After much criticism and starting in the Europa League last night against Anzhi, it seemed certain Roberto Soldado would play second fiddle to Jermain Defoe this Sunday. Soldado scoring a hat-trick has put a cat amongst the pigeons.
Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas has a bit of a selection dilemma ahead of Sunday’s clash with Liverpool at White Hart Lane.
With a lack of goals being highlighted domestically, Villas-Boas has the option of selecting either Jermain Defoe or Roberto Soldado at the head of the attack.
Given that Roberto Soldado was selected in the starting line-up in last night’s 4-1 Europa League win over Anzhi Makhachkala, you would think that Defoe is a certain starter for Sunday’s game – but Soldado’s performance will have given AVB something to think about.
But which of the two strikers would Liverpool prefer to face?
If we have a look at Defoe’s record against Liverpool, the striker has played 19 games, and struck only on two occasions, the most recent of which in a 4-0 win in September 2011 at White Hart Lane. The other occasion was the equaliser in Rafa Benitez’s first game in charge of the Reds. It’s not a record Liverpool will lose sleep over.
As far as the Englishman’s form goes this season, he has been impressive in the Europa League – even though some will argue the group hasn’t been very strong this season, seven goals from five appearances is a decent return, and has managed to score twice in the League Cup. As far as the Premier League goes, however, he has yet to score during his 11 appearances, though it must be said eight of them have been cameo roles and he has only started three matches.
Soldado is currently Spurs’ leading scorer in the league, though three of his four goals have come from the penalty spot. He has also struck on five occasions in the Europa League and the confidence he will have got from last night’s hat-trick, which included a couple of classy finishes, you would think another game just three days away would be ideal for him to thrown in to.
Liverpool’s defence would much prefer a striker that hadn’t scored a hat-trick just three days earlier than one who has, added that Soldado feels he has a point to prove and is desperate to improve his scoring record in the Premier League, add in the factor he is more of an unknown quantity compared to Defoe.
It’s certainly something to ponder for Villas-Boas.
image: © Victor Gutierrez Navarro