Predicted Tottenham Hotspur XI to play Southampton - Eriksen to return

Match to be played on Sunday 22nd December 2013 at 13:30. Venue: St. Mary's Stadium, Southampton.

Tim Sherwood will definitely have to put his thinking cap on over the next couple of days as he mulls over how to get a response from the Spurs squad following back-to-back defeats.

Spurs went down 2-1 at home against West Ham in the League Cup last night, which means confidence around the club is going to be low and the match away at Southampton this weekend will be incredibly difficult.

Spurs will of course be missing Paulinho who is suspended but Sherwood has plenty of other options to consider. Here’s the side he may select.

GK – Hugo Lloris

Lloris should continue in the number one role. He’s a very good goalkeeper in all aspects and has shown a lot of desire and passion to play for the club at various points this season.

RB – Kyle Walker

Walker is the best right-back option that Tottenham have available so he’ll continue on that side of the defence. He’ll have to play sensible football as the Saints will press him high up the pitch.

CB – Michael Dawson

It’s important Dawson plays in the heart of the defence because Tottenham need a reaction from their captain. There will be plenty looking towards him to grab the side by the scruff of the neck at the moment.

CB – Vlad Chiriches

Returned to the side against West Ham United and he’s a more balanced central defensive option than Etienne Capoue. Chiriches should also be relishing the chance to dominate in the Spurs back four.

LB – Danny Rose

Rose has to play on the left because he provides natural balance to the back four. He gets forward well and provides good width on that side of the pitch. He’s also quick enough to fill in for other players who get caught out of position.

RM – Aaron Lennon

Lennon will play on the right following the news that Andros Townsend will be out of action for a couple of weeks. He has the pace and the trickery to cause chaos down his side of the pitch if he can get forward and isn’t pinned back.

DM – Etienne Capoue

Expect Capoue to step into a more natural defensive midfield role with a slight adjustment needed because of Paulinho’s injury. He should certainly be good enough to help protect the back four.

CM – Moussa Dembele

Dembele has to step up and control this game in the middle. If he can dominate in the face of some very talented attacking Southampton players then Spurs stand a great chance of getting the better chances.

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AM – Christian Eriksen

Sherwood has already surprised a few bringing back Emmanuel Adebayor, but it wouldn’t be such a surprise if he throws Eriksen back into the team. The Dane is superb in that role just behind the main striker.

LM – Gylfi Sigurdsson

With Townsend out injured, Sigurdsson may be asked to play wide on the left. He can cut inside when Rose gets forward but he has to be disciplined because Southampton will target him as a potential weakness if he starts on the wing.

ST – Roberto Soldado

The job for Soldado is to try and occupy more than one Southampton defender. There is enough pace and movement in the Spurs midfield that he doesn’t have to run himself ragged but Tottenham need a mature and intelligent performance from the Spaniard.

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