It’s safe to say that Tottenham had a cracking campaign in 2016/17. They finished above their North London nemesis Arsenal for the first time in 22 years on top of achieving the rare feat of an undefeated season at home. They are undoubtedly set to be a key team in the upcoming Premier League season and I would argue that coverage of some form will be essential from the start. Pochettino has built a slick, well-oiled machine from the ground up and one must assume this young, dynamic side will only go from strength to strength.
It may not all be smooth-sailing however and before I delve into specific player recommendations, I must remind you of their move from White Hart Lane to Wembley. You wouldn’t expect this to faze a team the calibre of Tottenham, but they were abject in the 5 games they played at Wembley last season. Couple this with the increased pitch size being less suited to their trademark pressing game, there is the distinct possibility that they take a handful of games to adjust. This is not supposed to scare you off but more act as a warning not to place all your eggs in the Spurs basket before we see just how smooth this adjustment is.
STAR MAN – Harry Kane (12.5m)
You guessed it! There is no way this could be anyone else. I ran out of superlatives to describe this man last season. 29 goals in 30 games, 7.46 FPL points per game (PPG) across last season topped off with a mind blowing 48 points in the final two game weeks. Quite frankly, it is zero surprise he’s now the most expensive asset in Fantasy Premier League. Three season wonder? I think not! This man is the real deal. His poor record in August has been brought to light lately but the sample size is not sufficient enough to suggest this is a genuine issue. It will take a brave manager to leave Kane out their gameweek 1 team but in my opinion this is a viable strategy given how much value there is elsewhere in the premium forward bracket this season (Lukaku, Lacazette, Morata, Aguero). Just be aware that you may be pigeonholed into an early wildcard if you leave him out and he fires.
HIDDEN GEM – Kieran Trippier (5.5m)
The sale of Kyle Walker to Manchester City has cemented this man as a tantalising pick for the upcoming season. He looks set to start the season as Spurs first choice right back and he’ll be looking to capitalise on this opportunity. Despite playing a paltry 568 minutes last season he notched 5 assists and 3 clean sheets finishing with an outstanding 8.1 PPG. The wing backs are a key attacking outlet in the Pochettino system and “Trips” as affectionately known should receive full licence to bomb forward and deliver balls into the box for predators like Kane/Alli to latch onto. The absence of Son through injury will only help the cause as it’s likely to mean the deployment of a 3-4-2-1 wing back formation.
On paper, Tottenham’s fixtures from gameweek 1-8 should offer plenty of clean sheet opportunities though a trip to Rafa’s returning Newcastle on the opening day and a visit from the Champions in gameweek 2 will certainly test Spurs defensive resilience early doors. I always like to pick 5 playing defenders to rotate throughout the early weeks of the season but it’d be perfectly viable to pick and start Trippier every gameweek – he is fully capable of fulfilling the role of premium defender.
BARGAIN – Dele Alli (9.5m)
I’ve picked this man as my bargain simply because I’m shocked at quite how reasonably FPL have priced him. He may not be at the level of a Lampard/Gerrard quite yet, but in fantasy terms his returns aren’t far off! 18 goals, 11 assists in 2016/17 and bucket loads of potential still at the tender age of 21, young Dele has the footballing world at his feet. He was the 2nd highest scoring mid last season behind Sanchez so if you aren’t willing to shell out the 12.5m for Kane then one of Alli or Eriksen are essential to own in my opinion. Alli vs Eriksen was a widely debated issue last season, but I’ve gone for Alli here as despite being less of a bonus point magnet and not having set pieces, he’s far more of a consistent goal threat effectively acting as a support striker for Kane.
Dier – Alderweireld – Vertonghen
Trippier – Wanyama – Dembele – Davies
Eriksen – Dele Alli
If you have enjoyed this early view of the fantasy potential of Tottenham, be sure to check the other teams here.
Written by FPL Viper (@FPLViper)