For once, it might be nice to look on the bright side. Tottenham Hotspur was arguably the better team (at least in the first half) against Eintracht Frankfurt in a tricky road environment and then followed that up with a good win at the Amex over Brighton this weekend. If that momentum can be carried home into Wednesday’s fixture, perhaps everyone can take a deep breath.
It is true that both of the matches over the past week ranged anywhere from mundane to frustrating at times, but this is basically how Antonio Conte is choosing to play. Spurs will trade possession for xGD and trust their talent to execute when they get the chance; Harry Kane did on Saturday, while no one could in Germany.
This sets up a situation where Tottenham more or less needs to win this week. Tied for second place with Eintracht halfway through the group stage, three points would go a long way in positioning the club for a return to the Champions League group stage. The performance will have to be a step up from the reverse fixture, but the building blocks are certainly there.
Tottenham Hotspur (t-2nd, 4pts) vs. Eintracht Frankfurt (t-2nd, 4pts)
Date: Wednesday, October 12
Time: 3:00 pm ET, 8:00 pm UK
Location: Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London, England
TV: Paramount+ (USA), BT Sport 3
Considering the clubs met just eight days ago there is not a whole lot of new information to report. The weekend did feature a shocking loss to last-place VfL Bochum, as Eintracht surrendered three goals in the final 20 minutes to give the home side its first win in the Bundesliga all season long.
However, some of this has to be chalked up to looking ahead to this match. The Champions League is a huge honor for the German side and last week proved that Spurs are beatable, so it makes sense that the club would be focusing its efforts on the competition. While Eintracht did not generate a ton of scoring chances at home, another draw would keep Group D completely up in the air, which is exactly what this side would want to see.
- Last week: 0-0 draw, away
The same cannot be said for Tottenham, of course. Conte and team expect to advance, but anything other than a win this week makes that increasingly tougher. This is easier said that done, but respectfully, this should be one of the more favorable fixtures in the group stage and this is the time to finally come to life.
Conte did the unexpected over the weekend and finally trotted out a three-man midfield — at least for most of the match. The experiment was not perfect, but there were some positives from the trio of Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Rodrigo Bentancur, and Yves Bissouma, who probably could benefit from more reps together. After seeing nearly two month’s worth of struggles in the midfield, this change was more than overdue.
That being said, do not be surprised to see Conte revert back to the 3-4-3. Spurs cannot be shutout by this Eintracht side, and maybe the Kane—Heung-Min Son connection from this weekend will spark the attack back to life. Regardless of formation, this squad needs to start scoring and absolutely needs to find a way to get this win at home.