Tottenham is right back in action following their midweek Champions League win, hosting Everton in an all-important Premier League match; so what are the keys to a Spurs win?
After a rocky start to their season, Everton has seemingly found their footing and should provide a test for Tottenham at home on Saturday. Despite only losing to Everton once in the last five Premier League meetings – 0-1 at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in September 2020 – Spurs have only beaten Everton twice in that span. Further, with only one loss in their last seven league games, Tottenham will have to do more than show up to win the game. Here are our keys to a Tottenham victory in the Premier League showdown.
Key #1 – Spurs need set piece security on defense
On more than one occasion this season, we have seen Tottenham Hotspur concede on a set piece, including a goal off of a corner kick near the death of the midweek Champions League clash with Eintracht Frankfurt. Everton may not score a lot thus far this season, but they have some dangerous set-piece threats.
Further, Everton can hurt you on the first or second ball off a set piece. Coady’s goal against Southampton was a finish following Amadou Onana winning the first ball off a free kick.
Everton is struggling to score, and Tottenham cannot concede cheap goals like set pieces if they hope to win.
Key #2 – Stop the Everton dribble penetration in the box
As this Toffee team develops its identity under Frank Lampard, one noticeable trait is that many players love to dribble the ball. Whether Dwight McNeil or Demarai Gray are attacking from outside the box or Neal Maupay is weaving around in the box, Everton likes to play with the ball at their feet.
Fortunately for Tottenham, the most dangerous of the Everton dribbles – Anthony Gordon – is out on a yellow card suspension, but that does not mean Spurs should take this team lightly. If Everton is given the space and time to dribble in and around the Tottenham penalty box, it will be a problem for Spurs.
Arsenal had great success dribbling around the Tottenham box, setting up Thomas Partey for his goal in this fashion. Spurs cannot allow Everton to get easy dribbles near the goal.
Key #3 – Tottenham must attack the Everton backline
Everton may not score many goals – with only eight on the season – but the Toffees do not concede a lot either, having given up only nine goals through nine matches. The low goals against total do not mean Spurs cannot get at the Toffee back.
While a formidable crew when given the time and opportunity to organize, Spurs can get behind the Everton defense. Seamus Coleman on the left should be someone Tottenham is looking to attack repeatedly. Whether it is Ryan Sessegnon or Ivan Perisic attacking the left, Coleman is a player Spurs can get behind to create chances.
If Tottenham can get behind Coleman, it will force both Tarkowski and Coady off their spots in the middle of the defense and give Spurs the edge they need to score. Additionally, Everton will try to play out of the back, and with the proper pressure, mistakes can be forced.
Ultimately, if Tottenham can avoid giving up a cheap set-piece goal, stop Everton’s dribbling around the box, and keep the Toffee’s defense under pressure on both sides of the ball, the result should be three points for Spurs.