Spurs vs Everton is up next for us in the Premier League, so we look at how you take on the Toffees.
Throwing away two winning positions has raised many questions for Mauricio Pochettino and this week has very much been about the search for answers. Has he found them? Spurs vs Everton is up next for us as we seek to get our first Premier League win of the season.
Roberto Martinez brings his Toffees to town high on confidence and with a slightly altered style this season. So, what can we expect and what should we be on the lookout for in Spurs vs Everton this time?
Everton weak spots
In seasons past there were two ways to get at the Toffees. The first was to attack the zone in-behind their advancing full backs. Both Leighton Baines and Seamus Coleman were excellent at getting forward, but if you could move the ball quickly enough, they left space to exploit.
The second way was to create turnovers in the middle third and get at their back line quickly before Gareth Barry or James McCarthy could react.
This season, without Leighton Baines, the left back zone has been an obvious weakness and Everton’s opponents have made no secret in targeting it. Brendan Galloway and Tyias Browning have been handed opportunities in the role and have been relentlessly targeted.
In their only away fixture so far, Southampton were beaten 3-0 but had a lot of their success by going at this zone.
Last weekend, Manchester City were straight and direct at bullying Everton in this area of the field as they went at it at every opportunity.
The left back zone is the one to go at, but Everton’s weakness still remains at getting behind both of their advanced full backs. This is because Roberto Martinez likes both Semaus Coleman and his counterpart on the other side to get forward.
Man City showed this on their opening goal last weekend. After attacking constantly down the Everton left, Raheem Sterling motored forward and found Aleksander Kolorov on the overlap beyond Seamus Coleman down the Everton right.
For those reading my last article about how we need to get our full backs forward and overlapping our inverted wide players, check out Kolorov’s starting position.
This kind of energy and enthusiasm is what we need to be aiming for. Our full backs need to be doing more of this as it not only pushes the opposition’s wide players back, but also allows Pochettino’s system to function with Chadli drifting in to the box. The Tottenham tactics for Spurs vs Everton really need to focus on this.
Conceding early chances
Everton have been very good this season, but it has taken them a while to get in to games. As a result, their opponents have created excellent early chances against them. Some have taken them to score goals, others have not.
On opening day, Troy Deeney had a great chance to put Watford ahead before they did strike to take the lead after just 14 minutes. Miguel Layun pounced on a knocked down ball after a cross from the left.
Next up on their trip to St. Mary’s, Sadio Mane had an excellent early chance to open the scoring when clean through on Tim Howard, but saw his driven shot saved.
Then Manchester City went straight at Everton’s left back zone from the off and had three excellent chances within 15 minutes. Two fell to Sergio Aguero, who couldn’t find the finishing touch.
David Silva then sent a ball across the six-yard box that was just missed by a sliding Raheem Sterling at the back post. Man City could’ve been out of sight with only 15 minutes played.
Everton have so far grown in to games and become stronger as they have worn on. A quick start looking for an early strike to put the Toffees on the back foot should form part of the Tottenham tactics for Spurs vs Everton on Saturday.
Dealing with the counter attack
Roberto Martinez traditionally sets his team up to be a possession-based side that looks to work crossing positions. Away from home this season though, we’ve seen him very much play on the counter attack. This sees the side sit deep, looking to engage the first pass in to midfield, as we can see the central trio of McCarthy, Barry and Barkley waiting to pounce against Southampton.
After recapturing the ball, this can often leave Everton’s opponents unbalanced from being drawn up the pitch. The Toffees can then break forward at speed and use the space. The have pace up front in Lukaku, but also out wide with Arouna Kone. The Ivorian’s speed is underrated, as is his ability to pick out a cross for a teammate.
Whether Roberto Martinez continues with this counter attacking approach at the Lane in Spurs vs Everton this time will be something to watch for.
Barkley and Lukaku
What Roberto Martinez has done with Arouna Kone is interesting, as it has achieved more from his system for Ross Barkley and Romelu Lukaku.
