Hope you enjoyed last week's article and took advantage of the Arsenal suggestions! The less said about Mourinho's Tottenham side the better!
Here's some of the players I have discovered that have performed well previously against the teams they're playing this weekend...
Tottenham v Southampton
Played 11 Goals 9 Assists 2
Played 8 Goals 5 Assists 5
Despite my introduction, Tottenham Hotspur players do remain on the radar based on their previous fixtures against Southampton.
It’s a fixture that historically Tottenham Hotspur have enjoyed, in Southampton’s first six years since returning back to the top flight of English football in May 2012 they only enjoyed one victory against Tottenham. Albeit that has improved since, with Southampton recording a 1-0 victory on new years day in what was the only fixture where they have played a Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League.
Prior to this fixture, Harry Kane had enjoyed a five game scoring streak against Southampton. This included a memorable hat trick on Boxing Day in 2017 in an emphatic 5-2 victory which will always be remembered as the day where Harry Kane broke the record for the most Premier League goals scored in a calendar year.
Dele Alli also finds himself in an impressive position where his returns are larger than the number of games he has played against Southampton. It is worth considering that the majority of Dele Alli’s came earlier in Dele Alli’s career when he played just behind Harry Kane. This is a position he is likely to play against Southampton should he start under Jose Mourinho. That last Premier League goal return however he scored against Southampton was in the same Boxing Day thrashing mentioned in the last paragraph, which is almost three years ago.
Man City v Wolves
Played 4 Goals 2 Assists 1
It is commonly known that Wolves do tend to have Manchester City’s number in fixtures against Manchester City. Not many teams can boast that they beat Manchester City on both occasions last season. Many will still remember that fantastic performance by Adama Traore in the 2-0 victory on the 6th October 2019 which many define as the catalyst moment in what progressed to be an excellent season for the Spaniard.
One Manchester City player did stand out in the reverse fixture and put in a performance that could potentially be seen as a platform to build on for Pep Guardiola’s side this weekend. Raheem Sterling rounded the fixture on the 27th December 2019 with two impressive goals in manners in which Pep Guardiola may look to exploit further this weekend.
Given many people I suspect will avoid Manchester City players in light of what is a difficult fixture, Raheem Sterling could be seen as a risky but highly rewarding differential to many if Pep Guardiola chooses to use him as Manchester City’s main attacking outlet from a wide position for this fixture.
Fulham v Leeds United
Played 12 Goals 4 Assists 3
A surprise inclusion worth a mention is Tom Cairney of Fulham. The former Leeds United academy player does appear to enjoy playing against the club he left all those years ago under a dark cloud. He has returned in seven times in the previous twelve fixtures against Leeds United with four goals and three assists.
However, it is worth considering that Tom Cairney’s starting place is not guaranteed. Fulham have had a number of players in his position arrive and return to his squad. Furthermore, the majority of Tom Cairney’s goals came when he played in a more advanced central midfield role. This position is now likely to be occupied by Josh Onomah based on his improved performances for Fulham last season.