Spurs vs Swansea
Date: 25th August
Venue: White Hart Lane
Spurs vs Swansea – Two teams face each other boosted with their mid week European victories. Swansea smashed Petrolul Ploiesti 5-1 at the Liberty Stadium on Thursday evening while Tottenham enjoyed a comfortable 5-0 win at Dinamo Tbilisi on the same day with both their new signings Roberto Soldado and Paulinho bagging a goal each.
Gareth Bale may never play for them again as he is still out with an ankle injury. Lewis Holtby is also out with a recurring hip injury. Aaron Lennon is expected to start after recovering from ankle problems.
Main miss for them will be their influential midfielder Nathan Dyer, who is sidelined with a hamstring problem. But Jonathan De Guzman could make into subs for the game.
Lloris; Walker, Dawson, Vertonghen (or Kaboul) , Rose; Paulinho, Demebele; Lennon, Sigurdsson, Chadli; Soldado.
Subs(from): Friedel (gk), Naughton, Kaboul, Sandro, Capoue, Townsend, Carroll, Defoe, Fryers, Coulthirst.
Vorm; Rangel, Chico, Williams(Capt), Davies; Britton, Canas; Routledge, Michu, Hernandez; Bony.
Subs(from): Tremmel (gk), Richards, Taylor, Monk, Amat, Ki, Shelvey, de Guzman, Lamah, Pozuelo.
Before getting into that, there is a common myth with football bloggers that good tactical analysis need lot of complicated pictures & stats. Let’s not do it that way. We will just try to simulate the game theoretically in simple terms.
Slow Tempo? Not against Swans please!
Tottenham usually tend to start the game with a slow tempo with lot of horizontal and backward passes to have more possession. This is a good tactics when dealing with defensive teams who maintain a compact structure in the pitch. This is also good for the late game bursts if the situation demands it. Players will still have enough stamina to do it. But doing the same against Swansea could be a costly mistake. Swansea is not just passing & possession hungry team, they are good at counter attacks too. Its more like, if the opponent tries to play possession football, then they will adapt to a counter attacking tactics or else they will play normally (possession football). So, if spurs try to show their possession strength, then they need to wary of Swansea counter attacks. Yeah, this is a home game and spurs are expected to control the game, but they need to find a balanced tempo to confuse the Swans.
Lennon And Walker – Clash of teammates
Not sure how many of you guys noticed this, but somehow Lennon seems to be the reason why Walker is not using his full attacking potential. Lennon usually loves to drift down to the wings and spend most of his time there. Now a days, he is less adventurous to make inverted runs or to shift his positions more during the game. This effects Walkers’ overlapping runs as their game areas clash with each other. So, Walker is forced to deliver early crosses from the back. There are two possible ways to solve this issue, 1. Lennon should make more inverted runs/middle runs (like the one he did against Arsenal last season) allowing Walker to make his marauding runs. 2. Walker should make central runs whenever possible (like Zabaleta) but to make this happen, Lennon should be ready to help in defense too, other wise, team will be exposed defensively to opponent wingers/full backs. Anyway, Lennon will be a key player for spurs in this game, as he has the lightning pace to take advantage of Swansea’s high lined defense.
Picture credit: EPL index
Swans Point of view
Seeing it from their view, Swansea will stick to their renowned football philosophy until or unless they are outplayed by Spurs in the middle of the pitch. With Bony’s arrival, Michu is given an advanced free role which will further help the squad to link passes in the final third. Jonjo Shelvey can also play a vital role in controlling the game. His ability to make Box to Box runs will give headache to Spurs midfield and defense.
Swansea are vulnerable to long through balls that will split their high lined defense. Man Utd exposed this perfectly last weekend. Robin van Persie opened the scoring with a super finish after a lofted pass over the top of the centre backs. They need to take care of this and also, Swansea need to be 100% accurate with their offiside traps to neutralize their pacy opponents from cutting trough their defense.
Neutrals will hope for an open game with at least 2 or 3 goals which is very much possible considering the level of talents that both of these teams have. Swansea will hope to get their first points of the season asap while spurs will love to get 3 points themselves to stay competitive at the top. Spurs’ depth and home advantage will be enough for them to secure a narrow win on Sunday.
Tottenham 3 Swansea 2 (a possible late win for spurs).