The Game In Hand: Tottenham vs Everton Preview

The time has come! After riots, two beat-downs courtesy of the Manchester clubs, the transfer out of Crouch and Palacios, the transfer in of Parker, the loan deal for Adebayor and a whole bunch of points gained in the Prem, the all important game in hand versus Everton is here. After Wednesday we will no longer hear talking heads say Spurs are X amount of points ahead or behind club X with a game in hand. This moment must be taken advantage of because a potential win does the following: puts Spurs 8 points ahead of Chelsea, 9 points ahead of Arsenal, level on points with Manchester United, and only 3 points behind Manchester City with a trip to the league leaders looming in a few weeks. Now is the time for Spurs to put this game in hand in their back pocket and move forward in the quest for domestic glory.

The team news sees Tottenham short on defenders both in the back-line and in the midfield. Ledley King (hamstring), William Gallas (calf), Sandro (calf) and Huddlestone (ankle) are all out for Tuesday and Scott Parker is described as “very doubtful” due to a knee injury. This news leaves Spurs with just three healthy center-backs in Bassong, Dawson, and Kaboul and one defensive mid in Jake Livermore. I would expect Kaboul to be partnered with Dawson at center-back and Livermore to play with Modric in central midfield with the rest of the usual suspects (Walker, BAE, Bale, VdV, and Adebayor) playing as well.

Everton are in so-so form in the league capturing 8 of a possible 15 points in their last 5 matches with the most recent being a 2-1 loss at the hands of Bolton. The Toffees have their own injury concerns as well with Jagielka, Rodwell and Cahill all possibly out. American Landon Donovan has returned to the club on a loan from the MLS but he may or may not feature. Donovan’s play-making is badly needed in a side that sees left-back Leighton Baines tied for the team lead in goals scored with just 3. If Spurs can control possession and dictate the tempo of the game with the work of Modric, Everton should not offer much of a scoring threat which is good as Kaboul and Dawson get reacquainted. 

The Prediction:

Tottenham 2 – Everton 1

I can see a clean sheet from Friedel here but I believe Kaboul and Dawson will have some king of mix up or Everton will take advantage of a set piece to get on the score sheet. Spurs should still creatae enough chances to put a few home themselves taking the 3 points at the Lane.

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