A number of first team players returned to full training last week but the quotes from Head Coach Tim Sherwood suggest that there won’t be too many changes for tonight’s game with second placed City. Jan Vertonghen, Younes Kaboul, Sandro and Paulinho are all nearing full fitness but this evening’s match may have come too soon for any of them to be involved.

“The four lads are back in training but we have to be cautious of not rushing them back,” Sherwood said. “We have to make sure they are ready.

“Andros and Erik are the only ones not training at the moment.”

Tim also suggested the side would play an attacking style which raises the big question – 4-4-2 or 4-5-1?

Nacer Chadli was given an opportunity to impress – one which he didn’t take – at Swansea last time out so will Roberto Soldado be given another chance? We’re at home so 4-4-2 becomes a stronger option but this is prolific Manchester City.

Here’s how we think Sherwood will set Spurs up – we don’t necessarily agree – but what’s your view?




  1. I agree, assuming Paulinho, Sandro, Verts and Kaboul don’t make it then the team picks itself. Would be suprised if Chadli starts, if he does then i’d expect Bentaleb to drop to the bench and Eriksson to start alongside Dembele

  2. Aguero will score a hatrick if Dawson plays. Ill go as far as to say one half each for Kaboul and Vertonghen. Benttaleb should not play. If Paulinho can it eould be great, even Holtby or Capoue rather. Come on, this is man city ffs

    • Thanks you exactly what I wanted to say. If Dawson and Bentaleb play we very, very little chance. Ideally Paulinho and Capoue in ahead of Bentaleb and Soldado. I wish Vertongen was ready to replace Dawson.

      • Mark, this is what Savage has said on the BBC.

        “But taking the game to City is definitely Tottenham’s best bet because if you try to hold them off, they will always break you down in the end.

        Spurs should go for it because look where that approach got Watford, who were 2-0 up against City at half-time in the FA Cup at the weekend. It took two defensive substitutions for Pellegrini to rescue that game.

        Tottenham obviously have better players than Watford, so Sherwood should stick with his attacking outlook and set up a team to put City on the back foot and pressure their defence.”

        For once I agree with Savage. Watford attacked City with a 4-4-2 formation and went 2 nil up. Only their lack of quality let them down in the end.

    • If you rush players back after a long injury lay off there is more chance they will pick up another injury as has happened to Kaboul in the past. So I don’t expect either to start tonight. Vertoghan may be on the bench though.

      I can’t see Sherwood doing as you say. I don’t think he will pick any player who isn’t fit enough to last the entire 90 mins. If Sherwood does as you say then it reduces the number of substitute options available to Sherwood from 3 to 2 if Spurs want to make tactical changes in the 2nd half.

      I don’t you would make a good manager.

      • okay then. if your the manager and you start dawson your a sucker. ageuro will have him on his backside. Dawson cant even keep up with peter crouch

        • Who do you suggest we play there so?? Capoue?? Fryers?? Soldado?? Kaboul and Verts are unfit, Kaboul was unfit the last game against City and look what happened worst performance Ive seen him in a Spurs shirt.. Verts is also unfit but Id be willing to risk him cause hes not really injury prone but if he does start you can guarantee it will be for Chiriches as I cant see Tim dropping our captain especially as he hasnt had a bad game since Tim took charge and Chiriches went on the rip the weekend but I cant see any of the four playing especially Kaboul and Sandro who are seriously injury prone

          • THFC. It seems to me that you are the only sensible poster on here. The others are all dreamers, unable to face reality .

          • there you said it, risk Jan, he’s not injury prone. I dont expect this to happen, i hope it happens. what i do know is if Dawson starts, Aguero will run a sircle around him followed by a neat finish. Most imoprtant player of the game will be Lloris.

          • Yeah honestly mate some people are brain dead.. They dont understand that the manager along with the physios will decide if there fit to play, if their not fit they dont play simple as..

          • You really are simple mate Im not saying Dawson should start Im saying he will start because the othe CBs are not fit how stupid are you like you cant play an unfit player against against the best team in the league we would all love to see Verts in there instead of Dawson but if he cant play he cant play thats just the way it is, if hes fit he will play its not a matter of choosing Dawson over Verts, if Verts isnt fit then theres no choice to make how cant you get that into you simple brain

          • Daws is a great leader on the field but starting him against city would be a mistake. Try vertonghen then introduce Dawson later if need be. Bantaleb is a talent but again he is coming up against the likes of yaya toure so start capoue or even holtby. Also drop soldado for siggurdson

          • Ok so Verts is not math ready. Then keep daws(unfortunately) but all other changes stay
            4-5-1 is best for man city and also eriksen behind adebayor

    • If they don’t play Dawson, tryme, then who do they play at centre half if Sherwood thinks Verts and Kaboul are not yet ready to return after long lay offs due to injury?

