Tottenham Hotspur hosts Arsenal on Sunday in a preseason north London derby as both teams look to start their seasons off right, so who will be in Spurs XI.
Going into the final preseason match against Arsenal on Sunday, there is only one certainty with the Spurs XI, it will not include Harry Kane. With the talisman only returning to the club – let alone training – on Saturday we know Kane is out. Outside of Kane, however, Head Coach Nuno Espirito Santo should have a full squad available and we will hopefully see a few debuts as a result. So here is the XI we expect to see Sunday to start against Arsenal.
Nuno’s front three Spurs are set
Based on what we have seen in the preseason – and knowing Kane is out – we should expect to see the same three players across the front line as we have most of the preseason. Steven Bergwijn should start on the left, with Lucas Moura on the right and Heung-Min Son in the middle.
This front three has been consistent in all four prior matches and the trio played most of the minutes midweek. While another full 90 seems unnecessary for the group – and we really want to see Dane Scarlett in the second half – we should expect these three to be running and interchanging and trying to get behind the Arsenal defense.
Can Tottenham get more from the midfield?
N’Golo Kante and the Chelsea midfield kind of took it to Tottenham midweek. Things certainly evened out when Kante went off the pitch but Spurs still need more. With several players who previously were not available now more so, including Giovani Lo Celso the pressure for the Tottenham midfielders to perform should be ramping up.
While Dele Alli has started all four matches up to this point, he could be the one to concede to Lo Celso, given he has been lining up on the left side of the midfield three. More likely, however, is that we see Oliver Skipp move to the bench in favor of Lo Celso with Dele moving to the right.
The one thing we can likely count on is that Pierre-Emile Højbjerg will be the player in the middle of the midfield for Tottenham. Whether or not he is ready for 90 is likely debatable, but there is no question he will play for at least 45 minutes.