Tottenham Hotspur boss Mauricio Pochettino has decisions to make ahead of Saturday’s Premier League clash with Everton at Wembley.
Spurs have confirmed on the official website that only Danny Rose, Toby Alderweireld and Harry Winks are unavailable, meaning that the Lilywhites boss has the potential to play a number of different formations.
However, it is in midfield that Pochettino and Tottenham must get their personnel right, with it time for Mousa Dembele to return to the starting XI.
The Belgium international has been a critical player for Spurs in recent years but injuries and inconsistency has limited the former Fulham man to only nine Premier League starts this season.
Dembele’s unique range of attributes will be critical in Tottenham breaking down an Everton team that seems likely to follow the trend and defend in considerable numbers, and deep, at Wembley.
The Belgian’s ability to beat a man, pick a pass and drive Spurs forward could be the key to unlock the Toffees defiance.
His ideal partner is Victor Wanyama, fit again also, meaning that Eric Dier should drop into defence and Pochettino field a 3-4-2-1 formation.
Tottenham have not played with three centre-halves as much of late due to Alderweireld’s absence, but the system allows the side’s wing-backs to get further forward and affords Christian Eriksen more of creative licence higher up the pitch.
In the final third on Saturday, there is a real argument that Dele Alli should be on the bench against Everton given the excellent recent form of Son Heung-min.
Pochettino seems to shield the Tottenham youngster from criticism and tries to avoid upsetting him by picking the England international in virtually every game – despite his performances this season not replicating previous high standards.
However, if Spurs do play a 3-4-2-1 system and the manager is picking on merit, Son deserves a start over Alli against Everton.
My Tottenham XI vs Everton (3-4-2-1): Lloris; Vertonghen, Dier, Sanchez; Davies, Dembele, Wanyama, Aurier; Eriksen, Son; Kane