Bournemouth hold two very good reasons to be fearful ahead of their visit to White Hart Lane to take on Tottenham — and no, those reasons are not Harry Kane and Dele Alli.
Tottenham’s young English stars will certainly play their part, but the most hot player in the squad is set to be served this match on a silver platter.
The great Heung-min-Son-as-striker experiment didn’t initially seem that promising. He lacks Kane’s physicality, and thrives in the kind of space he won’t find through the middle of the park.
His return to the left side of attacking midfield yielded immediate results however. Three of his four goals last week came in that much more familiar position.
With Kane now likely to get his first start since suffering another ankle injury in February, Son will almost certainly feature in that same role against Bournemouth.
With Christian Eriksen on the opposite end, that’s a four-man assault that any Premier League team would struggle with. Together they are responsible for 55 goals in the league this season.
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Bournemouth’s plan of attack makes them particularly vulnerable to Son’s talents as well. As we discussed in our opposition scouting report, the Cherries thrive on an aggressive attack that oftentimes leaves the defense overly exposed.
Key to that attack are the efforts of full-backs Charlie Daniels and Adam Smith. Both enjoy bombing forward when in possession, leaving plenty of space in behind them.
When they inevitably lose the ball, Tottenham will be uniquely situated to fully exploit it. Son, as we said, does his best work in the space afforded to him on the flanks.
It will be Smith — a Tottenham Academy graduate — who will be tasked with tracking back and denying the South Korean that space. Unfortunately for Bournemouth, his track record in that regard is fairly poor.
Last week against Chelsea, Smith was tasked with helping to contain both Eden Hazard and wing-back Marco Alonso. Both players scored in the 3-1 win for the Blues.
That trend was established well before then however. Smith presided over good games for Coutinho, Sadio Mane and Alexis Sanchez, among others, all of whom luxuriated in the room provided them by Smith.
Son should stand to be the latest beneficiary of this weak point in Bournemouth’s backline. Especially with so much effort consumed on keeping Kane and Dele quiet, Son stands to sustain his streak for at least another week.