  3. Should we go 4-4-2?

    I’m leaning towards 5 in midfield and a counter attacking game.

    If Jan and Sandro are fit, they must play.

    Bentaleb is young and putting him up against Toure/Ferandinho is a big ask.

  4. Seriously, 4-4-2? Against City? Oh my!
    Walker, Dawson (unless Kaboul is fit), Vert, Rose
    Lennon, Siggy(or holtby), Sandro, Dembele (or Bentelab), Eriksen

    Eriksen will keep drifting in field, so important to put distance between him and Siggy who will keep bombing forward behind the striker. Sandro will sit deep and Dembele will be box-2-box as always. Bentaleb is better box-2-box than a holding player, so we need Sandro on there to break up play.

  5. Actually we’ll probably play the same team that played against Swansea. Chadli will provide cover for Rose against Navas and keep tabs on Zabaleta coming forward.

    Bentaleb will play i’m sure. He doesn’t misplace passes and gets in loads of tackles. Dembele, Bentaleb and Eriksson will be up against Fernandinho and Toure which should be ok.

    Daws will take Negredon and Vlad will shackly Aguero.

    3-1 to Spurs, thank you

    • Sensible post Pikey, but I think your scoreline is just wishful thinking!

      I see goals though. I would love to see us win 3-1, but we will have to be lucky!

    • Wakey, wakey, Larsen. Sherwood says Verts, Kaboul, Paulinho and Sandro are not yet ready to start so why include them in your team?

      One, or more, may be on the bench though.

    • Annoys me how people are using players in their teams that arent fit like have you read the article or what theirs no chance of all four starting??

  6. As much as I actually despise Chadli I think we need him to start on the left to protect Rose cause Eriksen likes to drift from position and we seen against Arsenal that Rose cant cope just think of navas and zabaleta double teaming Rose.. Dawsons gonna start whether we like it or not hes not getting dropped, not yet anyway.. I agree starting Bentaleb is a huge risk and I’d love to see Capoue, Sandro or Paulinho starting but to be honest I cant see it happening as Tim seemingly hates Capoue and the other two arent fully fit.. Same team as against Swansea Id say 442 would be suicide.. If I saw Verts and Paulinho on the team sheet I woul be delighted but were on good form so lets be optimistic, we can get a result I just hope the crowd backs the team at all times.. COME ON YOU SPURS!!!

    • HH. Sherwood says Verts, Sandro and Paulinho are not yet ready to start so why include them?

      Sherwood seems to be one of those managers who will not take a risk on a player unless he is convinced he is 100% fit.

  7. Lloris; Walker, Chiriches, Vertonghen, Rose; Lennon, Dembele, Capoue, Eriksen; Adebayor, Soldado.

    I understand Jan may miss out, plus Etienne isn’t exactly impressing Tim at the moment. However, if it’s a choice between Nabil – who I have been impressed with – being knocked to kingdom come against the unstoppable Yaya then I just feel Etienne would be better suited.

  8. I want to see if Timmy has the balls to drop Daws and give the captaincy to Verts when fully fit, that has to be the way forward. Sorry Daws I like you but you have had your day. I want a young virile man pushing the boys on and Verts is that man.HHXX

    • Howiye Hornyyy!! I agree completely, will he have the balls to do it I do not know.. We are yet to see Verts and Kaboul partner each other or Verts and Chiriches either and to be honest one of these is probably our best CB partnership and would love to see them tested at some stage but Dawson is not just gonna be dropped one of Kaboul/Chiriches has to prove they are better partner to Verts than Dawson, I think Chiriches will be dropped for Verts initially as I cant see Tim dropping our captain for Chiriches but it’s up to him and Kaboul to prove they deserve that spot when they get the chance

  9. To me this is the match we are going to find out about Sherwoods long term future. He MUST not stick with the same team that beat Swansea as we will get hammered again!! He will never drop Dawson so there is no point going on about it….but he SHOULD be dropped and replaced by Vertongan. He should not include Bentalab in this sort of game. It has to be Paulinho as far as I am concerned.

    • But are they fully fit, Munir? You can’t play partially fit players against Man City.

      Watford proved that Man City will concede goals if you attack them!!

  10. I think Matthew Harris’s team, or the team that started against Swansea (with Siggy instead of Chadli?) is the probable team to start.

