The Tottenham XI to Start Versus Arsenal in North London Derby

Tottenham Hotspur's French goalkeeper Hugo Lloris (C) (Photo by CATHERINE IVILL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Tottenham Hotspur's French goalkeeper Hugo Lloris (C) (Photo by CATHERINE IVILL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images) /
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Tottenham Hotspur’s Danish midfielder Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (L), Tottenham Hotspur’s Portuguese head coach Jose Mourinho (C), Tottenham Hotspur’s French midfielder Moussa Sissoko (2nd R) and Tottenham Hotspur’s English striker Harry Kane (R) November 21, 2020. (Photo by KIRSTY WIGGLESWORTH/POOL/AFP via Getty Images) /

Tottenham Midfielders

Tottenham Hotspur went with the “dream” midfield midweek with Pierre Højbjerg, Giovani Lo Celso, and Tanguy Ndombele all starting together. The results were underwhelming from a Tottenham perspective as the balance normally present with Sissoko or Winks next to Højbjerg was absent. Given the attack Arsenal possesses, it is highly, highly unlikely José Mourinho would leave Pierre Højbjerg as the loan holding midfielder again, leaving us with a familiar three.

Pierre-Emile Højbjerg (CM)

Pierre Højbjerg played 90 minutes midweek, but as one of Mourinho’s core players, it is more surprising when the Dane does not go for 90 than does. Højbjerg should have more help on Sunday than he did midweek when both he and Lo Celso tried to play forward and back. Expect the plan to have the Dane firmly in place in front of the back four, helping on the wings and channels where Arsenal like to get the ball. If Højbjerg can be the dominant player in the midfield, it will help Spurs control the match and hit on the break.

Moussa Sissoko (CM)

Like Eric Dier Moussa Sissoko was brought in during the second half Thursday to help protect the lead. Sissoko had a quiet near 30 minutes as the game bypassed the midfield most of the night. After struggling a bit against Chelsea and Harry Winks pushing for minutes Sissoko needs a big match against Arsenal. What Sissoko brings is that try-hard attitude that José Mourinho loves and the opposition hates. The effort is always appreciated but Spurs need more product to go with it moving forward or we might finally see Winks again in the Premier League.

Tanguy Ndombele (CAM)

Tanguy Ndombele gave his customary hour midweek against LASK. Ndombele was not especially sharp with his passing, but that was more a consequence of his very direct approach. The directness paid off with a nice through ball on Heung-Min Son’s goal for Spurs. Ndombele seems to be relishing his key role in the middle of the pitch and wants the contact he will get plenty of on Sunday. If Ndombele can do at the top of midfield what Højbjerg should do at the bottom, Spurs can get the best of Arsenal Sunday.