Tottenham Hotspur v Norwich City: Five players under the spotlight

Will Norwich deny Spurs victory again? And five players who could influence the outcome of the game

Last season 1-1

Odds: Tottenham 9/20, Draw 18/5, Norwich 15/2

These two sides meet at the same stage as last season but now both have very different personnel to their squad. Before the international break, Tottenham’s short streak of 1-0 wins courtesy of a Roberto Soldado spot-kicks came to an end when they lost at the Emirates Stadium in the North London derby. Norwich’s season has had a mixed start with one of every result and have managed to take four points from two home games but lost on their last away outing at Hull City.

Spurs will be without midfielder Etienne Capoue as he continues his recovery from an ankle injury he picked up against Arsenal, though the hosts could welcome Aaron Lennon back into the side. Question marks still remain over the fitness of Gary Hooper for the canaries and whether he will play a part for the visitors. Elliot Bennett is sidelined until next year after a knee ligament injury, but Kieran Bennett could be considered for selection after recovering from a knee injury.

With Tottenham favourites to take all three points, let’s have a look at who the key players could be in this game.

Erik Lamela: Tottenham’s new record signing may well make his full debut in this game after appearing as a second half substitute against Arsenal. There have been some murmurs that Spurs may try a different attacking structure now that Gareth Bale has left the club, but Lamela is as close to being the like-for-like replacement as you’d get. Will he perform a similar role, or will it be a different one? Expect his performance to be closely scrutinised.

Lamela is also featured in our ten players to watch this weekend.

Roberto Soldado: Whatever new or different structure there may or may not be he will undoubtedly be the main man and lead the attack. He has been the source of Tottenham’s Premier League goals so far this season, with the aid of the penalty spot, but will he be the difference again for Spurs?

Paulinho: Midfield is always a key battle and if Paulinho plays well then you’d fancy the home side to stamp their authority upon the game. 

Sebastian Bassong: Defensively this is going to be a huge test for Norwich, and former Spurs centre-back Bassong, along with Michael Turner, will have to marshal the defence to keep Tottenham at bay.

Nathan Redmond: He has put in some exciting performances for both his club, and for England’s under 21 side. He got the winner against Southampton and seems to be a handful for anyone. Spurs will look to isolate him but if he manages to get on the ball often enough he could ruffle a few feathers.

Last time they met:

Norwich 1-1 Tottenham – Premier League January 2013

A wonderful solo effort from Gareth Bale prevented Norwich from claiming another big scalp at Carrow Road. Norwich took the lead just after the half-hour mark when Wes Hoolahan put the canaries in front. Sebastian Bassong narrowly missed out on doubling Norwich’s lead before Bale picked up the ball inside his own half and went on a dazzling run to finish well to grab Spurs an equaliser and a vital point. The result left Spurs very much in the mix for a Champions Leaugue place, whilst Norwich were looking slightly over their shoulder at what was going on towards the bottom of the table.

images: © apasciuto, © StartAgain

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