Tottenham look to pick up from where they left off as they host Sheffield United in the Premier League this afternoon. An unbeaten start to the season left them second going into the international break, with the challenge now showing that form again after a fortnight away.
Ange Postecoglou and James Maddison won the Manager and Player of the Month awards after quickly making an impression in north London, and the Spurs fans will be expecting more of the same this afternoon. Heung-min Son scored a hat-trick in the big win over Burnley two weeks ago and once again leads the line here in an unchanged side.
Sheffield United have just one point from their opening four League games, though all three of their defeats have come by just a one-goal margin. Keeping it tight against an in-form Spurs side will be a major challenge. Follow all the action with Standard Sport’s LIVE blog, featuring expert analysis from Dan Kilpatrick at the ground.
Postecoglou not getting complacent
Ange Postecoglou insisted he is not naïve about how swiftly the mood could change if his Tottenham team suddenly stop producing the impressive results they have so far delivered under him.
It would mark their greatest start to a season since 1965 if Tottenham beat Sheffield United on Saturday, and Postecoglou is fully aware that results will ultimately determine his legacy at Spurs.
Speaking on Friday about a perceived honeymoon period, he said: “I don’t know what your honeymoon was like, but mine didn’t involve losing the greatest player in the history of this football club [Harry Kane] on the eve of the transfer window — me trying to scramble to get players into the club, fighting for everything I do.
“I’m well aware, after 28 years, of the pitfalls of management, trust me. I’ve gone into this with my eyes wide open. Your radar is always up. When things aren’t going well, you’re thinking: ’Are guys going to respond in the right way?’. And when things are going well, you’re thinking: ’Are we getting complacent?’”
Atmosphere building in north London…
Postecoglou sticks with winning formula
Spurs unchanged from the side that beat Burnley, with Heung-min Son and Cristian Romero both fit to start after overcoming knocks picked up during the international break.
Richarlison on the bench, as is Brennan Johnson who will eyeing a Tottenham debut this afternoon.
Four changes for the Blades, with Chris Basham, Luke Thomas, Jayden Bogle and James McAtee the quartet to come in.
Sheffield United team news
Starting XI: Foderingham, Ahmedhodzic, Basham, Robinson, Bogle, Souza, McAtee, Hamer, Thomas, McBurnie, Archer.
Subs: Davies, Trusty, Traore, Norwood, Tom Davies, Slimane, Larouci, Seriki.
Tottenham team news
Starting XI: Vicario, Porro, Romero, Van de Ven, Udogie, Sarr, Bissouma, Kulusevski, Maddison, Solomon, Son.
Subs: Skipp, Hojbjerg, Richarlison, Emerson, Perisic, Dier, Forster, Johnson, Davies.
Not long now…
Team news coming up from north London in just under ten minutes now.
Imagine it will be Heung-min Son leading the line again after his hat-trick before the international beak, but Ange Postecoglou has also confirmed that Richarlison will be in the squad.
We’ll get the answers very shortly.
Postecoglou: We are short at centre-back
Ange Postecoglou has confirmed Tottenham remain on the hunt for a new central defender.
The club spent around £43m to sign Micky van de Ven and the Dutchman has impressed alongside a reenergised Cristian Romero but convincing options behind the pair are light.
Eric Dier has not been involved while Davinson Sanchez was sold to Galatasaray, meaning the club will look to put their faith in teenager Ashley Phillips, who joined for £3m from Blackburn earlier this summer.
Ben Davies is another option in central defence but Postecoglou has confirmed the club “need” another centre-back, though whether that comes in January remains to be seen.
“We are a little bit light there but, for Davinson, it was a good opportunity to get a long-term contract,” he said.
“We needed to rebuild the squad – there was no point tinkering around the edges. We still probably need another centre-back.”
Good memories for the Blades!
Sheffield United beat Spurs 1-0 when these two sides met in the fifth round of the FA Cup last season, with Iliman Ndiaye scoring the only goal of the game.
There’s been a fair amount of change at Tottenham since then, though…
Bentancur continues recovery
Rodrigo Bentancur this week joined his Tottenham team-mates in their warm-up routines ahead of training as the midfielder took the next step towards his return to action.
The Uruguay international has not played since rupturing the anterior cruciate ligament in his knee in February and remains on course for a return in November, as manager Ange Postecoglou recently outlined.
Bentancur has not yet returned to training with Spurs, but took part in a few warm-up drills on Thursday alongside the likes of Cristian Romero and Emerson Royal before returning to individual work.