The defensive formation Tottenham should use
There are two changes Tottenham should make to the normal defensive formation – before we even get into the actual players. First, it starts by playing a more traditional back four. Yes, in possession the fullbacks can push up but in a supporting role. Instead of starting up near midfield, the fullbacks should be wide just north of the 18 to provide outlets to the center-halves.
By playing a more traditional role as fullbacks, the center-halves can be a bit closer in possession and not be so hard to split. If Tottenham can manage what basically amounts to a flat back four when in a set defensive formation that would be good.
Besides pulling the fullbacks back toward the goal, Tottenham should play with only one hold midfielder, Pierre Højbjerg. By having Højbjerg as the lone holding midfielder if nothing else it keeps him in the middle of the pitch where he is more likely to help defensively. To protect the backline, you have to be in front of the backline and too often this season Højbjerg has been covering for someone else instead of protecting the defense.
Also by having Højbjerg more committed defensively, when Spurs do get into possession, he can drop between the two center-halves to create a back three providing real cover for the fullbacks. We have seen with time Højbjerg can be a good passer so why not have him there in the middle pinging balls around.
If you look at the average position map from the Villa game, Højbjerg and Harry Winks were in nearly the same position anyway. You cannot even see Pierre’s number 5. So why not just play one player there and open space in the middle of the park?
With five organized players in front of Hugo Lloris, Tottenham should be in a position to handle both the striking duo and a dynamic midfield. More importantly, they will be in a position to move the ball forward to the front or attacking five to create that counter Spurs will need against Leicester.