Tottenham v Bournemouth lineups & preview

HARRISON, NJ - JULY 25: Toby Alderweireld
HARRISON, NJ - JULY 25: Toby Alderweireld /

Despite an upcoming midweek fixture against Real Madrid, Mauricio Pochettino has named about the strongest Tottenham side available to him.

Each and every member of Saturday’s Tottenham squad also served with their country during the international break of the last two weeks.

With World Cup qualification either already secured or a foregone conclusion for most of those players, the break fortunately wasn’t as intense as it might have been otherwise. There should — in theory — be enough in the tank for Spurs to best a wobbling Bournemouth side.

In truth, with injuries continuing to plague several of Spurs’ regular starters still, Pochettino had little choice but to go with the team he selected. Consequently, there are only one or two real surprises.

The most notable of those surprises is the absence of Ben Davies. The Welsh left-back has enjoyed an astounding run of form this season as he understudies for the injured Danny Rose, but it appears as if the former Swansea man has succumbed to illness.

In his place, presumably, will go Jan Vertonghen. The Belgium international is, of course, a centre-back by trade, but he can do a job at left-back when asked to do so.

His deployment there though means that Tottenham are forced back into a 4-2-3-1 formation. No doubt Pochettino would have preferred to continue on with a 3-4-2-1, but Vertonghen isn’t so talented on the left flank to capably play left wing-back — and Juan Foyth it probably not quite ready for his first Premier League start.

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Pochettino does, however, have some real depth on the opposite side of the pitch. Kieran Trippier starts, but Spurs could have conceivably also gone for either of Serge Aurier or Kyle Walker-Peters, both of whom are on the bench.

This choice represents the only real hint of Spurs’ preparations for Tuesday’s match in Madrid. Aurier is, unquestionably, the first choice right-back in the side, and his benching here neatly sums up Spurs’ priorities for the next week.

Mousa Dembélé remains injured, which means that Harry Winks gets his third consecutive start — and his first since making his England debut. He will line up next to Eric Dier and most likely spend his time cutting off Bournemouth’s attempts to pass through the midfield.

In attack, Dele Alli’s Champions League suspension means he was a lock for a start today. He’s joining by Heung-min Son and Christian Eriksen in the attacking midfield trio.

At the tip of the spear, of course, is Harry Kane, who will be beginning his campaign to win consecutive Player of the Month awards.

Notably, Bournemouth drop former Spurs striker Jermain Defoe in favor of Joshua King. Eddie Howe also mixes things up by shaping his team into a back three, with Nathan Ake playing sweeper, while Charlie Daniels and Adam Smith play at wing-back.

With Bournemouth suffering through a slow start to the season, it’s hard to pick the dangerman here. King, of course, will be a threat. Should he come off the bench, Jordan Ibe also has a way of troubling opponents — at least some of the time.

Pay attention to Lewis Cook though. The promising 20-year-old will perch up in midfield, and might prove to be the cornerstone of Howe’s gameplan. Dier and Winks would do well to keep Cook’s second start of the season a dull one.

Next: Spurs must overcome Wembley

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