Tottenham received a harsh reality check on Sunday when they were thoroughly outplayed by great rivals Chelsea on Sunday.
While the match could have been different if not for Son Heung-Min’s red card, it’s pretty unlikely Spurs would have been able to nick a point given how impressive Frank Lampard’s side were.
Tammy Abraham dominated Toby Alderweireld and Davinson Sanchez in a high-quality performance of all-round centre-forward play and centre-half is one area where Jose Mourinho will be desperate to strengthen in January as Alderweireld looks a shadow of the player who was once considered one of the best in his position in the Premier League.
Another area where this Tottenham squad is deficient is the full-back slot with Serge Aurier a total liability against decent opposition who can threaten the Spurs goal on a regular basis. Chelsea are such as a team, as are Bayern Munich and Aurier was all at sea in Bayern’s 7-2 mauling at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium as he was again last Sunday.
So far Mourinho has persisted with a 4-2-3-1 to accommodate Spurs’ glut of attacking talent, but I could see him switching back to his favoured 4-3-3 after Dier and Sissoko were outnumbered and outclassed by Kante, Kovacic and Mount.
My guess would be Tanguy Ndombele might come into the team against Brighton after Christian Eriksen produced another yet insipid display off the bench.
Ndombele is a player of huge ability which the Tottenham faithful have only seen in flashes so far this season, but I think this represents a good opportunity to try and earn a regular place in the first team.
Brighton are also fresh from a disappointing performance after Sheffield United beat them more comfortably than the 1-0 scoreline suggests at the Amex stadium.
Graham Potter has done an admirable job transitioning Brighton into a high pressing, progressive side after they had clearly gone stale under Chris Hughton’s old school approach which often amounted to sit and defend deep and hope for a 1-0 win.
However, Potter doesn’t quite have the attacking talent to match his style and Brighton’s approach play often isn’t supported by their penetration in the final third. Ireland’s Aaron Connolly might help solve of their attacking woes and he may partner the dangerous Neal Maupay in attack.
Both teams have scored in Brighton’s last five away games and another high-scoring game looks on the cards here with both defences vulnerable.
Alli has played closer to goal since Mourinho took charge and has responded with three goals in seven games, he also looks more engaged than he did towards the tail end of the Pochettino era. This game offers an ideal opportunity for him to get on the scoresheet again.
Neal Maupay has never been capped by France, but the 23-year-old can’t be too far off being called up by Didier Deschamps if continues to climb up the Premier League scoring charts. With Olivier Giroud out of favour at Chelsea, Alex Lacazette out of form at Arsenal and Anthony Martial out of effort at Man Utd, France are a little short of options for a traditional number none which Deschamps favours.
Maupay has been in excellent form lately and I expect him to get a few chances to add to his 7 league goals.
* All odds correct at time of posting.