You don’t hear it very often, but losing Erik Lamela has been a huge blow for Spurs. It’s no secret that Pochettino’s team has been short of inspiration, which he can bring with his dribbling and nuanced passing.
But the Argentine has got a tremendous appetite for the game and is possibly the team’s best player at defending from the front. Compare him to Eriksen or Sissoko in this sense and the difference is obvious.
We’re yet to see if the manager is going to gamble on the fitness of Toby Alderweireld, who is back in training this week. His return would instantly make Spurs better, and push the hapless Kevin Wimmer and disappointing Eric Dier back to the bench.
And with Lamela coming back after the weekend Pochettino will soon be forced to pick two out of Winks, Dembélé and Wanyama instead of all three. This will also improve that ponderous midfield.
Better from Eriksen
One player present throughout Tottenham’s dodgy run, despite turning in some average performances has been Christian Eriksen. But he was more decisive in the defeat at Stamford Bridge, scoring with a terrific shot from the edge of the area.
Spurs will be hoping he rediscovers his level from last season. If not, the Danish star could find his place at risk now that a few of the injured stars have started coming back.
Rose to the Occasion
Tottenham were a bit unlucky to go into the match with Chelsea without a recognised left-back. But it was bizarre to see Kevin Wimmer playing there instead of Jan Vertonghen.
Either way, Danny Rose has served his suspension, and it’s not just Spurs’ defence that will benefit; he’s superb at giving the team width and intelligent movement down the flank, and will be needed to cope with the improving Modou Barrow.
Can Swansea Build?
The Swans have been dreadful since Bob Bradley took over, but that insane 5-4 win against Palace on the weekend will give them a glimmer of hope in their relegation scrap.
Best of all were the efforts from the creative players: the Scottish youngster Jay Fulton has an eye for a pass, while Sigurðsson in his false nine role can score and assist for fun.
Back Barrow to Improve
The Gambian right-winger doesn’t have the numbers to show for it, but has been a thorn in the side of many Premier League teams this season.
He got Xhaka sent off in the match with Arsenal and tormented poor Martin Kelly in the win against Palace on Saturday. Until now Barrow has struggled to pull off that final pass, but he has been picking out teammates more often in recent weeks.
Don’t Bet on that Defence
When you cast your eye over that midfield and attack you wonder how Swansea can be struggling so badly. Until you see that defence.
Federico Fernández and Jordi Amat will never inspire much confidence. But they’re miles better than the wretched pairing of Mike van der Hoorn and Alfie Mawson we’ve seen at times this season.
Whatever happens, Swansea will suffer until they find a solid defender to replace Ashley Williams.
Tottenham vs Swansea Match Prediction
Swansea’s phenomenal effort in that win against Palace may lift their spirits, but Spurs are a much stronger challenge. Pochettino’s team will be desperate to get back in the top four mix and will put forget their recent woes with a victory.
But Swansea will have their moments and in Gylfi Sigurðsson they have a player with the quality and desire to hurt his former club. We’re anticipating a hard-fought 2-1 win for Tottenham.
Curious about matched betting? Here’s a simple guide to making guaranteed money on matches like Spurs vs Swansea.