Unbeaten Tottenham left it late to oust ten-man Marseille on matchday one in London, while Sporting produced a thoroughly impressive performance to canter to a 3-0 triumph at Eintracht Frankfurt the same evening. Can Spurs pass a stiff test in Portugal against the Lions on Tuesday?
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Centre half Jeremiah St. Juste, midfielder Daniel Barganca and attacker Jovan Cabral are all injured and won’t feature for Sporting CP on Tuesday.
Head Coach Ruben Amorim has all of his other bigger hitters in tow, however, and the highly-regarded tactician will set Sporting up in his favoured 3-4-3 formation. Watch out for former Spurs youngster Marcus Edwards in the final third.
Antonio Conte has a strong squad to pick from on Tuesday with Brazilian winger Lucas Moura listed as Tottenham’s only absentee.
Expect to see Spurs deployed in Conte’s tried and trusted 3-4-3 set-up. It looks as though Richarlison has pushed Dejan Kulusevski out of the starting XI for the moment at least.
Sporting CP have made a modest start to the new Primeira Liga season in Portugal (10 points from 6 games), though their supporting stats are mostly loaded in the right direction.
The Lions have been clocking 16 shots and 5.83 shots on target per 90, though their xG for (1.57 p/90) is relatively low. Their cards for (3.67) and against (2.50 p/90) figures also catch the eye.
In typical Antonio Conte style, Tottenham have been grinding out result after result this season and though they remain unbeaten, their football won’t be winning any prizes for aesthetics.
It’s interesting to note that Spurs’ shots for (15.5) and against figures (14.5) per 90 are almost like for like, while the team’s xG against (1.17) is slightly higher than Sporting’s (1.07).
Player Shots and Shots on Target
Pedro Goncalves likes to drift centrally from his berth on the left and the ex-Wolves reserve has been Sporting’s sharpest shooter this term, clocking 2.51 shots and 1.51 shots on target per 90.
Another former Wanderer, Trincao, also ranks well for shots p/90 (2.41), while Englishman Marcus Edwards (1.40 SOT p/90) is enjoying a breakout campaign for Sporting.
Unsurprisingly, Harry Kane is among the forerunners for both shots (3.76) and shots on target (1.71 p/90) this season. Ryan Sessegnon’s appearance at the summit of the table again highlights just how much productivity Antonio Conte squeezes out of the wingbacks in his teams.
Richarlison (3.16 shots per 90) has been on the ascent of late and with more minutes, the Brazilian could overtake the uncharacteristically quiet Heung-min Son.
Player Goals and Assists
Pedro Goncalves bagged a goal and assist against Portimonense at the weekend to boost his domestic numbers (4G 3A) and his opposite flanskman, Trincao, notched a brace the same game to break his duck for the campaign.
Marcus Edwards has scored only once in his last four Primeira Liga runouts, though the 23-year-old did provide two goal contributions (1G 1A) in Sporting’s 3-0 win at Eintracht Frankfurt last week.
Only Aleksandar Mitrovic (Fulham, 6) and Erling Haaland (Man City, 10) have scored more Premier League goals than Harry Kane (5) this season, though his supporting cast haven’t quite got up to speed yet.
Pierre-Emile Højbjerg has two goals from midfield, though the Dane is unlikely to add many more to his early haul, while Dejan Kulusevski, Heung-min Son and Richarlison have registered just once in the Premier League between them.
Tough tackling Uruguayan Manuel Ugarte is Sporting’s midfield enforcer and the 21-year-old has been carded four times in just six league appearances this term. Ugarte somehow escaped a booking in the Champions League against Frankfurt last week despite making a bone-crunching 12 tackles.
Ugarte often drops deep to help out his back three, as does his midfield counterpart Hidemasa Morita (2 cards). Watch out for that duo and for towering centre half Sebastian Coates (2 cards) as they try to keep a lid on Tottenham’s dangerous front three.
Tottenham Hotspur Cards Drawn
Expert nuisance Richarlison has been fouled 1.58 times per 90 mins for Tottenham in the Premier League and though his antics won’t endear him to many, the 25-year-old certainly knows how to unsettle defenders.
Harry Kane (1.53) is often ruffed up when linking play with his back to goal, while South Korean flier Heung-min Son (1.48) regularly has his wings clipped in wide areas. All three forwards are certain to be targeted by a Sporting CP side that has a ruthless streak when out of possession.
Match-Ups to watch
Manuel Ugarte vs Richarlison
Hidemasa Morita vs Heung-min Son
Sebastian Coates vs Harry Kane
Tottenham Hotspur Cards
Pierre-Emile Højbjerg (1.83) and Rodrigo Bentancur (1.88) have been in the trenches together in midfield this season and the pair’s efforts to win back possession for Spurs have resulted in high foul counts per 90 for both.
Defenders Clement Lenglet and Eric Dier are absent from the Premier League-focused rundown, though they both committed three fouls each against Marseille last week and they could find it tough to manage the forwards in Sporting’s swift frontline.
Sporting Cards Drawn
Marcus Edwards (2.33) and Trincao (2.07) are both willing runners who go for the jugular in one-on-one situations and as a consequence, they are regularly stopped in their tracks illegally by panicky defenders.
Manuel Ugarte (fouled 2.20 p/90) will fight fire with fire in midfield so keep an eye on the combative Uruguayan’s duels against Højbjerg and his international teammate Bentancur.
Match-Ups to watch
Pierre-Emile Højbjerg vs Manuel Ugarte
Clement Lenglet vs Marcus Edwards
Rodrigo Bentancur vs Manuel Ugarte
Remember if you’re placing a bet builder for tonight’s game, to gamble responsibly by keeping stakes reasonable and sticking to a budget.
Good luck, and let’s see those winning slips.