Exactly one year ago I was sat on a bus from Belize to Guatemala adding the finishing touches to my preview of the Spurs game. In that blog post I interviewed two Spurs fans, who were both pretty confident ahead of the game - with just cause. The worst thing about that blog though was my prediction, I thought we'd beat Spurs 1-0...
Here's what I foolishly wrote in that optimistic preview;
"I think this could be a match that takes Spurs by surprise. We won’t sit back and defend for our lives like Newcastle did against them earlier in the season, we’ll attack them and press them to within an inch of their lives.
"They like to press too, so I can’t see us being shocked by this or overawed in any way, I expect our players to stand up to the tactical challenge. Obviously they have great players capable of punishing us and destroying us, but I just think we’ll nick it."
Hmm, heady days indeed. Needless to say, I don't share the same optimism ahead of 2018's clash, nowhere near it in fact. So instead of filling this preview with negativity I've chosen to predict two alternate results, you can let us know which outcome is most likely in the comments section.
The ideal outcome
After seeing his side perform poorly so far, David Wagner decides that he needs to knock his defensive, rigid style of play on the head. Instead he recognises that Spurs are weak through injury, fatigue and poor form so he opts to go for it in true Terrier fashion on Saturday. Three at the back is ditched and Wagner picks the following team;
4-2-3-1: Lossl, Durm, Schindler, Kongolo, Lowe, Hogg, Mooy, Mbenza, Pritchard, Diakhaby, Depoitre.
The hosts get stuck into Spurs from the off and Depoitre bullies the visitors centre-backs, forcing errors at every moment. Wagner noticed how susceptible Tottenham were to the high-press against Inter Milan and his team exploit that weakness.
Town take an early two goal lead and it takes a shell-shocked Spurs side well over an hour to get back into the game. When they do, they claw a goal back but are ultimately unable to score an equaliser. The season suddenly changes for Town and they follow this win up with another against Burnley the following week. Defensive football is dead, the Terrier Spirit is back and Wagner is God again.
The likely outcome
David Wagner recognises his side have played poorly so far this season and is worried about the effects on morale of a heavy defeat. He sets up defensively, hoping to snatch a draw but realistically hoping to avoid a hammering, he selects the following team;
5-4-1: Lossl, Durm, Schindler, Zanka, Kongolo, Lowe, Hogg, Mooy, Billing, Williams, Mounie.
Spurs hit within the opening ten minutes and Town's game plan has gone to utter shit, sensing blood, Tottenham go for broke and race into a 3 goal lead. Game won and Town deflated, the visitors switch into a keep ball exercise which works a treat until Danny Williams grabs a late consolation for Town.
Discontent continues to rise amongst Town fans and a loss at Turf Moor leads to open revolt amongst some fan groups.