After defeating Newcastle United 4-1 in the Premier League on Friday, December 15, Tottenham will aim to win two straight games when they visit Nottingham Forest.
Spurs defeated Eddie Howe’s team convincingly at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Sunday to earn their first three points in the Premier League since October, snapping a five-game losing streak.
After a run of five games without a victory, they will now travel to the East Midlands full of confidence as they get ready to take on a Nottingham Forest team who are deficient in that area as well.
Nevertheless, Ange Postecoglou will understand that this is by no means a free pass and will therefore need to get his team selection spot on. Steve Cooper’s team was only able to defeat high-flying Aston Villa at the City Ground last month.
There is no doubt that Guglielmo Vicario will start in goal for the visiting team. In the last moments of the game, the Italian could do little to stop the third shot that found its way into the net, but he had a quiet afternoon against Newcastle, stopping two of the Magpies’ three attempts on goal (Sofascore).
Destiny Udogie and Pedro Porro, who are both eager to continue their excellent play after brilliant performances against Newcastle, where Udogie scored his first goal for the team and Porro set up Richarlison’s second goal of the afternoon, will undoubtedly be chosen for the flanks.
Given his limitations as a central defender, Postecoglou will almost certainly start with Ben Davies and Cristian Romero at the back. The two have developed a solid partnership and were unfortunate not to record a clean sheet in their most recent game.
Where the Australian could look to make some changes is in the middle of the park.
Postecoglou would be smart to take advantage of Forest’s recent goal leakage by selecting a more inventive midfield. Giovani Lo Celso was left off the team for the Newcastle game, but he might be added back in following his impressive streak of goals against Aston Villa and Manchester City.
In a match like this one where Spurs are expected to control the ball, that goal-scoring threat might be just what they need. The player most likely to make way for Lo Celso is Yves Bissouma, who made two crucial passes against Newcastle but zero against Pape Matar Sarr.
Bissouma was impressive defensively in the match, making eight tackles and winning ten ground duels, but on this occasion, Postecoglou might be keen for a more creative man to play behind his forward line, with Lo Celso’s cameo performance against Newcastle, throughout which he completed 92 per cent of his passes, suggesting he is ready to step up.
Dejan Kulusevski has come into his own in the number ten role and is likely to keep his place in that position after his five key passes against Newcastle.
The front three is unlikely to be changed. Richarlison will hope his two goals against Newcastle can act as a platform to build on over the coming weeks, while Son Heung-min impressed on the left, grabbing a goal and two assists in addition to his four key passes. Finally, Brennan Johnson will be keen to perform well against his former side after his promising performance last time out, throughout which he completed all four of the dribbles he attempted.