Alli axed in Pochettino 4-4-2: Best possible Tottenham starting XI v Palace
COMMENT By London correspondent Tony Hughes
Tottenham should kick off at White Hart Lane for the first time this season with two changes from the team that drew 1-1 with Everton at Goodison Park last Saturday.
Captain Hugo Lloris limped off the pitch after 35 minutes and is out with a hamstring injury, which will see Michel Vorm pick up duties between the sticks.
More significantly, new signing Vincent Janssen should be given the chance to show that he can partner Harry Kane up front in a new-look Spurs 4-4-2 line-up.
The Netherlands international didn’t sign for Spurs to sit on the bench and the north London team looked markedly better and more threatening when he was introduced in the second half against Everton.
Janssen replaced Eric Dier in the 56th minute of the match and Erik Lamela scored Spurs’ equaliser three minutes later.
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Kane didn’t look 100 per cent fit in the game and will be hoping he doesn’t emulate the start of his 2015/16 campaign, when it took him seven games to score his first goal before going on to win the Golden Boot with 25 goals.
Janssen can take the pressure off Kane and push for a regular starting place against a Crystal Palace team that lost at home to West Brom in their first Premier League game last Saturday.
Janssen joined Tottenham for £18million from AZ Alkmaar earlier in the summer after lighting up the Eredivisie last season. The 22-year-old was the top scorer in the Dutch League with a virtual goal-a-game haul of 27 goals in 34 games. In all competitions, he struck 32 times in 49 matches.
Switching to a 4-4-2 means that someone has to be sacrificed and bright young star Dele Alli is the man to make way. He’s had a bruising schedule that saw him shine in the 2015/16 premier League campaign before disappointing, along with the rest of his England team-mates, at Euro 2016 and he made little impact at Goodison Park.
Christian Eriksen, Victor Wanyama, Eric Dier and Lamela make up the midfield, with an unchanged back four of Danny Rose, Jan Vertonghen, Toby Alderweireld and Kyle Walker.
It would be a bold move from manager Mauricio Pochettino, but the Argentine manager has hinted that his team can accommodate both strikers. He also claimed that he might be willing to start Janssen ahead of Kane against Crystal Palace, but it’s too early to relegate their star man to the bench.
In other Tottenham team news, Kyle Walker has identified this man as the man threat from Crystal Palace on Saturday.