Tottenham beat Everton 1-0 last time out thanks to an Emmanuel Adebayor goal and moved to fifth place in the English Premier League table, just three points behind Liverpool.
It was not a vintage performance from Tim Sherwood’s side, but they still did enough to win and got three crucial points in the battle for Champions League qualification, leaving Everton sixth.
Another difficult match awaits Spurs this Wednesday away at Newcastle, and the manager could keep an unchanged starting XI. Let’s look at how Tottenham could play at St. James’ Park.
Hugo Lloris was outstanding once again against Everton and Sherwood admitted after the match that the French keeper kept Spurs in the game during the first half, denying Leon Osman early on. His performances have reportedly attracted interest from clubs like Barcelona or even Arsenal, but he is still very much the London club’s no.1 keeper.
Spurs’ back four seems settled in the last games and no changes should be expected at Newcastle. Kyle Walker –who even provided a goal-scoring assist for Adebayor – continues as right-back, Danny Rose keeps his place on the left hand side, and Michael Dawson resumes his partnership with Han Vertonghen at the heart of the Lilywhites’ defense. Younes Kaboul is an alternative for Sherwood, but Vlad Chiriches was unavailable for Everton and should be out for the trip to St. James’ Park too.
In Sherwood’s four away league games at the helm, he has tinkered with 4-4-2 and 4-2-3-1 formations. Spurs have won at Manchester United and Swansea playing with a five man midfield, they got three points at Southampton using four midfielders, but they only got one point in their last trip at Hull with a 4-4-2 formation. The manager changed to 4-2-3-1 for the home match against Everton and got the three points, so he could be tempted to stick to that system against Newcastle, even using the same players.
Paulinho and Nabil Bentaleb were utilized in front of the back four, with the young Frenchman once again retaining his place in the starting line up. Brazilian defensive midfielder Sandro is still out with a calf problem, so the duo could continue their partnership. Etienne Capoue made an appearance as a substitute for Paulinho against the Toffees and he is an alternative for the role of defensive midfielder.
Aaron Lennon’s place on the right flank seems secure, so seems Christian Eriksen’s one on the left, although Andros Townsend made a return from injury as a substitute for the Dane and he certainly has a chance to start. Moussa Dembélé played just behind the striker, and although he seemed a little rusty after sitting out previous matches, he is the Spurs’ midfielder with the most matches this season after Paulinho, so he could keep his place.
Emmanuel Adebayor’s goalscoring exploits under Sherwood’s guidance have carried Tottenham during the last few months, and the Togolese striker seems certain to start once again. The question is whether Sherwood will opt to play with a lone attacker, or if he will pair Adebayor with Roberto Soldado or even Jermain Defoe, who made a substitute appearance last time out against Everton. Erik Lamela is expected to be out once again with persisting thigh and back problems.
Probable Spurs lineup vs Newcastle (4-2-3-1): Lloris; Walker, Dawson, Vertonghen, Rose; Paulinho, Bentaleb; Lennon, Dembélé, Eriksen; Adebayor.