Tottenham may play two up top this weekend
It’s safe to say that no one player is capable of filling Harry Kane’s void in the Tottenham starting XI. As such, it’s entirely possible that Mauricio Pochettino will elect to play two Spurs stars up top to cope with Kane’s injury absence.
More specifically, I believe it’s time for Pochettino to show some more tactical flexibility against the Saints. While most Spurs fans are engaged in vigorous debate over whether or not the club should start Son Heung-Min or Vincent Janssen on Sunday, I’m eyeing a different solution.
First off, Son Heung-Min simply has to start the match. You can’t put a goal scorer on the bench who’s coming off a hat trick. I don’t care how weak Millwall were last weekend, three goals is still a terrific accomplishment.
I’m also not inclined to award Vincent Janssen a start just because he finally scored from open play. I was as happy as anyone to see him find the back of the net, but starting him against Southampton could crush his confidence before it really gets started.
That leaves Pochettino without a striker really capable of leading the line on his own. To alleviate that issue, he should simply start two strikers up top. I’m not advocating some sort of swashbuckling 4-4-2 setup, instead Spurs should employ a 4-3-1-2 formation against the Saints.
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The combination of Son and Dele Alli up top would give the club enough firepower to top Southampton. Dele has been playing higher and higher up the pitch lately in concert with Kane. There’s no reason he can’t fully commit to playing up top next to Son.
The deployment of those two as strikers, would allow Pochettino to play Christian Eriksen in his preferred role just underneath the strikers. He could really pull the attack strings with Son and Dele playing just ahead of him. Eriksen would become the fulcrum of the attacking trio.
It also allows Pochettino to play a strong midfield three. The ability to play Vincent Wanyama, Mousa Dembele and Harry Winks together would give the formation a ton of tactical flexibility. Dembele and Wanyama could shield the back four with ease and Winks could bomb forward in attack.
In the end, Tottenham are going to need to do different things to cope with Harry Kane’s absence. The first thing Pochettino should try is a slight change in formation. Even if Spurs don’t line up this way to start the match on Sunday, I’ll be very surprised if the heat maps don’t show just this sort of tactical change when the match concludes.