Spurs-Sheffield Preview

By Dylan Shackelford
Jul. 02, 2020

Tottenham will play away against Sheffield United tonight. It is a huge game in the race for a European spot. Spurs are currently one point ahead of Sheffield in 8th and 10th respectively, with Burnley sitting level on points with Tottenham between the two. The North London club will look to close the gap between Manchester United and Wolves back to four points. Chelsea and Leicester both dropping all three points this week will also give Spurs a very small chance of finishing top four. A loss will see Spurs drop to 9th and will put them seven points back of the potential 5th-place Champions League spot.

Spurs are coming off a shaky 2-0 win over West Ham last week, while Sheffield has lost 3-0 in back-to-back games against Newcastle and Manchester United. The Blades have yet to score in their three games since the restart. Sheffield has the fourth-worst scoring record in the Premier League with 30 goals scored in 31 games, but this is countered with the second-best defensive record in the league with 31 goals conceded, behind only Liverpool and tied with Manchester United and Leicester City. A big part of that stat is goalkeeper Dean Henderson, he was unable to play in the 3-0 defeat to United due to the Red Devils being his parent club. The reverse fixture was Pochetino’s last game in charge before Mourinho took over, the game ended 1-1 and it very well could have been a 2-1 loss for Spurs if not for VAR.

Kane, Son, and Bergwijn will lead Spurs’ attack tonight, with Lucas providing support. Sissoko and Lo Celso will man the midfield while Davies, Dier, Sanchez, and Aurier make up the backline after keeping clean sheet last time out. Lloris will start in goal. Sheffield will start without their two leading goal scorers, John Fleck and Lys Mousset.

Sheffield will likely use their 3-5-2 and Spurs will stick with a 4-2-2-2. Spurs will most likely have a numerical disadvantage in the midfield, but Lucas, Bergwijn, Son, and even Kane are all capable of dropping off to help the build-up play.

Prediction: I expect Tottenham to keep around 60% possession again and dominate most of the game. Sheffield is not great on the counter-attack but you can’t rule out a Tottenham blunder that leads to a goal. Spurs have been dispossessed the second-most in the league this season, only behind North London rival Arsenal. I expect a 3-1 victory for Tottenham with goals from Kane, Bergwijn, and…. Lo Celso.