Andre Villas-Boas will be hoping for two things as his Tottenham Hotspur side prepared to face Hull for the second time within four days.
Firstly, he’ll be hoping for a more flamboyant performance than in the 1-0 win last weekend and secondly, he’ll be hoping for a noisier and more hostile atmosphere from the White Hart Lane crowd.
Spurs should retain strength through the heart of their side despite the likeliness there will be several changes for this fixture.
Here’s the side AVB could go with.
GK – Brad Friedel
The American is a very safe option to have coming into the side. He’s a very experienced player, comfortable with his role at the club and he’s still a very fit player despite his older age. He should give the back four in front of him plenty of confidence.
RB – Kyle Naughton
Naughton could be given the nod to play on the right hand side of defence. Spurs won’t lose anything in terms of attacking potential with Naughton fit enough and quick enough to run the right flank throughout the game.
CB – Vlad Chiriches
Chiriches should retain his starting position in the heart of the defence. He looks very comfortable now he’s got his foot in through the door, nailing down a starting position in the first team. A solid 90 minutes here will just cement his chances of playing regularly in all competitions this season.
CB – Jan Vertonghen
Vertonghen should slot in on the left side of central defence after playing at left-back last weekend. He’s extremely comfortable in that position and is well suited to deal with any threat Hull pose, whether that’s pressure through passing football or an aerial bombardment.
LB – Zeki Fryers
Fryers played in the last round of this competitions and he should get another chance to impress. He looks raw defensively and in an attacking sense but the only way he’s going to learn is if he keeps getting the chance to start games and have a role in that back four.
RM – Erik Lamela
Lamela should get a chance to play a key role in attack. He’s been struggling for opportunities since his high profile move from Roma over the summer but this is a chance for him to make life difficult for AVB, with a comprehensive all round attacking performance.
DM – Moussa Dembele
AVB probably didn’t want to use Dembele over the weekend but was forced to throw him on for the second half. He’s a great option to have coming into the side to protect the back four.
CM – Paulinho
The Brazilian should be released to push forward and play more of a central position. He can rotate regularly with Dembele in front of the defence but this match presents him with the chance to go and cause chaos in the opponent’s final third, adding to his goal tally for the season.
AM – Christian Eriksen
Eriksen only played for half an hour over the weekend so he’ll be slightly fresher. He’s a great option to have at attacking midfield in any game and this is just another 90 minutes for him to sit at the top of the midfield looking to feed others, as well as getting into good attacking positions himself.
LM – Gylfi Sigurdsson
Sigurdsson can slot in on the left of midfield, rotating with any of the central midfield players if the situation warrants it. He started in this position at the start of the season and needs a good performance now that Aaron Lennon is back fit again.
ST – Jermain Defoe
Defoe will be full of confidence at the moment due to his exploits in the Europa League. He’s a very experienced attacking player, able to play on the shoulder of the defence or able to drop off into the midfield to get on the ball and create space for other players.
What do you think? Who do you want to see starting the game?
image: © OliverN5