    Sherwood will not take a risk on those returning from injury unless he is convinced they are 100% fit and fully recovered from their injury. Just because someone is back in training after a long injury lay off doesn’t mean they are fully fit.

  11. Lloris
    Walker -Vertonghen-Chiriches-Rose
    Lennon Paulinho Bentelab Eriksen,
    Siggy Adebayor.

    Dembele and Benelab in midfield does not work, in fact Dembele does not fit with Sandro either. Dembele is strong on the ball, but has no defensive instinct or goal scoring instinct either.

  12. Recipe for disaster if you ask me. I have faith in Bentaleb but I would prefer to see Sandro or Paulinho start and maybe play until half time if not fully fit. The same with Vertonghen, I like the way Vlad and Dawson have gelled but with Rose, Bonzo and Chiriches all capable of going forward, I can see Aguero soon dodging a Dawson slide tackle and running towards Lloris as the rest of the team jog back, raring to point their fingers at who is to blame. A draw from this would be optimistic. Another thrashing would ruin any threat of us being a title challenger in the following seasons.


    • This isnt a game for players to be careful mate we need fully fit players not ones that have to come off after twenty minutes cause they re-injured themselves and are out for another few months.. At the end of the day the three games after this against Hull, Everton and Newcastle are ten times more important then this game in the race for fourth and the un fit players will be back for them games so why risk them now? What happens if we risk them and still lose we could be fucked for the next few games? Some people haven’t a clue seriously

  14. We have to stick to 451, 442 should be saved for more defensive sides. Sandro or Capoue should play as a shield for the defense and to get after Toure.

    City play two up front so both centre-backs have a striker to mark. They also play lots of through balls. As most people have agreed Dawson is not suited to this. We need Vertonghen to play if he’s fit.

    I have blogged on this: http://wp.me/p2Sby9-iy

  15. Same team as against Swansea but Siggy in for Chadli. Eriksen sitting in the hole off Ade in a 4-5-1. If Verts is fit, he’s to partner Chiriches. Dawson gets murdered every time we play a top team with top strikers. Would be very surprised to see TS drop Bentaleb for anyone but Sandro if fit, but certainly not Capoue he is soon to be off to Napoli.

    • Agree with you Dan but it would be great if Tim could play capoue. I don’t think he is lazy and has proved he can partner dembele and give him license to attack which is needed. Also siggy would give us that momentum in attack and give us that extra spark

  16. Of the 4 returning players, surely one or two of them have a chance of starting, in which case you have to play Vertonghen ahead of Dawson if he’s ready. If it has to be Dawson and Chiriches, then Sandro is a must to provide further protection. Offensively, I like the idea of a 5 man midfield tonight, which can adapt to 442 later in the game if necessary. My team would be:
    Walker, Vertonghen(Dawson), Chiriches, Rose
    Lennon, Sandro, Dembele, Bentaleb, Eriksen

  17. Joe – not sure if we have been watching the same Spurs team in relation to Dembele?? Seriously the guy has been our rock with all the injuries and has partnered a very inexperienced lad in Bentaleb. The ground Dembele covers for a big man is amazing, and TS clearly is asking him to get forward more (as in his surging run against Swansea where he missed a 1 on 1 with keeper). A great sign that TS has confidence in him and he in TS if he’s trying to change/improve his game. Dembele/Bentaleb worked pretty well in outplaying Carrick/Fletcher at OT don’t you think? Only in the Arsenal FA game when TIm stuffed up with a 442 against Cazorla and co did the partnership look overrun. They may not be the answer against Toure/Fernandino, but wins away against passing teams in United, Swansea and Southampton suggests to me that Dembele/Bentaleb have done a great job. For mine, against the top teams they need a Sandro or Paulinho for support in a midfield 3, but in a 442 they been excellent. COYS!

    • To be honest mate he probably doesnt even watch the matches probably just watches match of the day or something cause he hasnt a clue, Dembele has been our most consistent player this season and is probably first choice CM

  18. KJSPur – If Sandro and Verts are fit, exactly the team Id like to see also. Sandro and Dembele to tag team Toure and get them on the break with Bentaleb, Lennon, Eriksen and Ade.

  19. ultrapunch – I wouldnt take what TS says regarding injured players in pre-match press conferences etc as being the gospel truth. He’s already seemed very adept at the old cloak and daggers and likes to keep the opposition guessing. According to TS, Walker was out for Swansea, but he ended up starting….

