The 2022/23 season is mercifully nearing its end, and for Tottenham Hotspur it will be one to quickly regret. Last weekend’s poor showing against Aston Villa was unfortunately nothing too rare, and because of that defeat, it appears that sixth place is going to be quite a stretch, given Brighton sits a point ahead with an additional match in hand.
That leaves Spurs essentially in a three-team fight for seventh (sorry, Fulham). As it stands, Villa is level on points but has Liverpool and Brighton left, while Brentford comes in four points back with Manchester City next weekend. A Tottenham loss on Saturday will really make things interesting, especially since City will hopefully have already clinched the title by that point.
Those hoping for Conference League play next season are probably a little uneasy right now given the number of permutations remaining. Spurs have lacked any sort of killer instinct this year, and we just witnessed a dropped European six-pointer that could have put away Villa last weekend. Here is a second chance to do so to Brentford.
Tottenham Hotspur (7th, 57pts) vs. Brentford (9th, 53pts)
Date: Saturday, May 20
Time: 7:30 am ET, 12:30 pm UK
Location: Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London, England
TV: USA Network (USA), BT Sport 1 (UK)
It has been a strong season for Brentford, with metrics that sit within the top seven or eight clubs in the league. Like most clubs, the Bees have experienced some ups and downs throughout the year, with a 0-3-3 stretch this spring really weighing down the point total. Three wins in the past four matches help keep the slim chances for a European spot alive, though.
Brentford has been pretty balanced between scoring and defending, though Ivan Toney’s 20 goals have certainly been a substantial reason for this year’s success. However, Toney was just handed an eight-month ban for gambling, which is a huge blow for this side; no other player has more than seven league goals this campaign.
The reverse fixture saw the visitors fight back from a 2-0 deficit to earn a draw on Boxing Day, starting slow as has been the case many times throughout the season. At this point, any positive stretch during a match would be welcome after a couple weeks of limited chances in front of net.
Probably not worth dwelling on individual tactics too deeply with the end so closely in sight, but it would be nice to see a complete effort regardless of the strategy or lineup. It feels like it has been quite a while since Spurs truly looked that convincing, and it feels important to have some sort of good feeling before the season closes.
Really this just translates to goals, no matter who they come from. The Harry Kane (potential) countdown continues to dwindle, and there is a real chance this is his final home match in North London. This season has lacked tons of significant memories, but if he does finally leave the club, having a nice send off would be meaningful.