Spurs travel north again looking to give supporters some early Christmas cheer with win at Burnley
PUBLISHED: 17:30 20 December 2017
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Saturday will see Tottenham Hotspur either get back on track in the battle for the top-four or lose more ground
For the first time in a long while, Spurs have had a full week on the training ground in the lead up to Saturday’s Premier League clash at Burnley and you suspect it was probably overdue.
You have to go back to the last time Tottenham Hotspur faced the Clarets, on Sunday August 27, to find the last time Mauricio Pochettino had a whole week with his squad without a midweek game or players away with their various countries.
Unfortunately, having more time than usual to prepare to face Burnley before failed to result in a Spurs win, but it is very likely this present time to recuperate and refocus has arrived at the ideal moment.
Saturday’s 4-1 defeat at league leaders Manchester City was a harsh reminder of how far the north Londoners have fallen behind in the battle for the title.
Another challenge for the Premier League crown was unlikely this term with Spurs playing home games at Wembley, but few expected Tottenham to be 21 points off the pace setters before Christmas.
Nevertheless, Pochettino’s main aim now has to be finishing in the top-four and this weekend will see the north Londoners either get back on track in that battle or potentially lose more ground.
Sean Dyche’s Burnley have been the surprise package of the campaign and currently have one more point than Tottenham and sit above them in sixth place.
It has been an excellent first half of the season for the Turf Moor club, but Spurs will aim to give their own supporters some much-needed Christmas cheer with an away victory on Saturday.
Davinson Sanchez will be back and available which should allow Eric Dier to move into the centre of midfield again and provide more protection for the back four.
Tottenham will be well aware of the task lying ahead this weekend, but it seems Burnley have began to stutter slightly.
Like Spurs, they lost away to Leicester City recently before they earned hard fought 1-0 home wins over Watford and Stoke City respectively, but on Saturday they could only draw 0-0 at Brighton & Hove Albion to suggest a decline may be on the horizon.
It is down to Tottenham to make sure they are back ahead of Burnley on Christmas Day and they’ll only do that by winning on Saturday.
After that, Southampton visit Wembley on Boxing Day (Tuesday) and Spurs will hope to be better placed by then.