|OPPONENTS||Norwich City at Carrow Road|
|DATE||Saturday 28th December 2019|
Norwich's local derby game comes on the Saturday after Christmas and
finds them sitting at the bottom of the Premier League table on
their return to the top flight.
The Canaries are a little bit of a conundrum, as they flew up on the back of flowing, attacking football and an avalanche of goals, but they have hit the buffers so far. The goals have dried up and they are finding that the Premier League strikers are quite ruthless to result in them conceding a lot of goals and finding points hard to come by.
Among their squad there are plenty of young, up and coming players, with good technique and ability. The likes of Max Aarons, Todd Cantwell, Jamal Lewis, Emiliano Buendia and Ben Godfrey have all been linked with clubs higher up the table, but their residence at Carrow Road relies on their final position in the standings. Other players, such as Teemu Pukki, who scored the bulk of their goals to gain promotion, have been eyed by clubs at home and abroad. Daniel Farke used his knowledge of the German leagues to bring in players who have done well, with Marco Stiepermann, Tom Trybull, Buendia, Pukki, Marco Vrancic, Christoph Zimmermann, Timm Klose and Moritz Leitner all playing their part in the success of last season.
The midfield of Norwich are primarily forward looking, with only Alexander Tettey shaping up as a defensive minded player, although Stiepermann could be classed as more defensive. The gaps left when they are piling forward might leave the vulnerable to being hit on the break, so Tottenham moving the ball through the thirds could give them opportunities to test Tim Krul.
Defensively, the full backs also like to push on and try to provide crosses into the forwards, leaving the central defenders to stem to the tide if they turn over the ball. On the plus side of them Vrancic can strike the ball cleanly from distance, Buendia is very good on the ball and Onel Hernandez is a skilful striker, who can't be given space to run at defenders.
With the situation becoming critical for the Norfolk side, Farke may be drawn into re-arranging his side to shore up the defence, but playing at home, the onus will be on them to get forward. Spurs have been slow to get going and when they have started off on the front foot, they have been able to control games when scoring early on. If Tottenham are playing without urgency again, that could play into Norwich's hands to build pressure and get the crowd behind them.
With Winks, Sissoko and Son all suspended, Mourinho will have to make changes. Hopefully, Ndombele will feel ready to play, Giovani Lo Celso will get a start after his peppy performance on Thursday and the team will be able to shift the ball with some accurate passing (Better than Boxing Day) and finish the chances that come their way. Using the breakaway, Spurs could hurt Norwich, but will need to be tighter at set-pieces, as some of the Norwich defenders are dangeorus from free-kicks and corners.
Having said that, Tottenham are capable of losing to anyone on their day and with Norwich struggling, it would not surprise me if they sprang a surprise to end their 2019. However, should Mourinho get the team going from the start, they should be able to travel back down the M11 with three points in the bag.
|PREDICTION||Norwich City 1 Tottenham Hotspur 3|
HOTSPUR TEAM NEWS : -
Spurs are without the injured Hugo Lloris (elbow) and Ben Davies (ankle), but will assess Dele after the Boxing Day win over Brighton, when he complained of leg stiffness. Suspensions for Harry Winks, Moussa Sissoko and Heung-Min Son (2nd of 3) mean Spurs will have to re-shuffle the side that won on Thursday.
NORWICH CITY TEAM NEWS
|Premier League||Kick off 17:30|
Tottenham Hotspur 2 (0)
Vrancic 17m 39s
Eriksen 54m 14s
|Crowd : 27,072||Weather : Chilly, dry|
|Referee : Kevin Friend (Leicestershire)||Assistant Referees : Mr. Eddie Smart; Mr. Adrian Holmes|
|Fourth Official : Dean Whitestone|
|Video Assistant Referee : Chris Kavanagh||Video Assistant Referee Assistant : Andy Halliday|
|Spurs kicked off and played towards the Barclay Stand end in the first half.|
|Game time : - 90 + 11 minutes.|
Vrancic (foul on Ndombele) 22
Lewis (handball) 54
Krul (dissent) 55
Moura (foul on Aarons) 69
Alderweireld (foul on Cantwell) 90+3
Eriksen (foul on McLean) 90+6
|Norwich City :||kit||Tottenham Hotspur :||kit|
Alexander TETTEY (14
Todd CANTWELL 86)
21 Juan FOYTH ( 6 Davinson SANCHEZ 46)
4 Toby ALDERWEIRELD
5 Jan VERTONGHEN (27 Lucas MOURA 46 )
28 Tanguy NDOMBELE
Harry KANE (p)
|Manager : Daniel Farke||Manager : Jose Mourinho|
|Sponsor : Dafabet||Shirt sponsor : AIA|
|Kit Supplier : Errea||Kit Supplier : Nike|
After the come from behind win over Brighton at the Lane two days ago, it was hoped that a similar haul from this game would propel us above Chelsea into fourth place, but some lazy finishing by Spurs and a massive slice of luck saw Norwich hold Spurs 2-2 at Carrow Road. There appears to be some cracks appearing in Mourinho's facade, as he referred to the same mistakes being made every week, so, whether this is a reference to the team playing out from the back in the manner Pochettino wanted them to and giving the ball away to let goals in, we will see when he gets the team playing the way he wants.
