Tottenham are ready to get back on track against Everton.
Tottenham hosts Everton on Monday as the Spurs try to get back to their winning ways and get what is left of the season on track. However, this is no easy task as Everton has really moved up the table since a midseason change.
Much like Tottenham, Everton also moved on from a long-time manager in the middle of this season as Carlo Ancelotti took over the reins on Boxing Day. Whereas the new shine has begun to fade from Jose Mourinho at Spurs, Ancelotti is still basking in the glow of a honeymoon period. Since Ancelotti took over the Toffees have managed 7 wins against only 3 losses, with 4 draws during that time.
The 25 points in that span are behind only the two Manchester sides and League Champion Liverpool. Add in the fact that Everton has two wins – including against 3rd place Leicester City – and a draw with the Champions in their first game back and this is a team high on confidence, putting the two losses and draw right before the break well behind them.
Tottenham are looking to bounce back on Monday
All this said, maybe Everton is just the squad Spurs need in front of them to make that happen.
Tottenham have not lost to Everton since December 2012 at Goodison Park and in the 14 matches since have seven wins and seven draws during that time. Add in the fact that Jose Mourinho has never lost at home to Everton and the recipe is right for some Spurs success.
To be successful Spurs must find the defensive discipline that was lacking in the last match. Two of the three goals Spurs conceded came on crosses into the boxes, which is exactly how Everton have scored two of their three goals since the restart.
The third – a penalty awarded by VAR – might be as unnerving for Spurs as those crosses, however, finding the mental fortitude to move past the defeat last week is how champions are made.
If Tottenham are to break through, they are going to have to learn to break down difficult sides that are set up to defend. That is exactly what we should expect from Everton on Monday, as they try to copy the game plan laid out by Sheffield United in the 3-1 loss. Absorb the pressure, wait for Spurs to give the ball away, and be clinical when your chances come.
When the Toffees do have possession expect most of it to go through the triumvirate of Mason Holgate, Michael Keane – the center halves – and Andre Gomes the deep-lying playmaker. Expect former Spur Gylfi Sigurdsson to be more towards the front trying to connect Gomes’ to Dominic Calvert-Lewin and the Brazilian Richarlison upfront.
Tottenham will have to work to move the ball quickly to get the defense out of its set and create space for some passes into and around the box. While it will not be pretty, I expect more fight than we saw against Sheffield and hopefully more concentration – worst call of the century or not. If Tottenham Hotspur can keep their heads and take advantage of their possession they can do the same they have the last 14 times Spurs have faced the Toffees, leave with points.