Tottenham Hotspur return to Premier League action on Saturday with a home clash against Everton at Wembley.
While the Toffees are much-improved since the appointment of Sam Allardyce as manager, results in recent weeks have not gone the Merseysiders’ way and performances have lacked inspiration.
When preparing for the game, Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino should have paid close attention to Everton’s 2-0 defeat to Manchester United on New Years Day as a blueprint to potential success.
The visitors to Goodison Park, driven forward by Paul Pogba from the centre of the park, were simply too good for the Toffees.
The United midfield overran, outworked and outplayed their Everton equivalents and command of the boiler room ultimately was the foundation for their victory.
While Idrissa Gueye missed that game and is now back available and James McCarthy may also start, Tottenham should look to Pogba’s showing as exposing a real weakness in the Toffees outfit.
Everton failed to press the ball against United and as such the France international midfielder dictated the pace of play, brought others into the game and created chances and goals for the visitors as a result.
Tottenham boss Pochettino will demand that his midfield put in a similarly dominant performance, but must get his team selection right in the centre of the pitch.
It is time for Mousa Dembele to be recalled, while Victor Wanyama is also chomping at the bit for Spurs to unleash him.
This duo was the bedrock of the Tottenham side last season but injuries have blighted the pair’s chance to operate together in 2017-18.
The blend of finesse, brawn and energy make Dembele and Wanyama one of the Premier League’s most-imposing central midfield partnerships when fit and firing – as Everton could find out this weekend.
With Pogba’s single-handed dismantling of the Toffees midfield fresh in the memory, if Tottenham can win the 50-50s, control possession and dictate the pace of play, three points at Wembley should be well within reach.