    • Was thinking that myself Id say Sandro and Kaboul are not ready and Tim doesnt want to risk them due to their past injurys but Verts might be ready as he has been back training a good while now, duno bout Paulinho but he scored in that friendly and dont think his injury was that bad, but in saying that i dont think Tim will drop Bentaleb

    • Absolutely agree! Not convinced anything Sherwood has said in the pre-match presser is true. I expect Vertonghen and Paulinho to start, they’ve only been out just over a month so they won’t be as rusty as Sandro and Kaboul

      • Lets live in hope!! Teams should be announced just before 7, really excited for this game for real big test for Tim & Co in the league, performance is more important than the result but Im feeling optimistic that we might get something from this

  20. 433 451




    • Good team but bentaleb will play instead of sandro. Trust the kid his the real deal. Spurs 3-1.
      I watch man city a lot and they will not win the league and may even not hold onto third. Why? There Defence is Crap.
      Arse, Liverpool, Newcastle, Swansea, Southampton. In all these matches man city were shaky and only bad luck or poor ref decisions got them the victory.
      Against Pool, and arse there were several off sides that would have put the players in one on one’s, that were award wrongly in city’s favour. A good goal scored by Newcastle chalked off when Newcastle were on top in the game. Swansea if it wasn’t for some ranked poor goalkeeping, by Swansea they could have won/ drawn Boney had city’s defense all over the place. Southampton had chances to win the game, city didn’t show up 2nd half.
      City won’t win the league because like Mike Tyson in his prime they got a shit defense. How can we not expose Demarchilis, lescott or whoever else plays there. Zabeleta is slow and only good going forward and I am sure Lennon can get some change out of Kolorov. COYS

    • You´ve got the same player in twice in defence Vlad and Chiriches – hes good not that good, but I like idea of 4-3-3 against Citeh as they will probably play that way. If – and very very big IF – players are fit enough – I would go with
      — Lloris —
      Walker — Vertonghen — Chiriches — Rose
      Bentaleb — Sandro — Dembele
      Lennon — Adebayor — Eriksen

  21. That’s what is like to see with full squad, maybe include lamela. But I can see the 442 wan at top bein played. Il a very good side tho.

  22. Can’t understand this love fest with Chiriches. He is not that good in the air, or strong in the tackle and his positional play is poor. Above all he keeps getting caught in possession and shows no determination to get back into the game. He is not an accident waiting to happen he is happening all the time. It is true Dawson is slow, but he is having to do two players’ jobs.

    • How many times has chirches helped daws out at the back. Granted he has a lot of faults but he is a better option than Dawson who has been outrun by every player in the league. Vlad is the one doing jobs for two people. Vlad is a much better option mate. Younger offers more in attack and can make last ditch tackles. Dawson struggled with bony and almost gave away a penalty from his frustrations

  23. The players coming back from injury WILL NOT START.
    No Way.
    They need games to get their rhythm back and will be eased back in.
    They will only play tonight if they come on as sub cos someone got injured.
    The only difference tonight compared with the team that played Swansea might be Siggy in for Chadli, but i doubt it

  24. The Eleven players selected to play tonight !! do the home supporters and club proud do the Citeh tonight please.

    Performance & 3 Points …………UP THE SPURS !!

  25. 4141 is the way to play city as a one off, with chiriches in front of daws&vert(must play) with dem&sand(must play) in middle, with Len&Erik wide an the big man roaming aloan up front. And pray!!

  26. Although the end result at City was poor it is easily forgotten that it just wasn’t our day after conceding from a lloris mistake after 15 seconds.
    We did, in fact have 53% possession away, 9 corners against 5. Everything went for them and virtually every chance they had went in.
    We were demoralised by half time because of their fortunate first 2 goals, and AVBs poor tactics.
    That result was no reflection, at all, of the difference between the teams in the bigger picture.
    We have no reason to fear them at all. Personally I feel confident that we will beat them.

    In my ideal world, with all fit and available the team should be
    Lloris, walker, vertonghen, Vlad, Rose
    Sandro, paulhinio,
    Lennon, Erikson, Lamela

    To me it seems obvious to play Lamela on the left where he can get to the byline and cross rather than keep cutting in on the right onto his good foot.

      • Are you a complete wanker?
        Or is it just a part time obsession?
        Which part of if all fit and available and ideal world do you not understand?

        Don’t you just love keyboard warriors who sit there and attack people for pathetic reasons in the safety of their padded cell

  27. well… that sucked. who cares, it was to be expected. We just need to be flat track bullies from now since we can’t beat any of the big clubs.


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