Tottenham Hotspur return to Premier League action this afternoon and the north London outfit will be looking to maintain ground in the race for a top-four finish.
The Lilywhites have slipped up in recent outings, picking up just a point from Brentford and Brighton, and it has allowed their arch-rivals, Arsenal, to gain an advantage with the Gunners sat two points clear in fourth position.
Antonio Conte’s side can put pressure on their fierce foes as they don’t play until later, travelling to West Ham this evening.
It will be interesting to see what sort of side the Italian names for this encounter, not at least because they struggled to create anything of note against Christian Eriksen’s Bees last time out.
Here’s the XI we are predicting today…
Goalkeeper: Hugo Lloris is likely to remain between the sticks as trusted no.1 and club captain.
Back three: This area is also set to be unaltered, meaning impressive Atalanta loanee Cristian Romero continues alongside Eric Dier – the middle of the three – and left-back Ben Davies.
Left wing-back: In the absence of Sergio Reguilon, who Conte confirmed as being absent for this clash during his pre-game press conference, the Italian will only be able to depend upon Ryan Sessegnon.
Right wing-back: Given Emerson’s persistent struggles in the role and Matt Doherty’s season-ending injury, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see a bold call on the right. One player capable of featuring here is Dejan Kulusevski, who has averaged 1.2 tackles and 0.8 interceptions per game, only 0.2 and 0.1 off of the Irishman.
“Also Dejan Kulusevski can play as a wing-back,” claimed the Italian head coach ahead of kick-off.
Central midfield: This is another area that is likely to go unscathed, with both Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and January arrival Rodrigo Bentancur marshalling the engine room once again.
Left wing: Heung-min Son will keep his place on the left, playing just off the striker, as normal.
Right wing: With the 22-year-old Sweden international in a new role, we could see a rare start for Lucas Moura, who has previously been dubbed a “nightmare” to train against by his teammate, Dier. The £18m-rated Brazilian lost his place to Kuluseveski but may earn a chance to impress today.
It would be his first start since February, some 12 games ago.
Striker: Harry Kane is undroppable at this point, so we can expect the England talisman to remain.
Predicted Spurs XI (3-4-2-1): Lloris; Davies, Dier, Romero; Sessegnon, Hojbjerg, Bentancur, Kulusevski; Son, Moura; Kane.