COMMENT By Harry Sykes
Tottenham can brush aside Hull on Wednesday night if they hand a first Premier League start to forgotten summer signing Georges-Kevin N’Koudou.
The electric winger has spent most of the season on the sidelines after his protracted summer move from Marseille.
The home match against 19th-placed Hull provides Mauricio Pochettino’s side with the ideal opportunity to give N’Koudou his first chance to run at opposition full-backs from the off in a league encounter.
It would mean axing Son Heung-Min, who has blown hot and cold since his brilliant displays in September.
N’Koudou has made 10 appearances for Spurs in his debut campaign, but his only start to date has come in the League Cup.
However, Spurs have often struggled to match their dominance of league matches with goals, bar the recent 5-0 demolition of Swansea.
Pochettino will be forced to make one enforced change from the side that lost to Manchester United on Sunday, with Mousa Dembele unavailable due to a foot injury.
The manager will no doubt give some thought to impressive academy graduate Harry Winks starting in central midfield, but he should resist that and restore Eric Dier to the team alongside Victor Wanyama.
The starting XI should otherwise remain unchanged, which will allow Spurs, who have a fine record against teams in the bottom half of the table this season, to smash Hull and get back to winning ways.
Pochettino should stick with his trusted back five, while N’Koudou should slot into one of the attacking midfield positions alongside Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen, who is finally back to something close to his best after a fallow few months.
They must be supplemented by star striker Harry Kane, who has scored nine goals in 13 appearances this season and has the potential to take advantage of a vulnerable Hull back line.
In other Tottenham transfer news, the club have confirmed they are closing in on a major January signing.