Premier League

Tottenham must stick to their guns to get the best out of their defence

Tottenham must stick to their guns to get the best out of their defence

When Tottenham line up against Man United at Old Trafford on Saturday, they will be the form team. While they are slight underdogs according to bookmakers, they have bags of momentum compared to The Red Devils. 

Coming of the back of a solid victory over Fulham, Tottenham are also buoyed by the presence of centre-back Toby Alderweireld. The Belgian made his first start for a long time for The Lilywhites, and was at his impressive best.

With neither centre-backs Jan Vertonghen or Dávinson Sánchez putting a foot wrong, manager Mauricio Pochettino has the luxury of being able to set the team up with the same formation this Monday.

This not only makes Tottenham much more solid at the back, with three of the best defenders in the league, but it allows Kieran Trippier (valued at £27m on Transfermarkt.co.uk) to move further up the field. Trippier is fast becoming one of the best fullbacks in the league, if not the world, and his delivery is crucial to the way Tottenham play, particularly with Harry Kane as his target.

This was the defensive formation that England adopted during the World Cup, and it certainly played into Trippier’s hands as the 27-year-old was fantastic in Russia. This is the formation that unlocks the most potential from the Tottenham fullbacks, and is a platform for providing great service to one of the world’s most lethal strikers.

This system served Tottenham very well two seasons ago, but injuries in all departments prevented the north London club from consistently relying on it. While replacement centre-backs Juan Foyth and Cameron Carter-Vickers remain out injured, midfielder Eric Dier can always drop back into the defence if anything were to happen.

Both defensively and offensively it makes sense for Pochettino to stick with this formation on Monday. He has the players at his disposal, and must use them.

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