Spurs travel north for their battle with Burnley at Turf Moor, buffed by the news that Harry Kane is back and ready for action having recovered from his recurring ankle injury.
Fortunately for the Lilywhites, they have hardly missed the England captain’s absence due to the electric form of Heung-min Son who, should Mauricio Pochettino do the maths ahead of a busy run of fixtures, should be dropped for the Clarets clash.
Spurs have proved in the last month that they aren’t the one man team many football fans label them as being – instead, the likes of the aforementioned Son and even Fernando Llorente have stepped up to the plate and delivered the vital goals that have kept the north London outfit in the title race.
Kane’s immediate recall for this weekend’s clash would surely be a no brainer for many Spurs fans and, while it may be a risk to thrust the only-just-recovered number 9 back in against one of the Premier League’s most physical sides, Pochettino must think about what his team needs and when, in a period where they have three games in seven days.
Why, then, should Son, who has scored in three consecutive games, be dropped against Burnley instead?
The 25-year-old has chalked up five goals and an assist in seven games against the Clarets and will be keen to add to that stellar record in their next meeting.
Meanwhile, Son is in desperate need of a rest having played 89 minutes or more in the last four Premier League games and the full 90 minutes against Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday. The clash with Burnley seems like the perfect time to give him a break.
Plus, Pochettino has plenty of other attacking midfielders to choose from so there is no need for Son to be restored in his left-wing role so soon, and Llorente might be a better partner for Kane up front this game anyway – Sean Dyche’s side are adept at dealing with balls into the box and sit very deep so the Spaniard’s height may be more useful than Son’s pace.
A battle with the Blues is just around the corner – Wednesday, to be precise – and a different approach will be required for that game. Starting Kane in two games so close to each other after the striker has just returned from injury should not be considered by Pochettino, who would be better served bringing Son back in for the Blues clash.
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Maurizio Sarri’s side struggled to break down teams who sit deep so perhaps Spurs’ joy will come – like it did the last time the two London clubs met – on the counter, where 26-year-old Son’s pace will be crucial.
After all is Arsenal, where Pochettino will hopefully be able to unleash a fully recovered, fully rested Kane and field his strongest side against their bitter rivals. Leaving Son out this weekend might be an unthinkable decision to make but, considering how hectic the fixture schedule is in the next seven days, it would be an extremely smart decision for the Spurs boss to make.