Tottenham Hotspur-Swansea City Preview
There will be more than just three points at stake Sunday when Swansea City host Tottenham Hotspur at the Liberty Stadium.
The match takes on extra significance for the Welsh club as they are still looking for their first win over Spurs in the top flight, with this being their fifth season and ninth meeting in the Premier League. The Swans have lost seven straight to Spurs, and manager Garry Monk is keen to turn around his club’s record against the north Londoners.
"We’ve had some very good games against them since we’ve been in the Premier League," Monk said. "But at the same time we have only taken one point from those matches, even if we have deserved better in some games.
"It’s a record that we want to change, that’s our focus and we’ll be aiming to do that this weekend. We were excellent against them at home last season and we know that they are a very good team with fantastic players and a forward-thinking manager."
Monk’s side (2-3-2) started the season well, but have picked up just one point in the last three games to slip down the table. The Swans’ form is in stark contrast to that of Tottenham (3-3-1), who have won three league games on the bounce and are 4-4-1 in all competitions since opening the season with a loss at Manchester United.
Last weekend’s 4-1 victory over Manchester City was a high point of Spurs’ season and featured an impressive performance from summer signing Delli Alli. The young midfielder – who joined from League One club MK Dons – played again in Tottenham’s 1-1 draw with Monaco in the Europa League on Thursday, just hours after learning he had been called up to Roy Hodgson’s full England squad for the first time – just two months into his top-flight career.
"I was speechless!" Alli admitted. "It’s been a really good start to the season for me, I maybe didn’t expect it to go this well. At the start of the season I set myself a target to try to become a regular in the Under-21s and try to get a few starts in the Premier League. Obviously, I’ve got a few starts already, so it’s been a great start and I can’t thank the players and staff enough for helping me settle in and play as well as I have been.
"The England call-up is a great chance for me to show what I can do, show the manager and all the players. At the moment I’m just focusing on Spurs, the game at Swansea, but when it comes, I’ll work as hard as I can in training and see if I can get some minutes on the pitch."
Alli is likely to partner with England Under-21 Eric Dier again in midfield against Swansea given the absence of injured central midfielders Moussa Dembele, Ryan Mason and Nabil Bentaleb.
Another of Tottenham’s summer additions, South Korea international Heung-min Son, has a foot injury and is expected to be replaced in the starting lineup by Nacer Chadli. Argentina international Erik Lamela scored against Monaco on Thursday night and was the star in Spurs’ win over Man City, so he is expected to retain his place on the right of midfield.
Swansea have no reported injuries, but will be looking for more from a front four who have managed just a single goal in their last three games.