Tottenham Hotspur-Hull City Preview
There's talk of a crisis at Tottenham Hotspur.
Just four wins from the opening 11 games has seen the pressure build on Mauricio Pochettino, as the new Tottenham manager struggles to get to grips with a squad that have yet to move since the departures of Luka Modric and Gareth Bale to Real Madrid.
A hugely disappointing showing in a 2-1 defeat to Stoke City prior to the international break saw the home fans turn on their team, but Pochettino insists he has confidence in his ability to turn the season around, starting this Sunday at Hull City.
"My mentality is to find a solution for positive results," the former Southampton boss said. "That is my responsibility as a head coach. Now is not the moment to find the guiltiness - it is a moment to be altogether, to be strong.
"It is a hard job because Tottenham is a big club with big supporters. This is not how we want it to be. We know the situation is hard, but we need to find a solution."
Hosts Hull City (2-5-4) will include plenty of familiar faces for traveling Spurs supporters.
Midfielders Tom Huddlestone and Jake Livermore both moved to Humberside from north London, and this summer were joined by ex-Tottenham captain Michael Dawson, who will make his first appearance against the club he moved to as a young prospect.
"I have huge respect for Spurs and still have a lot of friends there," Dawson said. "It will be strange but I'm a professional and will help Hull get three points. Would I celebrate if I scored? I don't score too often! Who knows, it would be nice. But this game is not about me - three points are on the line and both sides badly need them."
Hull's season has hardly been plain sailing. Steve Bruce's side have won just twice and have yet to pick up a point in November. The Tigers have gone 314 minutes without a Premier League goal and have picked up just five points at home.
Hull's record against Tottenham also offers little encouragement. They are winless in six (0-3-3) against the north Londoners and have never scored more than once against them.
The Tigers are likely to be without Alex Bruce due to a hamstring injury, but may be able to welcome back Nikica Jelavic (knee), Allan McGregor (shoulder) and Curtis Davies (back).
Spurs (4-2-5) have lost three of their last four and have conceded nine goals in that stretch. However, Pochettino's side have picked up more points away from home than at White Hart Lane, and have scored in all five of their matches on the road.
Belgium midfielder Nacer Chadli is the club's leading goal-scorer after 11 matches with six league goals. He scored just once all of last season.
Andros Townsend, Danny Rose and Aaron Lennon are all injury doubts for the Lilywhites, while Kyle Walker and Nabil Bentaleb remain a few weeks from returning from groin and ankle injuries, respectively.
A Paulinho strike earned Tottenham a point in this fixture last season, but the Brazilian has yet to make a single Premier League appearance since his disastrous World Cup.