Spurs will be a
little leg weary after the ten men fought back to valiantly
lose 3-4 at Internazionale on Wednesday night, but will be
buoyed by the way they opened up the Champions League
holders in the second half, whilst a man down.
aspect is that Spurs have had to come from behind a number
of times this season already and while it shows a strength
of character previously missing, keeping clean sheets are
important to maintain their place in the top sides in the
constantly changing central defensive pairing is not helping
in building an understanding at the back and with Ledley now
likely to be out for a while and Dawson still not ready to
rejoin the side, it may be that Sebastien Bassong and
William Gallas might have to learn to play together and do
so in the first team.
arrive after a perfunctory 2-0 win over Liverpool in the
Merseyside derby last weekend, having shown enough to see
off an out of sorts Anfield outfit. So they have the
confidence of a win under their belts as they arrive at the
need to show good energy in midfield where Mikael Arteta
might be available after picking up a nock in last week's
match, with the Spaniard being the man who makes Everton
tick like a smoother Swiss clock when he is in the team.
His play keeps the ball moving and his passing sets up
chances, as well as his movement getting him into shooting
positions ... oh .. and his free-kicks aren't bad either.
Everton are suffering in midfield a bit at the moment, with
Jack Rodwell and Steven Pienaar both out long term, but it
should allow the likes of Seamus Coleman, who is being raved
about by the media for his performances this season and
Dinyar Bilyaletdinov, who is a pacy Russian with a cracking
shot on him.
and still upsetting people, is Aussie Tim Cahill, who is a
prolific scorer from midfield, mainly from set pieces, but
has a side to his game which is unnecessarily brought into
his play, when he is a good enough player not to need to
show that side of his character. With Tottenham's
midfield having put in a tough shift on Wednesday, you might
be thinking they will find it hard to match the effort the
Toffee's engine room puts in, but with van der Vaart and
Modric being fresh from having little or no involvement in
the Inter match, they will have energy to spare and the
others might be ready to get their boots back on after
showing they are able to match the likes of Zanetti,
Sneijder and Stankovic.
goal-scoring has been a problem and with Louis Saha and
Victor Anichebe suffering injuries, it has been left to the
returning Yakubu to lead the line and he is now doing so
quite effectively again. Jermaine Beckford had been signed
to share the goal-scoring load, but he has had a tough
introduction into the Premier League after doing well at
Leeds United last season, both in League One and in the FA
Cup run, also scoring well in pre-season. However, the
real thing is a different matter and unless Moyes wants to
spring a surprise, he will start on the bench. Leon
Osman's injury last weekend rules him out and further limits
At the back,
Leighton Baines, Sylvain Distin, Phil Jagielka and Tony
Hibbert will probably form their back four, although Phil
Neville might be used at full back instead of Hibbert, is
not deployed in midfield. Baines has shown he is good
going forward, but his defending still needs to be worked on
ad was shown in the England build-up games to the World Cup.
Deadly from free-kicks though, as we know from his time at
Wigan. Distin and Jagielka are almost polar opposites.
The French defender is stylish and wants to play the ball,
while Jagielka is a more typical English centre-half,
willing to throw himself in the way of the ball and dispose
of it when it needs to be. Distin has a chequered
record against Spurs when playing for Portsmouth and
Manchester City, with some of our players giving him a bit
of a chasing. Jagielka, on the other hand, usually has
a good game against us and it will be interesting to see how
they cope with the new Spurs system of one up top an VDV
just in the hole.
Tim Howard is a strange keeper, as he can be inspired or an
have a bit of a mare, with strange decision making letting
him down. For a goalkeeper, that can be costly and
while he is normally sound and makes good stops from shots,
he does try to come for crosses he is unlikely to take.
Tottenham will need to test him out early on, to see what
sort of day he is likely to have.
It will not
be an easy game, as it never is, against Everton.
Moyes will have them pumped up (not in a Wolves/Stoke way),
but Spurs will need to learn how to cope with this approach
and seem now to have the steely determination to pit their
wits against it. For that reason, I think they will
squeak a narrow win, with Rafael making the difference
between the two teams ...
: - Tottenham Hotspur 2
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