Any football fan, if asked who they thought would be in the top two spots at the summit of the Premier League with nine games remaining, and ten in the case of some, you’d have been laughed at if your answer was Leicester and Tottenham. Pre-season expectations were low for both outfits, but since the very beginning have proven to be FPL essentials. Spurs didn’t get out of the gate as quickly as Leicester, but there is a real chance that this small London carriage can overtake the foxes that it hunts, and claim a first ever Premier League trophy. Spurs, above all else, have prevailed amongst the worsening chaos and unpredictability of the Premier League. Should Leicester surrender their five point lead at the top of the league, it’s the north London club that has found habit of finishing below its red rivals that are in pole position to lift the hefty crown. We evaluate Spurs as FPL assets and try to shed light on whether they can see out the season in the same vain as they’ve been showing of late. All aboard.
Spurs, surely not?
The ludicrous statement that either Spurs or Leicester carrying the expectations of the BPL would have been drowned out with millions of smart football commentators and glorified pundits claiming that the dominance of Jose Mourinho at Chelsea would reign supreme once again. That, amongst the tide of countless title attempts thrown to the side, Arsenal would finally come good. The cash flow injected into Man United and its blue brother City would have propelled them into title favourites. But what’s happened? Each of the established top four have fallen culprit of a strengthened middle pack. Dimitri Payet, Xherdan Shaqiri, Andre Ayew, and Gini Wijnaldum, have been among the new talents that have seized form in the Premier League, destroying to the old adage that an established top four has the right to dominate.
At the beginning of the season we asked the same questions as now. How far could they go? Where would they finish? Can you trust an ever unreliable back four? Is Harry Kane a one season wonder? As you’ll see below, here was our early season analysis of Tottenham.
Click here, or on cover star Kyle Walker, to see our early damnation of Spurs.
Aston Villa vs. Spurs
When these sides met earlier in the season for GW11, Remi Garde had just been appointed manager after the Villa board axed Sherwood weeks before. On that Monday night the north London side won 3-1, on a night when both Harry Kane and Dele Alli shined. Forward six months into the future, and nothing much has really changed in regards to the performance of the teams. Aston Villa have only won twice since GW11, whilst Spurs sit five points behind leaders Leicester in the table.
Last season Spurs won away 2-1 at Villa Park. Chadli and a last minute Kane goal won the tie. What about this season? We’re not expecting much to change, at all. In fact, we’ll be hard pressed to give a single reason why not to triple down on FPL assets. Based off the performances of both clubs, however, it’s easy to see why the deck is being stacked.
Last 6: Aston Villa
West Ham 2-0 Aston Villa
Aston Villa 2-0 Norwich
Aston Villa 0-6 Liverpool
Stoke 2-1 Aston Villa
Aston Villa 1-3 Everton
Man City 4-0 Spurs
Last 6: Spurs
Norwich 0-3 Spurs
Spurs 1-0 Watford
Man City 1-2 Spurs
Spurs 2-1 Swansea
West Ham 1-0 Spurs
Spurs 2-2 Arsenal
Price Differences: Aston Villa
Brad Guzan: 4.5m (GW11) – 4.1m (GW29)
Joleon Lescott: 5.0m (GW11) – 4.6m (GW29)
Scott Sinclair: 5.0m (GW11) – 4.2m (GW29)
Jordan Ayew: 6.0m (GW11) – 5.4m (GW29)
Micah Richards: 4.5m (GW11) – 4.3m (GW29)
Price Differences: Spurs
Toby Alderweireld: 5.3m (GW11) – 6.4m (GW29)
Eric Dier: 5.2m (GW11) – 5.4m (GW29)
Dele Alli: 4.9m (GW11) – 6.0m (GW29)
Christian Eriksen: 8.4m (GW11) – 8.6m (GW29)
Harry Kane: 9.3m (GW11) – 10.0m (GW29)
The only indicator as to why people might be hesitant on over-loading with Tottenham players is the impending Double Gameweek matches, and the reality that Spurs aren’t featuring. There will be squad sacrifices, will Spurs players be among those to be cut?
Who is the FPL essential for Spurs away at Villa?
Midfielder Dele Alli's suspension from Thursday's Europa League match against Borussia Dortmund could prove to be blessings in disguise not just for the health of the player, but for the FPL come Sunday. Fantasy managers, ahead of most, are inundated with reports that Alli has recently been struggling with knee and ankle injuries. Spurs boss, Pochettino, like us, is almost relieved of Alli’s Europa League absence.
"He is an incredible athlete, yes. But he is not a machine. He has had problems with his ankle and knee," said Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino.
The 6.0m midfielder has only completed the full 90 minutes on two occasions in the last six GWs, including the GW29 clash against Arsenal which saw Alli set up Kane’s marvellous goal in the derby.
Against a lowly (a very lowly) Aston Villa side, whom Alli has already scored against this season, the recent England international will bring a pair of fresh legs to a team that just over 48 hours prior would have had the trouble of marking former Newcastle transfer target Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. FPL managers always look for returns in the future, and Spurs host Bournemouth in GW31, meaning the investment, if you don’t already have him, might prove to be vital in climbing the global rankings.
The Europa League is being touted as a tournament can win this season, and if they overcome Dortmund, then not even we're going to doubt their ability. Standing in their way? Only one of Europe's most formidable strikers, a striker once on the radar of Newcastle United, one that would be three goals clear at the top of the scoring charts.
Are stats favouring Spurs?
With fixture announcements for DGWs coming very soon we’re cautious about the omission of any Tottenham player (for obvious reasons), but who would you sacrifice from your squad for the packed double fixtures? With many players stacking the deck full of Spurs, Leicester, Man City, and Southampton player for GW30, the spine of any team will have to change, and it’ll likely be the removal of the BPL’s top two teams. Man City will feature in two games, and the other predicted DGW teams (Liverpool, Everton, and Newcastle) aren’t playing, or aren’t worth consideration.
Here’s some Graphical Aid that puts an emphasis on stats with Spurs players.
Save transfers when you can. Spurs face an excellent couple of next games against Aston Villa (a), and Bournemouth (h), that could yield big FPL points returns, particularly at the back with Toby Alderweireld and company looking to keep a first clean sheet in four. The forward line might be exhausted after Dortmund, but short term in general isn’t the potential issue with Spurs. These are the two games they play during the expected DGWs.
GW34: Stoke City (a)
GW37: Southampton (h)
GW34: West Ham (h)
GW37: Everton (h)
A trip to Stoke, the big boy killers who have seen off both Manchester clubs and Chelsea will be a stiff test of credentials. A robust Southampton at home that on their day can shut out the team of teams? We’re all aboard the Spurs hype train, but for particular weeks, both they and Leicester will be culpable of potential losses against teams in the upper half of the league (and Everton). If Aguero and Lukaku are playing twice in the same week, even we’d be tempted to ditch the Hurrikane, even if for one week, to make way for either man. We may very well be lining up which asset means more to us in the crunch: Vardy or Kane, Mahrez or Alli, any Leicester defender and Alderweireld.
FPL Gameweek 30
The transfer deadline for a shortenedd GW30 is an early one - Saturday March 12th at 11:45am (UK time). The Hype Team will be around this weekend to provide live FPL coverage throughout the weekend over on our Twitter account - @RealHypeTrain - with live FPL updates and discussion from the Premier League.
Until then, muse over our Weekly Hype page, and we wish your teams the best for the upcoming GW30. We're all going to need it.