2019 was quite the year for Tottenham Hotspur, full of accomplishments that were once unthinkable but also many struggles that tormented supporters. As the calendar turns into the new year, one trend that will hopefully reverse is the club’s performance against lower competition; so many times over the past year Spurs have dropped points to inferior competition, and even the wins were often a battle.
Look no further than last Saturday for a quintessential example. Tottenham traveled to 20th-place Norwich City and twice fell behind before settling for a point. Yes, the crowded fixture list has taken its toll, but the excuses are just about over for manager Jose Mourinho and a defense that is not playing as advertised.
The slog continues on, though, with a New Year’s Day visit to Southampton. The Saints are another team that looks questionable on paper, but at this point the quality of opponent is not necessarily the biggest factor. Tottenham must find a way to take care of business in these types of matches and overcome its demons on the road. Hopefully the changing of the calendar will bring about some changes in performance as well.
Spurs get back a couple players who sat out with yellow card accumulation but are still without Son Heung-Min for one more match. The high volume of contests in the holiday window is tough for any team, but as Mourinho continues to search for the best lineup, fitness is going to play an even bigger role. Whether they grind out a win or actually put together a complete 90 minutes, Spurs must start the new year off right.
How to Watch
Date: Wednesday, January 1, 2020
Time: 10:00 a.m. ET, 3:00 p.m. BT
Location: St. Mary’s Stadium, Southampton, England
TV: NBCSN (USA), BT Sport 1 (UK)
Streaming: NBC Sports Live (USA), BT Sport Live (UK), fubo.tv (free trial)
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