Man City Fixture Could Prove If Tottenham Have Real Title Aspirations

Tottenham Hotspur have been extremely impressive this season. They currently lie in second place in the Premier League and recently handed leaders Chelsea a 2-0 defeat.

They are now sitting seven points behind Antonio Conte’s men and also possess the league’s best defensive record.

When you look at their first team you find it hard to find any flaws; the goalkeeper is class, two top fullbacks, a strong consistent backline, hard-working holding players, creative maestros and a fantastic striker!

One possible issue could be depth in their squad.

Some positions like the fullbacks and the midfield have an abundance of talent but you worry if one of the central defenders or hitman Harry Kane gets a long-term injury.

Last weekend, as Spurs swotted away West Brom, the White Hart Lane crowd anxiously watched on as Belgian defender Jan Vertonghen succumbed to what looked like a serious injury.

Manager Mauricio Pochettino said that it looked ‘very bad‘ for Vertonghen. The diagnosis is that the centre-back has suffered from ankle ligament damage. No word yet on when the ‘Lilywhites’ should expect to see the twenty-nine year old back in training and on the pitch.

That means that Pochettino needs to figure out on who should play when they face Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City side this weekend.

Now we all know that Man City have been humbled quite a few times this term, Everton destroyed them in their last outing and Spurs handed them their first defeat of the season back in early October.

But you should always be wary of a wounded animal, especially when they have sharp teeth (Aguero, Silva and Sterling) like City have.

Plus it should also be noted that Pep’s side have only lost once at the Etihad in the league so far during this campaign and that was against Chelsea.

So even a full strengthen Spurs side would find it hard to come away with all three points in this fixture. But if they want to be serious title contenders then they need to rise to all the challenges.

So who could come in and replace Vertonghen?

Well the obvious choice would be twenty-four year old Kevin Wimmer.

The Austrian has already made four starts this season. Spurs have already shown their intent in keeping him at the club for the remainder of the campaign by turning down offers for the central defender.

Now the issue is that many a Tottenham Hotspur fan are still unsure about Wimmer. Sometimes he looks solid and then he can throw in an inconsistent display. A few were suggesting that loaning the player out could have been beneficial for all parties but that was before the injury to Jan.

You then have teenager Cameron Carter-Vickers.

A lot of people believe the young American has all the credentials to make it big in the game. He’s made three cup appearances for Pochettino’s side this year and always seemed more impressive compared to Wimmer.

But the problem for Carter-Vickers is that he has no Premier League experience. Although his manager is impressed by the defender’s talents:

“I told you that, for me, he will be one of the best centre-backs in England in the future. He has a strong mentality, good quality and all the qualities for playing centre-back.”

The Evening Standard suggests that left-back Ben Davies could be one that could get the nod.

Obviously Mauricio has been playing with a back three recently and Davies would fill in on the lefthand side. The Welshman certainly has top flight experience and played in that role for Wales at Euro 2016, where he impressed.

He’s the type of player who does his thing without much fuss but he does everything to the best of his abilities. Ben is also disciplined and decent with the ball at his feet.

It’s a big week for Pochettino and his Spurs side. They’ve got match winners in Dele Alli, Christian Eriksen and Harry Kane but most eyes will be on the defence this Saturday evening.

People all over the land will see who the Tottenham boss trusts and whether they can come in and seamlessly fit into the compact defensive unit or will they make it more fragile?

It’s not a title decider but it could help people decide if Tottenham Hotspur are strong enough to keep the challenge going strong.

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