By 90Min
October 26, 2019

It was a breath of fresh air to watch Spurs play like they did midweek.

Quick, intense, incisive and fluid - it was like watching the Spurs of old (by old I'm talking 2016/17) as they cruised to a 5-0 win over the mighty Red Star Belgrade - winners of the European Cup in 1991, by the way.

Yes, it might've been fairly lowly opposition, but that performance and result was exactly what Mauricio Pochettino's side needed after yet another disappointing result last weekend.

It may be the end of the cycle, but there's no reason why the next one can't be even better. With Tanguy Ndombele in midfield, anything's possible.

Ok, maybe not quite, but the Lilywhites have serious talent in their ranks including Davinson Sanchez, Ryan Sessegnon, Giovani Lo Celso, Dele Alli, Heung-Min Son and, of course, Harry Kane.

However, despite the Champions League victory in midweek, Spurs haven't won in the Premier League since their gritty 2-1 win over Southampton last month. Next up is the simple task of travelling to Anfield to take on table-toppers Liverpool, with Jurgen Klopp's side looking to put in a better display than they did at Old Trafford last week.

Here's how Pochettino should lineup for their trip to Merseyside on Sunday.


Goalkeeper & Defenders

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Paulo Gazzaniga (GK) - The obvious choice with Hugo Lloris out until the new year. Gazzaniga is a much better distributor than his French counterpart and has put in two sound displays since he's filled the void. He also provided Spurs fans with an enjoyable moment on Tuesday when he had a go at Jan Vertonghen.

Serge Aurier (RB) - He's showed his very best and disgraceful worst already this season and Sunday could go one of two ways for the Ivorian on Sunday. Despite lapses in concentration, Aurier has proven he is actually competent at this level - fine in the air, strong (maybe too strong sometimes) in the tackle and decent on the ball, Aurier should get the nod.

Davinson Sanchez (CB) - His fish out of water displays at right-back doesn't take away the fact that he's a fine centre half and has the potential to be at the heart of the Spurs defence for the next decade. There have been a couple of superb 'big game' displays by Sanchez in the past - most notably in the 3-1 away win at Stamford Bridge in 2018 - and he'll have to be at his best on Sunday.

Jan Vertonghen (CB) - Whilst Sanchez impressed against Red Star, the Belgian was just there to be honest. He's in his worst form since he arrived at the club in 2012, but gets in over Toby Alderweireld and Juan Foyth because of Pochettino's favouring of a right-footed-left-footed defensive pairing.

Ben Davies (LB) - There could be riots if Danny Rose starts on Sunday after his start to the season. Whilst maybe not quite as threatening going forward, Davies is certainly a better defender and the cover he provides Vertonghen, something Rose doesn't, will be important against the Reds. The Welshman also put in a fine display in the week.


Midfielders

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Moussa Sissoko (CDM) - The Frenchman certainly hasn't been the problem this season and he looks to be enjoying sharing the midfield with his French mate Tanguy Ndombele. Sissoko provides the much-needed cover to allow Ndombele to strut his stuff going forward. The engine-room of the side.

Tanguy Ndombele (CM) - How Spurs were able to get this man uncontested is quite funny. Despite showing flashes of his supreme talent, Ndombele put in a complete display against Red Star. Whilst he shouldn't be described as a powerhouse like Sissoko, the ex-Lyon man is so strong and silky in possession and can pick a pass like a deep-lying playmaker, breaking opposition lines with such ease and elegance. His variety and creativity with the ball at his feet make him so exciting to watch.

Erik Lamela (RM) - Lamela celebrated his 200th Spurs appearance (I was surprised too) with an excellent showing in the week, scoring one and making another. It's fair to say that he's been one of the few shining lights for the Lilywhites this season and he'll play a huge role in tracking back against Andy Robertson on Sunday.

Dele Alli (CAM) - The Englishman, who's struggled with injuries this calendar year, scored his first goal of the season against Watford last week after pouncing on a centre back/goalkeeper miscommunication. Against Red Star, he was dispossessed a few times but looked sharp and looked like he had some of his swagger back. The signs are pointing towards a world-class Dele returning soon...maybe.

Heung-Min Son (LM) - The South Korean took his season tally to five after bagging a brace in the week. Son is imperative for this Spurs side and it was a crazy decision not to start him against the Hornets. His ability off both feet, on the counter and in front of goal makes him an elite forward, deservedly getting nominated for the 2019 Balon d'Or. The only worry for Sunday's game is Son not tracking Trent Alexander-Arnold. Against Red Star, there were a couple of occasions when the forward went to sleep defensively.


Forward

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Harry Kane (ST) - No, whatever 'AFCAubazette' says on Twitter, Kane is not in decline nor a 'penalty-merchant'. The Englishman has perfected his game to become a playmaker as well as a prolific goalscorer. I'm not going to go into his midweek masterclass, but over the past couple of seasons, Kane has demonstrated his tremendous passing ability and he'll play a big part in trying to set Son away on the counter on Sunday.

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