Gameweek 37 of the 2022/23 Premier League season will kick off with a London Derby, with Tottenham vs Brentford greeting us first up.
The 2022/23 Premier League season will continue on Saturday, with Gameweek 37 kicking off on Saturday. Tottenham vs Brentford will be the game to kick-start the action this weekend, with both clubs eager to grab the three points to further their European ambitions.
Tottenham Hotspur will want the 2022/23 season to end as soon as possible. The North London club came into the season with optimism and hope, considering Antonio Conte was at the helm at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. But things started unravelling after the World Cup break, with the Italian tactician failing to bring the best out of the squad.
It often seemed as if Harry Kane was a one-man army, and after a sensational rant following a draw with Southampton, Conte’s tumultuous stint ended. Cristian Stellini then became the caretaker boss but could not see the game out, receiving his marching orders after a heavy defeat to Newcastle United. And Ryan Mason is currently the third Tottenham manager this season, with the results hardly improving.
Meanwhile, Brentford will look back fondly at the 2022/23 season with a top-half finish on the cards. The Bees continue to make considerable progress under Thomas Frank, despite operating on one of the smallest budgets in the Premier League. And the campaign may yet end with European qualification if results go their way in the coming ten days.
The reverse fixture saw Tottenham come from two goals down to hold Brentford to a 2-2 draw, with Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg netting the equaliser. The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at the encounter ahead of the latest meeting between the two sides.
Team News & Tactics
“Wherever I am – my heart will always be here, you are my club.”
A message from @LucasMoura7 💙 pic.twitter.com/j4bhem3adk
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) May 18, 2023
Ryan Mason has greeted a positive update on the team news front ahead of his side’s latest game. The Tottenham Hotspur caretaker manager will be without three first-team players vs Brentford on Saturday.
The good news is that Eric Dier and Japhet Tanganga should have recovered sufficiently from their respective knocks. The duo’s return will leave only Hugo Lloris (thigh), Ryan Sessegnon (hamstring), and Rodrigo Bentancur (knee) on the sidelines.
In Lloris’s absence, Fraser Forster picks himself between the sticks, with Tottenham lining up in a 3-4-2-1 formation in front of him. Meanwhile, Lloris might have played his final game for Tottenham, with the North London club ready to let him leave in the summer. And Lucas Moura is another player who will leave at the end of the season.
Dier will return to the starting eleven straightaway, with Cristian Romero and Clement Lenglet being his central defensive partners. Meanwhile, Pedro Porro and Ben Davies should be the two wing-backs, with Emerson Royal and Ben Davies missing out.
As for the midfield unit, Oliver Skipp has nailed down his starting berth alongside Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg. And the duo will aim to keep things tight in the middle of the park, enabling the three attackers to express themselves. And finally, Harry Kane will spearhead the Tottenham attack, with Dejan Kulusevski and Son Heung-min joining him in the final third.
Probable Lineup (3-4-2-1): Forster; Romero, Dier, Lenglet; Porro, Hojbjerg, Skipp, Davies; Kulusevski, Son; Kane
Unlike his counterpart in the Tottenham dugout, Thomas Frank has a new concern hampering his preparations ahead of the trip to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. On Saturday, the Brentford boss will be bereft of the services of four first-team players.
Ivan Toney is the latest absentee, with the English striker serving an eight-month ban for breaching betting rules multiple times. Toney has joined Pontus Jansson (thigh), Keane Lewis-Potter (knee), and Christian Norgaard (Achilles) on the sidelines.
But there is some good news, as Thomas Strakosha is fit and available this weekend. However, the Albanian international will not start, with David Raya being the first-choice goalkeeper. And Brentford will line up in a 3-5-2 formation in front of him vs Tottenham.
💬 Ivan's replacements
"Instead of a problem, I like to call it a challenge. We were, for various reasons, prepared for what would happen if someone in that front line left us. We think, in-house, we have good replacements in Wissa and Kevin Schade"#TOTBRE pic.twitter.com/k0eMUIP7Vc
— Brentford FC (@BrentfordFC) May 19, 2023
Mathias Jorgensen should accompany regular starters Ben Mee and Ethan Pinnock in the central defensive unit. The trio will aim to remain compact and keep Harry Kane and the Tottenham attackers at bay for much of the game.
Meanwhile, a midfield trifecta will line up in the middle of the park. Frank Onyeka, Mathias Jensen, and Vitaly Janelt should be the three midfielders, with the trio looking to keep things tight in the centre of the pitch.
Aaron Hickey and Rico Henry should be the two wing-backs, with the latter, in particular, providing the creative impetus from the left flank. Finally, Bryan Mbeumo and Yoane Wissa should be the two strikers, with the duo having the onus on them to fill Toney’s void in the final third.
Probable Lineup (3-5-2): Raya; Zanka, Mee, Pinnock; Hickey, Onyeka, Jensen, Janelt, Henry; Mbeumo, Wissa
- Tottenham have lost just one of their nine league matches vs Brentford (W4 D4), going down 2-0 away from home in March 1948 in the second tier. Meanwhile, the away side has won just one of the nine previous league games between Tottenham and Brentford (D4 L4), with Brentford winless in their four visits to the North London club (D1 L3).
- Tottenham’s final home league game of the season has ended in defeat in just two of the last 14 campaigns (W11 D1), going down 2-1 against Aston Villa in 2020/21 and 2-1 against Southampton in 2015/16.
- Brentford won the final away league game in the last two seasons, beating Bristol City 3-1 in 2020/21 and Everton 3-2 last term. They have never done so in three consecutive campaigns in their league history.
- Tottenham’s Premier League games have seen 124 goals scored this season (F65 A59), with only Arsenal’s (125) producing more. In a 38-match Premier League season (since 1995/96), only one team has both scored and conceded 60 goals in a campaign, with Tottenham doing so in 2007/08 (F66 A61).
- Harry Kane has scored in 24 different Premier League games this season, the joint-most in a 38-game season in the competition. He has also found the back of the net in a league-high six defeats this term, with only three players netting in more losses in a single campaign – Matt Le Tissier (7 in 1992/93), Charlie Austin (7 in 2014/15) and Jamie Vardy (9 in 2017/18).
Player to Watch
As iterated earlier, Kane has been a one-man army at Tottenham for much of the 2022/23 season. And just two more games remain for the England captain to take his team closer to European qualification. Meanwhile, his record in London derbies this season has been fantastic.
Kane has scored nine goals for Tottenham in Premier League London derbies this term. Only one player has ever reached double figures in a single campaign, with Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink doing so in 2001/02 (10). Expect the 29-year-old to end Tottenham’s home campaign strongly and find the back of the net on Saturday.
Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 Brentford
Brentford might be missing Ivan Toney this weekend (and for several more months). But Thomas Frank’s men have often proven that they are more than the sum of their parts. Meanwhile, the Bees are unbeaten in their last eight Premier League London derbies and are looking to win four consecutive league games against fellow London clubs for the first time since March 2009 in League Two (five in a row).
So one can expect Brentford to take the game to Tottenham on Sunday. But while the hosts will concede at least once, Harry Kane should combine with an improving Son Heung-min to deliver a crucial victory. The Hard Tackle predicts a hard-fought encounter featuring the two London clubs, with the home side clinching a 2-1 win.
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