Premier League 2019/20: Tottenham Hotspur vs. Sheffield United preview, where to watch and more
Tottenham are currently sitting in 11th position in the Premier League and haven’t won a league game since their September victory over Southampton, although they did defeat Crvena Zvedza in Champions League action earlier this week.
Sheffield United meanwhile have surprised everyone thus far. The Blades have been able to win 4 of their opening 11 matches and are currently in 6th position – not bad for a side that most pundits and fans tipped for relegation.
Last season this would’ve looked like an easy win for Spurs against newly promoted opponents, but in November 2019? Who knows.
Date: 9th November 2019
Time: 15:00 (local time), 20:30 (IST)
Venue: Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London
TV Coverage: Star Sports Select HD 1 (India), NBCSN (US)
Last 5 Premier League fixtures
Tottenham Hotspur: W-L-D-L-D
Sheffield United: L-D-W-D-W
Tottenham Hotspur: 36 wins
Sheffield United: 28 wins
Draws: 26 draws
Tottenham Hotspur to win: 1/2
Sheffield United to win: 5/1
Harry Kane to score first: 13/5
Lys Mousset to score at any time: 13/5
Will Sheffield United’s impressive start continue?
Sheffield United have undoubtedly been the Premier League’s surprise package thus far in 2019; while many pundits predicted the rise of Leicester City, few could’ve guessed that Chris Wilder’s Blades would be sitting in 6th place right before the final international break of the year.
Wilder’s side haven’t had it easy, either – this weekend’s match against Tottenham will be their fourth against one of the Premier League’s so-called ‘big six’, and while they were defeated by Liverpool in a game they performed admirably in, they were able to stun Arsenal with a 1-0 victory and also took a valuable point away at Chelsea.
The Blades’ favoured system of a 3-5-2 with overlapping centre-halves worked wonders in the EFL Championship, but it clearly isn’t a gimmick as the same system has had a tremendous effect in their first 11 Premier League games. And the likes of John Lundstram, Chris Basham and David McGoldrick have performed far beyond their expected capabilities.
Defeat Spurs this weekend – in their own stadium to boot – and people will really begin to believe that Wilder’s men could join sides like Wolves (2018/19) and Ipswich (2000/01) as promoted teams who crashed their way into the top half of the Premier League.
Will Spurs’ big Champions League win help them regain form?
It’s no secret that Tottenham have suffered for form thus far in 2019/20, and their losses to Brighton and Newcastle, as well as their performance last weekend against Everton have been as bad as it’s gotten under Mauricio Pochettino since the Argentine took over at the club in 2014.
It must be said though that their form in the Champions League – 2-7 loss to Bayern Munich aside – has been somewhat better. Spurs have won their last two matches in Europe, putting 5 goals past Serbian side Crvena Zvedza at home and then scoring 4 against the same side away. So can their 4-0 win this week inspire them to better things this weekend?
Unfortunately for Spurs fans history would suggest not. Of their last 6 victories in the Champions League, just one – their 1-0 win in the first leg of their Quarter-Final tie with Manchester City last season – has been followed by a Premier League win. The other five European wins preceded four losses and a draw.
Spurs fans will be hoping that run comes to an end this weekend.
A long time coming
Matches between Tottenham and Sheffield United in the Premier League era have been few and far between; that’s because the Blades have only competed in 3 Premier League campaigns prior to the current one. The record between the sides in Premier League action? 2 wins for Tottenham, 2 wins for Sheffield United, and 2 draws.
Interestingly though, the last time the two sides faced off was in 2014/15, in the semi-finals of the EFL Cup. That was of course Mauricio Pochettino’s first season in charge of Spurs, and unsurprisingly – given United were a League One side that season – his team ran out winners, defeating the Blades 1-0 in the first leg at White Hart Lane before drawing 2-2 at Bramall Lane to secure their spot in the final.
Even more curiously, while things have changed dramatically for Sheffield United since then – only defender Chris Basham remains part of the Blades squad from the second leg of that tie – the same can’t be said for Tottenham. Their squad still contains seven of the players who started that match; Michel Vorm, Eric Dier, Jan Vertonghen, Ben Davies, Erik Lamela, Christian Eriksen and Harry Kane, while current left-back Danny Rose also made an appearance from the bench.
Pochettino has often talked of a “painful rebuild” at Tottenham and when you take that statistic into account – as well as the fact that the game took place nearly five years ago – it becomes understandable.