Tottenham Hotspur will fancy their chances of a result against Arsenal this weekend, but it’s important key players in the team step up to take some of the pressure away from Harry Kane and Christian Eriksen.
Spurs may have the home advantage but they are going to take a lot of pressure over the course of the game, which increases the importance of their defence.
Arsenal have a side crammed full of central midfield players who can all dominate possession and dictate the game and it’s important that Tottenham’s back four is resilient and sees out the danger.
One defender who can really step up and improve his status at the club in this game is Federico Fazio.
Fazio took a little time to settle after a move from Sevilla last summer, but he’s forged a solid relationship alongside Jan Vertonghen, which will be tested in this game.
Fazio is important for a number of reasons this weekend and needs to make the most of his physical presence and ability.
He’ll be important in terms of roughing up Olivier Giroud, sticking to him like glue and making life difficult for Arsenal’s Frenchman.
If he can force Giroud to drop deep, Arsenal’s attack will become easier to contain for Tottenham’s backline.
The defence is only part of the story and if Fazio and the rest of the back four does well, the responsibility will then fall on the attack to perform.
Another player who can really step up and use this match to his advantage if he starts is Erik Lamela.
One goal from all Premier League appearances this season is a tally which he needs to improve on though four assists from all appearances is impressive.
If Lamela starts, he’ll most likely occupy the Tottenham attack slightly to the right.
He has the ability to keep the left-back occupied and could pull Laurent Koscileny, Arsenal’s left sided centre half, out of position.
Harry Kane, Eriksen or any other player can then take advantage of that space.
Lamela also has the quality to come into the middle of the team if the opportunity develops and if he gets a chance to score, he has to make the most of it.
The focus may be on other players but Fazio and Lamela could definitely have a say in this game.