Ahead of this weekend’s Premier League clash with Everton, Antonio Conte has a big decision to make, as he must decide whether to line up in the trusted 3-4-3 or change to the recently successful 3-5-2 for Tottenham.
Besides one bazaar experiment against Chelsea, Conte has religiously deployed a 3-4-3 at Spurs, largely successful.
With a 1.94 points per game record with Tottenham, it’s hard to argue with Conte’s methods, but although results have mostly gone our way this season, performances have often been sub-par, with Spurs perhaps flattering to deceive on occasion.
Despite a star-studded forward line, at times, our attack has looked uninspired and often lacked threat, potentially coming as a consequence of being dominated in midfield.
Individually, while Pierre-Emilie Hojbjerg and Rodrigo Bentancur have enjoyed fine seasons – both being listed in SofaScores top 50 players of the season, they are often exposed as a duo.
When facing a three-man midfield, Spurs are regularly overrun and subsequently fail to create enough high-quality chances, relying solely on opportunities on the counter.
However, with Bissouma’s inclusion in a 3-5-2 against Leicester and Brighton, Spurs looked controlled in possession and a presence in midfield, generally resembling a more together unit.
Furthermore, with Emerson’s suspension, Matt Doherty will presumably retain his place from last weekend, with the Irishman offering significantly more threat from RWB than his Brazilian teammate.
Moreover, whilst a front two of Kane and Son would see Richarlison start on the bench, having an impactful, energetic substitute in his mould could be crucial in the latter stages of the match if Spurs were chasing a goal.
Conte’s reshuffle of attacking presence may be enough to see him return to the 3-5-2, as a front two of Kane and Son flanked by Doherty and either Ivan Perisic or Ryan wingbacks Sessegnon should be enough to trouble Everton.
Richarlison would surely be a handful for his former club, but Bissouma’s presence in the midfield would be a welcomed addition, and this is the choice Conte faces; only the Italian will know which way he is leaning for Saturday’s game. However, it is undoubtedly a crucial decision.
Following an important midweek victory over Frankfurt in the Champions League, Spurs fans should be optimistic about welcoming Everton on Saturday, as we boast an impressive record against the Toffees.
In a run spanning back to 2013, Spurs have lost twice to Everton in the 2020/21 season – once on the opening day of the Premier League and again in the FA Cup.
For Spurs fans, this makes more than pleasant reading; as if nothing else, history suggests Conte should emerge victorious this weekend.
But regardless, Saturday is bound to be a tough game, as, despite our stellar record against the Toffees, they cannot be underestimated losing one of their last five games.
Ultimately, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Tottenham revert to a 3-5-2, as with Everton likely starting a three-man midfield, Conte won’t want his side to be continuously overrun.
Fans will once again eagerly await this weekend’s lineups, but regardless of what Conte chooses to do, Spurs must take all three points in what is realistically a winnable home game.