It was always bound to happen. After several matches of unconvincing performance, Tottenham Hotspur It finally ended up with a loss, dropping a terrible relationship against Sporting on Tuesday to disturb the peace Champions League Situation. While the league’s record remains flawless, it won’t last long without some changes.
Spurs have been fortunate in the opening with six unbeaten matches, but they are not without a potential cure if they are willing to improve. The quality and brilliance of this team has been well documented, but for whatever reason, this combination did not replicate the results and the critical play shown throughout last season. It would be unrealistic to think that the potential is completely wasted based on eight early matches.
Antonio Conte has yet to find a way to turn things around quickly. This Saturday is a good chance for it to happen against the sad Leicester City, who somehow sits dead last in the Premier League with just one point from six games. This level of competition is dangerous, because anything other than a convincing win will raise alarms to another level.
Tottenham Hotspur (2nd place, 14 points) vs Leicester City (20 points).
Date: Saturday 17th September
time: 12:30 PM ET, 5:30 PM UK
Site: Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London, England
Television: NBC (USA), Sky Sports Main Event (UK)
Leicester have been terrible and it started off defensively, with only one club allowing more goals than 16 conceded this season. The Foxes aren’t exactly bad according to xGA (9.1), but either way this is a golden opportunity for some Spurs attackers to get back in shape. This could be the debut for defender Wout Faes, who has the challenging task of replacing Wesley Fofana, but even this addition won’t solve all the defense issues that have been a constant topic so far.
Meanwhile, the recording on the other end wasn’t great either. While Leicester average goals (8), xG is much less favorable at (5.5), a figure of five at the lowest level in the league. Jamie Vardy, Kelechi Iheanacho and Patson Dhaka have both given very little, and while this is likely to be resolved at some point, it is hoped that they will remain scattered this weekend.
Spurs had some memorable moments against Leicester last season, from Steven Bergwijn’s memorable stoppage-time double to Heung-Min Son to help start Spurs’ sprint sprint to fourth. Some of those good feelings could come in handy this weekend as the team needs another shot of momentum to help get things back on track.
The son who scored that double in May is nowhere to be found at the moment, and it finally looks like it’s time for Dejan Kulusevski to take his place in the starting lineup for a match or two. The Swede was one of the few bright spots against Sporting and offers something on the right side of the field that is much needed, as Emerson Royal is completely unable to meet the attacking demand of the position.
Sporting have been the latest team to put pressure on Tottenham and cause problems in their midfield, and Conte remains stubborn in both formation and rotation. At this point, we’re hoping the usual suspects will step it up a bit and get a little more accurate when the ball rolls in the right direction. Given how filthy Tuesday’s pass looked, it’s not unreasonable to think that a 5 percent improvement across the board would be enough to turn that trend around, but relying on such a positive regression may just be a security reasoning.