Postecoglou could drop midfielder despite 90% display

Tottenham XI v Everton: Ange Postecoglou to axe Pape Matar Sarr

Tottenham have a chance to make it three Premier League wins in a row when they host in-form Everton at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Saturday 23 December.

Spurs have beaten Nottingham Forest and Newcastle United back-to-back in recent weeks, snapping a terrible five-match losing streak and starting to regain their early-season form.

They will be back at home this Saturday for a fun match against the Toffees, which promises to be no easy feat.

After winning their last four games in the English premier league without giving up a goal, Sean Dyche’s team is presently riding high. And so, with yet more selection issue to add to his already daunting assignment, Ange Postecoglou understands that his team will have to perform to the best of their abilities.

Left-back Destiny Udogie is also suspended for the match after receiving his fifth yellow card of the year against the Reds; however, his suspension is only for one game. Yves Bissouma was sent off for the second time this season at The City Ground and is consequently unavailable while he serves a four-match suspension.

It is therefore imperative that the Australian ensures he makes the necessary adjustments.

With his excellent save from the last game and his remarkable 85% pass completion rate (Sofascore), Guglielmo Vicario will almost certainly start in goal. Pedro Porro is also probably going to stay on the team after putting on another strong show against Forest, with three interceptions, two tackles, and three crucial passes.

A problem for Postecoglou lies throughout the remainder of his back line. With Ben Davies and Cristian Romero leading their team to a clean sheet in the 2-0 victory in Nottingham, the 58-year-old will be hesitant to shake up what has evolved into a fairly stable back-two. Between them, they made four tackles, eleven clearances, and blocked three shots.

Given that he has filled in for Udogie at left-back a few times already this season, Emerson Royal may be asked to fill in there.

Despite putting on another excellent display last time out, in which he won four ground duels, made five clearances, and completed 90% of his passes, Pape Matar Sarr could be dropped from the midfield. Due to two games in quick succession after Christmas, Postecoglou may decide to spare the Senegal international midfielder for this match. The midfielder received his fourth yellow card of the season against Forest, putting him one booking away from a one-match suspension.

Given Bissouma’s previous suspension, Postecoglou is expected to turn to Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, while Skipp replaces Sarr. The 23-year-old had a difficult time after joining the game against Forest, winning just two of his six ground duels and losing the one aerial duel he engaged in. He was also twice dribbled past.

In the 4-1 victory over Newcastle on December 10, Dejan Kulusevski found himself again in the number ten role, making five crucial passes in that role. Although he excelled on the right with a goal and an assist after Johnson was forced off, the Swede will probably return to that role now that Johnson is anticipated to be fit to start.

Richarlison, who has scored three goals in his last two games, is finally settling in north London. He will try to carry on this success against his old team, whose captain Son Heung-min will start on the left, as he has in the previous two games.

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