Tottenham will have their chance to reclaim the top spot and even go two points clear when they host London neighbours Fulham.
The topsy-turvy nature of the Premier League has continued, as there were some changes to the top order in the standings. Arsenal’s draw against Chelsea and Manchester City’s win ensured the latter went on top, with the Gunners level but second on goal difference. Now, Tottenham have a fantastic chance to reclaim their pole position when they take on Fulham, only this time they can have an undisputed two-point lead.
With Arsenal’s draw, the Gunners remained unbeaten, something Ange Postecoglou would hope for his side as well. The two North Londoners are the only undefeated sides in the Premier League, and Tottenham will certainly want to beat Fulham to maintain their status in that regard.
Before the international break, Tottenham showed resilience to bear Luton Town despite going a man down. Yves Bissouma saw red for two yellows, and even then, Spurs did not feel like they were a man short. Micky van de Ven scored his first goal for the club and secured the three points with ease.
If there is one word to rate Fulham’s season so far, then ‘inconsistency’ can describe the Cottagers aptly. Marco Silva’s side continued the sequence of winning a game and then losing the next, which does not make a good reading ahead of their trip to north London.
The nasty injury to Chris Basham overshadowed a good win over Sheffield United. Yet, Silva will have been relieved with his side’s result but will want to see his team start churning out consistent results.
Dreaming of a win away at Spurs might be seen as a big ask. But Fulham certainly possess the quality to pull off a good result. The Cottagers are lingering around the lower mid-table, and Silva would want to mind the gap between them and those languishing around the relegation zone.
After this, Fulham face Brighton & Hove Albion, Manchester United and Aston Villa, which calls for them to go into those fixtures with positive momentum. Ahead of the latest meeting between the two sides, The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at the encounter.
Team News & Tactics
Ange Postecoglou does have a fairly long injury list, but nothing from the latest round of internationals. The manager confirmed all players returned unscathed and also brushed off doubts over Son Heung-min and Cristian Romero after the pair appeared to pick up knocks.
Yves Bissouma will serve his one-match suspension after his red card against Luton Town. In his absence, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg will slot into midfield alongside Pape Matar Sarr. There are no major changes expected across the pitch, with Postecoglou fairly happy with his team’s progress so far.
With a lack of wide-left options in the attack, Postecoglou could choose to play Richarlison there and Son as his centre-forward. Dejan Kulusevski will continue on the right-hand side, with James Maddison pulling the strings from the No.10 position.
Romero will likely start and maintain his ongoing partnership with Micky van de Ven. Tottenham do not have great options beyond those starting central defenders. So, Postecoglou might have to show some nous in rotating from time to time.
Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Vicario; Porro, Romero, Van de Ven, Udogie; Sarr, Hojbjerg; Kulusevski, Maddison, Richarlison; Son
Marco Silva also has a fairly strong injury list ahead of the short trip to North London. Kenny Tete, Adama Traore and Tosin Adarabioyo remain sidelined for this clash, while Issa Diop has not recovered from the injury suffered in the last game.
Timothy Castagne will continue at right-back, with Antonee Robinson primed to remain at left-back. Tim Ream and Calvin Bassey should keep their central defensive partnership going, while the other positions will have familiar faces from recent games.
Alex Iwobi, having made a mark recently, will remain on the right side of the midfield, with Joao Palhinha sitting at the base. Andreas Pereira will swiftly move from the left and drift towards the No.10 position during possession.
Bobby De Cordova-Reid will attack down the right channel, while Raul Jimenez will feature on the bench. Silva will choose Carlos Vinicius as his leading striker, while Willian from the left will complete the front three selections.
Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Leno; Castagne, Bassey, Ream, Robinson; Iwobi, Palhinha, Pereira; Cordova-Reid, Vinicius, Willian
- Tottenham have won six of their last eight matches in the Premier League.
- Tottenham are one of the two teams to remain unbeaten in the Premier League this season.
- Tottenham are undefeated in their last ten matches against Fulham in all competitions.
- Tottenham have scored in each of their last 12 Premier League home games.
- Fulham have failed to win against Tottenham in the Premier League since the 2012/13 season.
Player to Watch
Tottenham fans are not getting carried away with the probability of their team challenging for the title. But they are surely thinking about it. Son remains a big part of their thought, as they will think the South Korean’s form will have a direct impact on the team’s results.
So far, he has been their main force in the attack, and once more, the South Korean must show his best self in beating Fulham. These are games that Spurs need to win and take advantage of dropped points elsewhere. Postecoglou will look up to Son to get the goals and keep his side dreaming about a title challenge for another week at the very least.
Tottenham 3-1 Fulham
The Cottagers have shown major inconsistencies with their run of results, and that trend might continue with their trip to North London. With Marco Silva’s side struggling for relevance, Tottenham are flying at the moment despite some narrow results in recent games.
Yet, Spurs have the overall quality to trounce a team like Fulham, especially on home soil. Ange Postecoglou will mastermind this game and ensure his players are in a relaxed mood and take the victory with ease. Hence, Tottenham are the overwhelming favourites to take three points, but the Cottagers might nick a goal somewhere.