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The Hoddle of Coffee: Tottenham Hotspur news and links for Monday, May 15

Recapping the first leg of the EFL Championship playoffs

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Stoke City v Swansea City - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Joe Prior/Visionhaus/Getty Images

good morning good morning! it’s pretty remarkable that this is the most up-to-date picture of jack clarke we’ve got.

Speaking of which - let’s take a quick look at how the first leg of the Championship semifinals unfolded over the weekend:

Sunderland 2-1 Luton Town

You may not know this from the main image, but Jack Clarke has a tattoo sleeve now! Clarke also provided the pivotal assist to Trai Hume that gave the Black Cats a 2-1 lead heading into the second leg (NB: Away goals count the same as home goals).

Luton Town started off brightly enough with Elijah Adebayo striking as early as the 11th minute, but a sensational goal from Amad Diallo in the 39th minute and a dominant second half set up Sunderland perfectly for the reverse fixture.

It’s going to be a tough fixture for the Hatters who had a much better record away from home this season. And they also don’t score a lot. Even one of their more positive wins at home - 2-1 vs Watford - feels a long time ago. They need a lot more from Carlton Morris.

As for Sunderland - they are playing very strong in the last month. Jack Gelhardt, Clarke and Diallo are all potent attacking threats. Luton’s back three, led by Tom Lockyer, have got to shut them down.

Second leg: Tuesday, 16 May

Coventry 0-0 Middlesbrough

Two consecutive games, two consecutive draws. This time it ends 0-0 after a cagey affair that only saw one clear-cut opportunity (from Boro) early in the first half.

It’s an unusual scoreline for a matchup that features the two highest scores in the leage - Boro’s Chuba Akpom and Coventry’s Viktor Gyokeres. But a cagey draw it was indeed!

Coventry looked very bright in the second, but failed to a register a shot on target as Boro defender Paddy McNair expertly shut down Gyokeres. There’s very little separating these two sides, but Boro will be looking forward to a home fixture (they had the third-best record at home this season).

As for Mark Robbins and Coventry, they’ll be pleased to have grown into the match. If Gyokeres can sort out McNair, then it could unlock Boro’s determined back line.

Second leg: Wednesday, 17 May

Fitzie’s track of the day: The Magnificent Seven, by The Clash

And now for your links:

Alasdair Gold on Daniel Levy, Julian Nagelsmann and what Spurs want in their next manager

Charlie Eccleshare ($$) asks, Just how good is Cristian Romero?

Why every PL club should be looking at Arne Slot

Sam Kerr leads Chelsea to Women’s FA Cup title