Ange has relied on the same starting XI most of this season with the exception of regular changes to the front three. That being said, injuries and player suspensions will force him to call upon new faces.
With Yves Bissouma’s sending off against Luton just before the international break, it’s likely that fans will see Pierre Hojbjerg coming on to play in the midfield. Further, with Heung-min Son’s continued discomfort, the well-rested Brennan Johnson could make his return.
Ange ball has been in full effect this year, however, one blatant truth was made apparent by our loss to Fulham in the Carabao Cup: it only works with the right players.
Because of this, we could see Spurs struggle to find their footing in the match, or at least during the first half.
In order to best factor in the new starters’ abilities, the squad’s style of play may have to adjust.
Hojbjerg, unlike Bissouma, is less confident on the ball to play it into the center or through the lines, and often defaults to switching the field or passing it back.
In order to compensate, Ange’s inverted fullbacks may have to stick more to their position and create more width to receive the ball.
Alternatively, we could see Hojbjerg sitting back into a mainly defensive role with Sarr making more forward carries, in which case inverted fullbacks would be needed to fill the empty space in the midfield.
Looking elsewhere on the pitch with Sonny potentially out, the front three could consist of Johnson, Richarlison, and Kulusevski. Without the winger/striker’s pace and backdoor runs, fans could see attacking midfielder James Maddison making more overlaps and dangerous carries.
Regardless, the match against Fulham should prove as both a challenge and an opportunity to see how alternative players get on, as well as how Ange utilizes substitutes from what will be a weaker bench.