It has been a little over two weeks since Tottenham Hotspur last played a match, dropping two points on a controversial stoppage time penalty. Since then...well, just keep refreshing the Carty Free homepage. If you are not up to date on any of the latest drama, really you should consider yourself lucky.
In terms of actual football to be played on the pitch, Spurs have just 10 matches remaining this season. While they currently sit just one point back of third place, Newcastle and Manchester United both have played fewer matches, making a return to the Champions League still very possible, but something that must be earned.
Fortunately, Cristian Stellini has pumped out results when placed in charge this season, and he will need to keep that record up over the final two months. His available personnel seems to be constantly dwindling, and the news cycle is unlikely to let up anytime soon, but at least the task at hand is very straightforward.
Everton (t-17th, 26pts) vs. Tottenham Hotspur (5th, 49pts)
Date: Monday, April 3
Time: 3:00 pm ET, 8:00 pm UK
Location: Goodison Park, Liverpool, England
TV: USA Network (USA), Sky Sports Main Event (UK)
Monday’s opponent is yet another relegation combatant, though Everton has collected five points over its past three matches, which included contests against Brentford and Chelsea. It has been a pretty tough year for the Toffees, who sit second-to-last in xGD, though the actual number of goals conceded is not as bad as the analytics suggest.
The reverse fixture last fall was not the most memorable match, but Tottenham deserved the three points and collected the xG to justify the scoreline (2.2-0.4). After everything the past few weeks have brought, supporters would gladly take another boring performance as long as it results in another win.
In addition to the Antonio Conte departure, Fabio Paratici embarrassment, ongoing Harry Kane saga, Heung-Min Son beef, and everything else going on, it appears that Spurs have continued to pile up the injuries during the international break as well, losing Ben Davies and Emerson Royal, while apparently avoiding an Ivan Perisic knock.
While Stellini will be somewhat limited across the defensive corps, at least Hugo Lloris is essentially ready to return. Regardless of if that happens against Everton, it will be a nice boost of stability to get the club captain back on the pitch. During this particularly volatile time, having his veteran presence in the locker room could go a long way.
As for the match itself, it will be interesting to see how similar Stellini will keep the club with Conte gone. During his prior matches in charge, the tactics and starting selections were fairly in line, and while there is not a ton of time to do anything too drastic, there is also no downside in trying to introduce a little variety. While fourth place is still very much in reach, there is nothing from the last six months that really needs to be tightly clung on to.