We reached out to Sean Cahill from SB Nation’s Tottenham Hotspur blog Cartilage Free Captain to get a Spurs fan’s perspective on today’s game.
TBB: Are you happy with how your season's going so far?
SC: When it comes to the league, I think most everyone is satisfied, though there have been a couple too many draws. Still, only having one loss at this time of the year i pretty impressive, especially given how hard the injury bug hit Spurs recently.
The bow out of the Champions League hurts, there's no denying that though. Spurs were given a good draw and just couldn't put a couple of wins together when they needed it. Now they drop down to Europa which is one of the weakest fields I've seen in quite some time.
TBB: What were your hopes/expectations for this season?
SC: Coming into the season, I said a top four finish should be the goal. We all knew that the biggest clubs were going to bounce back and that's exactly the case. Chelsea are playing some of the best football of anyone in Europe. Liverpool have a potent attack that is a bear to stop (though their defence tends to resemble a sieve more than anything), Arsenal are playing well, and so on. With this being the final season of White Hart Lane's existence as we know it, we want to see the old ground get sent off in style.
TBB: How do you feel about moving away from White Hart Lane in a couple of years?
It's been a long time coming and I think everyone is excited about it. Next year will be strange to not see any football being played at the Lane and it still sounds like Spurs will be hopping between Wembley and Milton Keynes for their matches. I know that there was a small group of fans that wanted to get the London Stadium, but I truly believe that Spurs dodged a bullet there in seeing West Ham get it instead. Daniel Levy, for all the crap he takes, has put together a great deal. Not only will the stadium seat over 60,000 Spurs supporters for those matches, but the club has a partnership with the NFL to host at least two games a year there instead of Wembley, thanks to the retractable field turf that can be used instead of grass. A deal like that helps pay off the stadium faster, and it also allowed the club to go all out with the project.
If you haven't had the chance to look at the renderings, they can be found here: http://www.tottenhamhotspur.com/new-scheme/
TBB: If you could ask Mauricio Pochettino to do one thing for the rest of the season, what would it be?
Help us understand how he rotates. There are times where his line-ups make 100% of sense, but then a midweek match comes along and the rotation isn't anywhere close to what we expect. Sometimes I wonder if he just has a big dartboard full of player names and he chucks a few darts to see what line-up he can come up with.
All kidding aside, he tends to get his line-ups right most of the time and the injuries that the team has endured certainly caused a lot of problem for his selections. Thankfully, this team is a lot healthier now.
TBB: Are you expecting Spurs to do any business in January?
SC: Spurs tend to let January come and go without doing much, and Pochettino has already planted the seed that there won't be much to do. He likes the squad and, unless something catastrophic happens to one position, there's almost no need to buy a player. I do expect him to try and sign a player that may be a teenager just for the future (See: Dele Alli two January windows ago) but on the main squad? Highly unlikely.
TBB: Which Spurs player(s) should United be looking out for on Sunday?
SC: Harry Kane is a given. He's back and playing extremely well. His midweek contribution against CSKA Moscow was wonderful and he was the fulcrum for most of the night. He also enjoyed a great match in the 5-0 hammering of Swansea City.
If Kane is the driver of our attack, then Christian Eriksen is the engine, so stopping him is always a challenge if he's in form. Toby Alderweireld is back to pair up with Jan Vertonghen on the back line, which means that an already good defence is that much better.
TBB: Is there a particular United player that you think could cause you Spurs some trouble?
SC: I have a very healthy fear of Paul Pogba, even though it seemed to take him a while to truly get going this season. I know what he's capable of and I do not want to see that player who torched the hell out of Serie A last season against Spurs.
TBB: What are you expecting from the game?
SC: Spurs and United is always fun to watch. It has that big match feel to it, no matter of it’s at Old Trafford or White Hart Lane. OT has been a house of horrors for Spurs, though of late they've played much better, even nabbing a couple of wins in the AVB and Sherwood era. It's still on the road to United, though, so expect Spurs to play their usual high press now that most everyone is healthy, even though Erik Lamela is still out with a hip injury.
TBB: And what's your score prediction?
I really like what Spurs have been doing the last few matches. They're on an uptick and have played some beautiful attacking football in recent fixtures. I know this is a Jose Mourinho squad, and that means it's always a challenge, but I'm optimistic in this match. I don't think it's going to be a clean sheet either way and I see Spurs getting the job done on the road.