The final day of Premier League action usually contains a fair amount of drama, but with all three relegated teams already down and the top four (almost) fully settled, the only real drama will come at the very top of the table as Manchester City and Liverpool both try to not bottle the league title.
Well, that’s not entirely true. There’s still a very (very) slim chance that Spurs could Spurs their way out of top four against Everton today. But they’d have to really, really screw it up. Spurs head into this match in fourth, one point behind Chelsea and three above Arsenal, but with a +8 goal differential over the Gooners. They can clinch Champions League next season with a win, a draw, a loss if Arsenal loses at Burnley, or a loss if Arsenal wins and makes up the 8-goal swing.
Unlikely. But not impossible!
Normally in these articles I preview the opponent — in this case Everton — and talk about how their season has gone. But let’s be honest, here — it’s Everton, they’re without Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin, and maybe Seamus Coleman for this match, they’re gonna finish in 8th or 9th regardless of what happens here today, and nobody really cares, so long as they don’t beat Spurs 5-0.
So let’s get to why you’re really here.
How will Tottenham Hotspur line up against Everton?
This is the REAL question. The injury report that dropped yesterday after the Champions League win over Ajax looked bleak. Jan Vertonghen and Davinson Sanchez are both dealing with knocks, while Juan Foyth is suspended. Son Heung-Min is also suspended for three games after he lost his appeal to the FA over his red card against Bournemouth. Victor Wanyama is dead again. Harry Kane and Harry Winks are both back on the field but won’t be ready before June 1.
Just who the heck is going to take the field against Everton, anyway? That question starts with the defense. With Vertonghen, Sanchez, and Foyth all presumably unavailable, the most likely player to slot into the defense alongside Toby Alderweireld is Eric Dier. Ben Davies could also do this, but someone has to play left back and Rose is being assessed for a knock. This seems like a good match to give Serge Aurier some rehabilitation minutes at right back before Spurs sell him this summer.
Pochettino could use this match as an opportunity to blood in some younger players like Oliver Skipp or even some actual U23 squaddies in the midfield, but let’s be real — he’s not going to do that. He’s run his healthy midfielders into the ground and will presumably continue to do it, and he’d love to win this match in case Chelsea slips up at Leicester. That means, for me, a midfield of Moussa Sissoko, Christian Eriksen, and Dele Alli.
Erik Lamela came in for a late stint in Amsterdam, and my guess is that if he’s 60 minutes fit he’ll probably get the start today on one of the flanks, with Champions League hero Lucas Moura on the other side. Fernando Llorente will likely start up top but don’t be surprised if Vincent Janssen gets some minutes at the tip of the spear.
My final prognostication is that the bench is going to be hilarious. Oliver Skipp, for sure. George Marsh? Jonathan Dinzeyi? Maybe. Troy Parrott? God, I hope so.
That’s my prediction for Tottenham Hotspur’s lineup against Everton. What’s yours?