Tottenham Hotspur host Wolverhampton on Sunday in the first of three final matches for the Spurs this season. Knowing that a place in the Champions League is essentially gone, Tottenham, like Wolves sees this as a dead rubber match. Yes, the Wolves can finish in the top half and Tottenham wants to have some European action next season but the real goals are long gone. Given the context of a game with two teams finishing out the string, what should we look for and expect?
Is Santo bringing the young Wolves?
One of the benefits of being above the relegation zone and not needing to win is the opportunity to play some different players. Over the last few weeks, Nuno Espirito Santo has really been digging into his team and has been rolling out a very young squad.
Last weekend as Wolves beat Graham Potter and Brighton, the average age of the Wolverhampton starting XI was 24. Considering that XI included 33-year-old Rui Patricio in goal and 34-year-old Joao Moutinho in the midfield, the ream was really young.
if you just look at the nine, not including Moutinho and Patricio the average age of the Wolves dropped to just 22. Santo had three teenagers on the pitch last weekend, including both fullbacks and his striker. Ki-Jana Hoever and Rayan Ait-Nouri have been getting a fair chunk of minutes in a back four the last several weeks.
Likewise, Fabio Silva, just 19, has started the last two up top for Wolves and has provided a goal and assist in those 180 minutes.
Whereas Tottenham is likely to be about an average of 27 and likely will not have a player younger than 24 on the pitch, Wolves are likely bringing the youth.
So, the Wolves are likely going with a youth movement and high pressure, so what can we expect from Spurs? Here are two things to look for from Tottenham.