As Spurs prepare to face Swansea on Sunday, we assess the teams and predict the starting line-ups:
Tottenham and Swansea experienced very different opening games of the new campaign, the former winning 1-0 at Crystal Palace and the latter shipping four against an incisive Manchester United forward-line.
Robin van Persie and Danny Welbeck’s clinical-finishing aside, the Swans played their part in an enjoyable match, and will feel the 4-1 score-line was not a fair reward for their efforts. And yet Michael Laudrup will know efforts only go so far; they also have to be backed up with goals.
Just a week after facing most people’s tip for the golden boot, Swansea will have to keep out arguably the only man who can beat van Persie to that honour.
Roberto Soldado has started his Spurs career with a bang, scoring the penalty at Selhurst Park and a brace in Thursday’s Europa League match away to Dinamo Tbilisi. And he will be confident of getting on the score-sheet again on Sunday.
Fellow striker Emmanuel Adebayor is set to miss the match through injury, as is Lewis Holtby. But Andre Villas-Boas is hopeful of recalling Aaron Lennon and Jan Vertonghen after both missed the 5-0 victory in Europe.
Swansea’s Nathan Dyer is again missing, but aside from that Laudrup should have a full squad to pick from.
Expect Tottenham to go with most, if not all, of the side that started the game at Selhurst Park. However the one change could be the inclusion of Andros Townsend, who played magnificently on Thursday and deserves another game should Lennon not make it or Villas-Boas opt for him over Nacer Chadli.
After playing such a strong side against Petrolul Ploiesti, Swansea will stick with much of the same. The only change could come with the decision to play a single striker – as was the case in their opening game. If that is what Laudrup decides, Michu is likely to start up front with Wilfried Bony on the bench.
In so doing, Jose Canas will be brought back to reinforce a midfield that will need to be at the top of its game to get the better of an impressive Spurs side.
Here is how I expect the teams to line up on Sunday:
Do you agree with the starting line-ups above? If not, how do you believe they will look?
image: © Shiraz Chakera