven. He is joined in midfield by new loanee Renato Sanches, who was bad in his debut against Newcastle, and is already showing why he made zero impact at Bayern Münich last term. As Spurs completed their sensational last minute move for Fernando Llorente, so did the Swans make their own bit of eleventh hour business bringing Wilifred Bony back to the club. He’s not found success since he left Wales, but potentially familiar scenery will kickstart his form. He is one to look out for on Saturday as is Jordan Ayew who is likely to partner or play off him in the attack.
Swansea bled goals last year and in their encounter with Manchester United — the only marquee opponent they’ve faced in the young season — was no different as they lost 4-0. That said, United has been really impressive thus far. Ex-Gooner Lukasz Fabianski will start in net, most likely joined by former Spur Kyle Naughton (we sold him in January of 2015, boy does time fly!) in the backline. The defense’s anchor is team captain Alfie Mawson. The twenty-three year old might just be the most promising player on the Swans roster.
Its a game Spurs should win and would cap off an incredible week of football. Nine points in eight days is glorious within its own right, but considering the opponents and the circumstances, three points would cap off a perfect week. Swansea City at home is a game a team with Spurs ambitions must win. Look for Tottenham Hotspur to continue rolling on Saturday.
How to Watch
Date/time: Saturday, 5:30 p.m. (UK), 12:030 p.m. ET (USA)
Venue: Wembley Stadium, London, UK
Official: Mike Dean
TV: NBC, NBC Sports Live, BBC Radio, BT Sport 1, BT Spork 4k UHD (UK), TSN1, TSN4, TSN GO (Canada), Optus Sport (Australia), other listings at livesoccertv.com
Streaming: NBC Sports Live Extra (USA)
Radio: Audio streamed at tottenhamhotspur.com, also often at BBC Radio London,BBC Radio 5 Live, and TalkSport
The injuries to Rose, Lamela, Wanyama, and N’Koudou will continue to keep these four out of the contention this week, but there was some improved news on this front. GKN is back in full training with the first team, while Danny Rose is closer, just a few weeks away from returning to Hotspur Way.
While rotation could have been in order for Swansea, Tottenham’s midweek league cup tie against Barnsley means that the reserve options will be exhausted on Tuesday. Davinson Sanchez has seized his first team opportunities and looks to have made that center spot in the back three his own. If he plays, and I see no reason why he wouldn’t start, Spurs will be locked into a 3-4-3 formation. If the midweek game was against a more formidable side, I think Mousa Dembélé would rest. In general, I don’t see him playing back-to-back games for Pochettino much this season, but I think this will be an exception. Kieran Trippier will return to the right wing-back spot, although Serge Aurier looked quite strong in his debut. Dele Alli wil rotate in for Son Heung-Min as Christian Eriksen needs to be on the pitch to start.
The predicted lineup then is as follows: Toby, Jan, and Davinson will form the back three, with Ben Davies and Kieran Trippier flanking them. Dier and Dembélé will roam the center of the park with Dele Alli, Christain Eriksen, and Harry Kane sitting in front of them. Look for Harry Winks or Moussa Sissoko to relieve Moose early and for Llorente to get the most significant minutes of his Spurs career on Saturday too.
Joe Patrick was a stud both in his prediction and predicted analysis, nailing the 3-0 scoreline, and highlighting why Everton would struggle. In fact, most of the masthead did well in their predictions, though not many believed that Spurs would utterly dominate. Alex Greenberg and myself though either forgot that it was September or maybe just love Gylfi Sigurdsson a little bit too much. Menno, Patrick, and Earl of Shoop with the early season lead!
Cartilage Free Captain Prediction League Standings 2017-18
|Earl of Shoop||3|
Dustin Menno: Swansea lost Fernando Llorente and Gylfi Sigurdsson this summer and replaced them with Renato Sanchez who might #actually suck. There’s no excuse if we don’t roll them. 3-0 Spurs.
Matthew Pachniuk: 4-0 Spurs
Jake Meador: 3-0 win for Spurs. Swansea is not as ropey as they were last year, but whatever they've gained in organization they've lost in talent. Comfortable win for Spurs.
Skipjack: The smart money is on spurs, but there's a bit of hope for swansea. It will come to nothing. 2-0 Spurs.
GN PunK: Spurs should be flying high after that mid-week win. Rotation aside, Spurs are just a much better team. 3-0 good guys.
Alex Greenberg: I don't think Swansea have anyone who can stop Harry Kane. Maybe Tom Carroll if they go out together Friday night in Swansea, but otherwise Kane will score multiple times and Spurs will win easily 3-0.
Pardeep Cattry: It'll be straightforward and painless -- for Spurs, anyway. Tottenham 3-0.
Earl of Shoop: Ashley Williams sending long balls up to Michu has us under pressure but we manage to find a way because Swansea are just so, so bad. Spurs 3-0 [Ed: Shoop and his wife just had a baby, so we’re sleepless nights on him apparently going back in time to 2013.]
Ed F: Did you know that it's illegal to kill a swan in the UK? Hopefully someone manages to get that message over to Kane and co. before the weekend. 3-0 Spurs.
Joe Patrick: We look sluggish coming off an emotional win, but rally and pile on late. Alli scores 2 after feeling left out midweek. 4-1 Spurs.
Salmon Chase: Kane is about to go from great to being the unattractive Messi. It's coming. Can some Swans stand in his way? You ever see swans put up a fight against anything? OF COURSE NOT! 4-0 good guys.
Nathan Gianninni: Spurs are good, Swansea are bad. 3-0 Tottenham.
Joel Wertheimer: 2-1 Spurs. Heavily rotated squad struggles but Harry Winks breaks through for Spurs and warms our hearts.