Out-of-form Tottenham Hotspur welcome Sheffield United to North London for a Premier League clash which, prior to kick-off, actually sees the Blades three points and five places above Spurs.
Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London, England
Key Stat: Sheffield United have the joint-best defensive record in the Premier League this season, and have conceded just once in their last four games.
Expert Verdict: Tottenham Hotspur got back to winning ways in the Champions League in mid-week and will look to carry that momentum into a so far below-par Premier League campaign. They will not have it easy against a Sheffield United side who have been so good defensively this season, but home advantage could swing things Spurs’ way.
Erik Lamela will be assessed as he bids to recovery from a minor thigh injury, but Jan Vertonghen is not expected to recover from his hamstring strain until after the international break. The Belgian defender joins Hugo Lloris on Spurs’ injury list. Son Heung-Min is available after his red card against Everton was rescinded. Ryan Sessegnon and Giovani Lo Celso are both available.
Son Heung-Min – Four goals in two games against Red Star Belgrade have proved his touch in front of goal and he will want to make headlines for the right reasons after Andre Gomes’ injury last weekend.
Harry Kane – The England captain’s early goal against Liverpool was his sixth in ten league games so far this season.
Giovani Lo Celso – Available again after injury and scored his first Tottenham goal in the mid-week win in Belgrade too.
Tottenham Hotspur’s only wins since the start of October have been in the Champions League, home and away against Red Star Belgrade. They scored five at home and four away, with Son Heung-Min scoring twice in each game. In between, however, they lost 2-1 at Liverpool despite Harry Kane giving them a first-minute lead and then drew 1-1 at Everton after Dele Alli’s controversial opener was cancelled out. Son was sent off in that game for the tackle that led to Andre Gomes dislocating his ankle, but the decision has since been rescinded.
Defenders:Juan Foyth, Toby Alderweireld, Davinson Sanchez, Danny Rose
Midfielders:Tanguy NDombele, Giovani Lo Celso
Attacking Midfielders:Son Heung-Min, Dele Alli, Ryan Sessegnon
Chris Wilder has been fortunate with injuries so far this season, with only John Egan a doubt for this weekend after he was taken off last time out. Phil Jagielka will replace him if he misses out, but the Blades could otherwise be unchanged.
Lys Mousset – Set up all three goals in the weekend win against Burnley and has been in good form up front himself too, despite the Blades’ overall lack of goals.
John Lundstram – Two goals at the weekend to continue an excellent season so far, in which he has been a key figure in the middle of the park.
Dean Henderson – Has bounced back from his mistake against Liverpool with more shut-outs, behind an excellent and well-drilled defence.
Sheffield United have only conceded once in their last four games as they have bounced back superbly from defeat to Liverpool. They drew 0-0 at Watford but then beat Arsenal thanks to Lys Mousset’s goal, drew at West Ham, with Mousset again scoring, and then put three past Burnley with the young striker setting up all three goals. John Lundstram scored twice and John Fleck bagged the other.
Defenders:Chris Basham, Phil Jagielka, Jack O’Connell
Midfielders:George Baldock, John Lundstram, Oliver Norwood, John Fleck, Enda Stevens
Forwards:David McGoldrick, Lys Mousset
Tottenham Hotspur and Sheffield United’s only meetings since the Blades were last in the Premier League in 2007 were in the League Cup semi-finals in 2015. Christian Eriksen scored twice in the second leg to ensure Spurs won 3-2 on aggregate to reach the final.
Sheffield United are currently three points clear of Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League and looking at the way both have played this season it is easy to see why.
Chris Wilder’s Blades have been disciplined, conceding very few goals, and their attacking form has improved of late with Lys Mousset scoring two and setting up three of their last five goals.
John Lundstram was at the double at the weekend and John Fleck scored the other, but it is the way those two control the midfield battle that has been most impressive.
Tottenham, on the other hand, are in poor form. They have not won a league game since September, and their subsequent matches include the thrashing at home to Bayern Munich in the Champions League.
Last weekend was overshadowed by Andre Gomes’ horror injury, and Son Heung-Min’s since rescinded red card, but the truth was Spurs were off-key again.
Nevertheless, they recovered to put four past Red Star Belgrade in mid-week, with Son scoring twice, and they have the added bonus of Giovani Lo Celso and Ryan Sessegnon – their summer signings – getting back to full fitness too.
It means, going into this game, Spurs might fancy their chances of bucking the trend and – with home advantage – closing the gap to the teams above them.
A couple of wins will put them right back into contention for the top four – that is how close it is in mid-table at the moment.
Sheffield United have proved they will not be pushovers, but Spurs – buoyed by their mid-week win – could snatch a result.
Tottenham Hotspur are favourites to beat Sheffield United at home, with Bet365, Ladbrokes, Betfair and Betway all offering the best price of 4/7.
Sheffield United do not concede many, however, and there could be very little in this game. Under 2.5 goals returns a generous 11/10 with Bet365 and Betfair. Under 1.5 goals is priced at 10/3 with Betfair.
Likewise, you can bet against both teams to score at evens with Betfair.
As for the goalscorer(s), Harry Kane is a best price of 5/6 with Ladbrokes to score at any time. Son Heung-Min is 13/8 as he looks to continue the form he showed in mid-week.
Tottenham Hotspur’s home advantage makes them favourites but Sheffield United will not be pushovers and there could be very little in this game.