Tottenham Hotspur will be looking to bounce back from their midweek embarrassment as they return to Premier League action this afternoon.
Antonio Conte and his side travel to Turf Moor to face third-from-bottom Burnley, who could move out of the relegation zone with three points, whilst Spurs must spark a reaction after losing to the Europa Conference League’s lowest-ranked side NS Mura on Thursday.
He fielded a largely rotated line-up in Slovenia, so it would be a surprise to see many of those keep their places, though Harry Kane is one who will undoubtedly remain.
One of those who earned some rest was Lucas Moura, and his introduction in the second half very much changed the game for the Lilywhites after he found the England talisman for the equaliser before Mura bagged themselves a historic last-minute winner.
The Brazilian winger can be a game-changer on his day, and against a resolute side like Sean Dyche’s clarets, he will be needed to provide that cutting edge once again, so the 52-year-old head coach must look to bring him back into the starting XI today.
In just 36 minutes of action on Thursday, he created two key chances, won three free-kicks and registered one successful dribble and one interception, per SofaScore.
Overall in the league, Moura has been Spurs’ second-best player (7.08), according to WhoScored ratings, who rank him just behind Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (7.16).
That would suggest that, despite the team’s inconsistencies on the pitch, he has been one of the few shining lights thus far. Indeed, he has proven to be a rare threat in the final third.
The £18m-rated dynamo has averaged a squad-high three dribbles, 1.5 shots and a second-best 1.3 key passes per game in the top-flight, meaning that on his day he has the ball-carrying and creative ability to provide Kane and Heung-min Son with chances, as well as for himself.
Whilst he’s yet to find the net in the Premier League from ten starts, he is certainly ahead of Steven Bergwijn in the pecking order after the Dutchman failed to make the trip to Slovenia.
“There’s no-one worse to train against than Lucas Moura. He’s a nightmare. He’s so fast, so sharp,” teammate and centre-back Eric Dier once claimed to the Premier League’s official YouTube channel.
Former Spurs manager Jose Mourinho previously dubbed him a “team player” in an interview with the club’s official website, where he added: “He’s always there for the team, playing amazing or not so amazing, but always there, always fighting for the team.”
That’s the sort of attitude that Conte will absolutely love, and in Moura, he could well have a game-changer in the attack. The Brazilian must start up in Lancashire today.