Norwich had the first shot
with Lewis firing an effort from outside the box wide of Gazzanigaís
left hand post and while Spurs looked in control, but then began
getting to the ball second. When Ndomebele was crashed into by
Eriksen, Stiepermann was left to run forward and shoot at goal. It
was more of a toe-poke and Gazzaniga got to the ball with his left
hand on the dive to push the ball wide. Zimmermann was at fault as
he dwelt on the ball allowing Ndombele to block his pass and Kane
was suddenly free on goal. But with players back covering, he played
the ball to his right to give Dele a clear shooting chance but with
only Krul between him and a goal, he side-footed it well over the
bar with time to make sure he got into target.
Two points dropped or one
gained ? Although Norwich had beaten Manchester City at Carrow Road,
too many sides have gone there and won. One mistake and one moment
of bad luck meant we were always chasing the game but could have
been 1-0 ahead before Norwich scored had Dele hit the target when
clean through. Easy to say I know but failing to convert our chances
will cost us against the lowest of teams.
Kaneís 200th Premier League career appearance and his 150th career
|Match ball sponsors||-|
|Match programme sponsors||-|
|Match shirt sponsors||-|
|How the players did|
|Paulo Gazzaniga||Exposed for the first goal and left flat-footed by Aurier's deflection for the second, there wasn't a lot else for him to do.|
|Serge Aurier||Unlucky for the ball to strike him and past the keeper to give Norwich a 2-1 lead. Did OK, but nothing spectacular.|
|Toby Alderweireld||Put a good ball through to Kane early on, but had to concentrate on defending, with Norwich looking to hit on the break. Unlucky with his tackle that led to the own goal, but caught between closing Vrancic and cutting out a pass to a Norwich player alongside him for the first goal.|
|Juan Foyth||Robbed of the ball for the first goal, but little option to lay the ball off, so not entirely his fault. Did OK apart from that, but subbed at half-time, which might not help his confidence.|
|Jan Vertonghen||Looked good today, but isolated sometimes in a back three, so Mourinho changed it at half-time with Jan being replaced.|
|Christian Eriksen||A performance from the Eriksen archive. Passing to keep Spurs moving forward and stretching the Norwich defence and a goal from a free-kick. A parting gift ?|
|Tanguy Ndombele||Thought he looked good on his first start for a while. Moved the ball well and made space to lose markers. The more he plays the more he will be effetive.|
|Giovani Lo Celso||Looked more involved and showed glimpses of the passing that could open defences. Tackled back well to win possession.|
|Ryan Sessegnon||Not used to the best effect and did not run at the Norwich defence when he had the opportunity in the second half. Maybe under manager's orders to stay more defensive after he dropped back.|
|Dele Alli||Looked lively taking a difficult chance well but offside. Missed a straightforward shot in the early stages, but linked well and produced the ball through to Kane to be brought down in the box.|
|Harry Kane||Had a god chance early on saved by Krul and at the end his running produced the tackle that earned the penalty. Composed after a long wait to convert it to win a point for Spurs.|
|Davinson Sanchez||Looked settled and did well coming on at half-time.|
|Lucas Moura||Again Lucas started the team going forward with some good running with the ball and chasing back.|
|Erik Lamela||Looked energetic when he came on and won the ball to start the move that led to the penalty equaliser.|
|What you thought|
|Other scores during this week :|
|Brighton & Hove Albion||2||Bournemouth||0||Saturday|
|West Ham United London||1||Leicester City||2||Saturday|
|Manchester City||2||Sheffield United||0||Sunday|
|League Table 2019-20|
|4||Frank Lampard's Chelsea||20||11||2||8||35||28||35||+7|
|14||Brighton & Hove Albion||20||6||5||9||24||28||23||-4|
|17||West Ham United London||19||5||4||10||21||32||19||-11|
Position before match : 6th
Position after match : 6th
Position after the weekend :
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