What’s the perfect way to bounce back from a harrowing last-minute capitulation against West Ham? Why, a second league game in a row against a physical, direct team which play in claret and blue, of course.
Spurs might have made short work of the mighty LASK in the Europa League on Thursday, but they’ll travel to Lancashire on Monday evening facing a different proposition altogether – a bruising contest against a Burnley side who relish every single clash against the big boys of the Premier League.
Sean Dyche’s side haven’t had the easiest season – finding themselves in the relegation zone with just one point after failing to win any of their first six games – but Spurs won’t have an easy ride in a fixture that they’ve traditionally struggled in.
Don’t be surprised to see Jose Mourinho opt for the following lineup as he aims to crack one of the toughest nuts in the Premier League…
Hugo Lloris (GK) – Pretty easy one to start off with, this. After a couple of wobbly years with injuries and everything in between, the Spurs captain is starting to look like, distribution aside, one of the best keepers in the league again.
Serge Aurier (RB) – Aurier’s Spurs career was all but written off when Matt Doherty made a surprising move to north London, but the Ivorian right-back has risen to the challenge posed by the former Wolves man, raising his game to nail down a spot in Spurs’ best eleven.
Davinson Sánchez (CB) – The Colombian centre-back is so close to returning to his former glory this season, and for all of 80 minutes against West Ham was magnificent, before heading the ball into his own net to give the Hammers a glimmer of hope. A work in progress, but currently in Mourinho’s good books.
Toby Alderweireld (CB) – Once arguably the best defender in the league, Father Time is starting to catch up with Alderweireld, whose lack of aerial prowess has been a serious Achilles heel for Spurs this season. With Eric Dier and Japhet Tanganga sidelined, however, Mourinho is unlikely to be brave enough to try Ben Davies as a centre-back for the second game in a row, and will stick with the Belgian.
Sergio Reguilon (LB) – Nothing short of a revelation for Spurs, who were utterly starved of an attacking left-back. The Europa League winner will be tasked with employing his boundless energy to stretch the Burnley backline.
Moussa Sissoko (CM) – As is customary, the Frenchman will likely be called upon to provide Burnley’s midfield with a robust physical challenge, but he will likely be without his regular partner Harry Winks, whose form has dipped in recent weeks.
Tanguy Ndombele (CM) – Is Mourinho playing him a little too high up the pitch? Yeah. Are the majority of Spurs fans just happy to see him starting regularly? Also yeah.
Pierre-Emile Højbjerg (CM) – Though his roulettes on the edge of his own box against LASK had Spurs fans hiding behind the sofa, Hojbjerg has shown some promising signs in his first few appearances, and may well end up displacing Winks in Spurs’ midfield.
Steven Bergwijn (RW) – The Dutchman is an interesting player – though he came flying out of the blocks last season, he looks a little short on confidence thus far in the current campaign. With Gareth Bale’s minutes needing to be carefully managed, he will have a good chance to prove himself at Turf Moor.
Harry Kane (ST) – Poacher, number ten, and for the first time in two years on Thursday, an unused substitute! The Premier League is soon going to have to adapt to the reality of a well-rested Harry Kane if Carlos Vinícius continues to look handy.
Son Heung-min (LW) – He. Doesn’t. Miss. The most lethal man in world football at the moment will complete a rather impressive attacking lineup for the Lilywhites.