Premier League is after a weekend’s break and some magical FA Cup action. The gameweek promises to be another exciting one as the league approaches the business end with the top 4 race getting intense with every match played.
Tottenham Hotspur managed to make some crucial times in the dying days of the transfer window after losing their prime targets. They eased past against fellow Premier League club, Brighton, in their latest FA Cup fixture and will host the Saints to keep their top 4 hopes alive.
Saints had a rough weekend as they just edged past Coventry in their FA Cup tie but all importantly did manage to win the tie and progress to the next round.
WHERE AND WHEN?
Venue: Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Date: Wednesday, 9th February 2022.
Time: 19:45 (BST)
Referee: David Coote.
Assistants: Harry Lennard, Nick Hopton.
Fourth official: Graham Scott.
VAR: John Brooks.
Assistant VAR: Lee Betts.
The hosts will be without the services of Eric Dier, Oliver Skipp and Tanganga. A strong team display in FA Cup might tempt Conte to retain the same starting XI but the introduction of the new signings, Bentancur and Kulusevski, in the starting line-up might be possible.
The Saints were very unlucky on the weekend as they lost a key member in defence, Lyanco, due to a hamstring injury and the defender might be out for almost rest of the season. This will add up to already existing problems. Despite this, a small ray of hope was the possibility of a return of Broja whose injury is not as serious as feared at first. Southampton’s training also saw the return of Smallbone and Djenepo while Tella and McCarthy still remain out of contention.
With United losing points yet again, the top 4 spot is all for Spurs to lose. With handful of games in hand over others, they can leap to 3rd place and thus losing on the spot will be nothing less than a blunder for Conte’s coup. Antonio Conte has started a roll-in of players in the transfer window and now will have to deliver on the pitch to prove the board his worth. The season’s goal as now definitely has to be a top 4 finish and hopefully a FA Cup win to end a trophyless spell at the White side of London.
Southampton are building an impressive team under Hasenhuttl and have performed well against big teams snatching points against Manchester City, Liverpool, Manchester United and even their opponents of the day, Spurs. Last time despite going down to 10 men, they were able to end up with a point and will be hoping to do the same in the game and this time even go for all 3 points.
Tottenham, now, are in hope for starting a run of consistent results and this is something where they can bank on Conte. Conte is known for his impressive league record and now being a settled man, he will for sure have plans to make his magic work. With European aspirations already over for this season, he will not be worried for team rotation and will go with his best XI in every league game to secure the Top 4 game. Hasenhuttl has managed to get the better of every tactician in the league and a tactical battle between the two bosses on the sidelines will be a great one to witness.
Tottenham Hotspur XI: Lloris; Romero, Sanchez, Davies; Emerson, Winks, Hojbjerg, Reguilon; Lucas, Kane, Son.
Southampton XI: Forster; Salisu, Bednarek, Stephens; Livramento, Romeu, Ward-Prowse, Walker-Peters; Redmond, Adams, A. Armstrong.