Last season the Everton boss was playing his second striker from a number ten position. This saw Steven Naismith, Arouna Kone or sometimes Samuel Eto’o playing behind Lukaku and looking to run off him. This forced Ross Barkley in to a wider position when he played in the team and gave the side an unbalanced feel to it.
This term Martinez has moved his speedier second striker out to play in a wider position and handed Barkley the number ten role. As a result the side is much more balanced and is carrying a greater threat with Barkley able to roam and pull the strings. The youngster is a much better player with his back to goal than any of the second strikers that played here and he also as has great vision for picking a pass. Handing him a more central starting position is seeing him create chances as he does here sliding a pass in for Lukaku to score.
What’s more, he is also scoring goals from knockdowns and layoffs allowing him to use his fizzing shot as a weapon. Two strikes so far in three Premier League matches are testament that it has been working.
Barkley is the hub that is making the Everton team go right now. His contributions have been superb, but the goal scoring and powerful play of Romelu Lukaku is taking the headlines. Lukaku is looking back to his menacing best this season. The pace, power and directness has returned to his game as the Toffees look to get the ball up to or in to him in the box to benefit from his physical size and skill.
This has seen Everton be a bit more direct this season as they are looking to hit Lukaku earlier and either work the ball off him or have him dribble at opponents. Once he gets up a head of steam he can be difficult to stop. He is also back to being a menacing presence in the air. Everton are looking to find him with searching crosses from wide areas to take advantage of his size and leaping ability. With our centre back pairing of Alderweireld and Vertonghen being vulnerable in the air, this could be a real problem in Spurs vs Everton this Saturday.
Switching the positions of Dier and Alderweireld is one option open to Mauricio Pochettino to combat this.
We’ve seen an increase in our pressing this season, but to go all out after Everton could come back to haunt us. The Toffees not only grow in strength during a match, but also have navigated pressure extremely well this season. They showed this to outfox a high-pressing Southampton side.
What was interesting last weekend was Man City’s approach to engaging Everton much further back as the ball entered the middle third. City barely recovered the ball in the Everton half, but they also targeted the right side of Seamus Coleman.
Whilst their attacking play was focussed down the Everton left, Man City had Kolorov and Sterling push up and try to block off Seamus Coleman down the right. For the most part they did a good job winning the ball back and recovering possession. This was complimented by their speed on the break, exposing Coleman’s attacking nature on City’s first goal.
The Tottenham tactics for Spurs vs Everton might see Mauricio Pochettino consider using a similar approach. Block off Coleman down the right and attack Browning or Galloway down the left.
On the other hand, Mauricio Pochettino may revisit a tactic he used in Spurs 2 Everton 1 last season where he went with a bridge press. He pushed up three players and had the other seven drop off and look to hoover up any downfield clearances.
It’ll be interesting to watch which approach he adopts this time.
Spurs vs Everton outlook
Games in the Premier League between the Toffees and us have generally been tight affairs. We have come out on the right side of the score line at home though, winning four and drawing two of the last six league encounters at White Hart Lane.
Mauricio Pochettino’s set up on the right and choice of central defenders will be key in this one. If he continues with Alderweireld and Vertonghen then he will need to do something with Eric Dier to cope with Lukaku in the air.
Spurs vs Everton prediction: Spurs 2-1 Everton
Spurs vs Everton betting
Both teams to score at 8/11 BetVictor.
HT/FT: Draw/Tottenham at 9/2 Betfair.
Ryan Mason booked at 6/4 BetVictor.
Nacer Chadli anytime goal 3/1 888sport.
Get in there Son!
Betfair also have a weekend enhancement of 6/1 on a Spurs win for new customers. Get on before kick-off to take advantage. COYS!
I will be there in person to make sure it ends like you say, Mark – it better end 2-1 ;)
Spurs Fanatic - Mark says
Hoping it does for the first win of the season, enjoy!