Blades set for competition in race for unwanted midfielder

The Man United midfielder is expected to leave Old Trafford on loan in order to revive his career, with Bramall Lane looking like a certain destination for the 28-year-old at one point this month.

But in the past few days, a potential reunion with Jose Mourinho at Spurs has been mooted, with interest from French side Nice cooling.

Chris Wilder desperately needs reinforcements quickly as his side sit rock bottom of the Premier League, winning just one of their 19 games this season. Unfortunately for them, it’s not possible to play Newcastle every week, and solutions need to come quickly if a great escape is to be actioned.

Lingard was one of the Blades’ main targets and they did hope to have this one wrapped up already, but it looks likely to drag on into the final week of the transfer window, robbing United of precious time for extra reinforcements.

Harvey White joins Portsmouth on loan

The 19-year-old made his first start for Spurs in last weekend’s FA Cup 3rd round tie against 8th tier Marine AFC.

White impressed in the middle of the park as Tottenham went on to blitz their non-league opponents 0-5 on Merseyside.

The academy graduate has been training with the first team on occasion this season but Jose Mourinho has deemed the time is right for the youngster to go and get some regular match minutes.

League One club Portsmouth is White’s destination, with Kenny Jackett’s side going good guns in the third tier of English football.

Pompey are currently third in the table and are once more chasing automatic promotion to the Championship this season after back-to-back playoff failures.

Blues boss Jackett spent some time coaching in Tottenham’s academy setup before taking on the managerial role at Fratton Park and no doubt used his connections in North London to sanction this deal.

It will be a good opportunity for white to play some more first team football in a competitive and physical division.

Interestingly, White has already scored a goal at Pompey’s Fratton Park home – a sumptuous free-kick in to the top corner in an EFL Trophy fixture in 2018.

Premier League: Sheffield United v Tottenham Hotspur

Spurs will arrive at Bramall Lane in mixed form, having lost none of their last six games in all competitions, but having only picked up one win in their last six Premier League games – that being a 3-0 win over Leeds earlier this month.

As a result, Jose Mourinho’s side have gone from top of the table in December to 6th in January, and need a win over the Blades if they’re to keep up the pressure in the free-for-all that is the title race.

Much of Tottenham’s problems has been a lack of creativity, despite boasting the fearsome duo of Son Heung-Min and Harry Kane, who have contributed 23 of Spurs’s 30 league goals this season. The pair also have 16 assists between them, most of which have been for each other.

However despite the form of those two, killing games off has been an issue for Spurs, with Wednesday’s 1-1 draw at home to Fulham a perfect example.

Sheffield United will be hoping they can build on their 1-0 win against Newcastle, although Spurs are unlikely to be as easy to play against than the awful Geordies were.

Billy Sharp scored the winner in that game but will likely return to the bench, which Chris Wilder should be able to fill after injuries meant he could only name seven subs for the Newcastle game.

George Baldock and Enda Stevens missed that game as a precaution, but both should be back to feature in some capacity, but Oli McBurnie is expected to be absent. Sander Berge and Jack O’Connell are long-term absentees. Wilder did mention in Friday’s press conference that he has seven players unavailable, but didn’t say which new doubts he had after the Newcastle game.

Spurs only have two players with injury worries ahead of the trip to the Steel City, with Giovanni Lo Celso out with a thigh injury and not expected to play for a few weeks, and Gareth Bale not yet fully fit after a calf injury. Steven Bergwijn missed the draw with Fulham but should return after illness.

A win for Sheffield United could take the Blades off the bottom of the Premier League table for the first time, if West Brom lose to Wolves on Saturday afternoon, while three points for Spurs could take them as high as second in the table.

Sheffield United take on Spurs at Bramall Lane on Sunday, January 17th. Kick-off is at 2pm.

Tottenham 1-1 Fulham: Spurs drop more home points as Cottagers secure valuable draw

After Spurs’ game with Aston Villa was postponed, the Premier League quickly rearranged this match with the Cottagers, which was originally due to be played on December 30, and Scott Parker described the decision as “scandalous”.

It looked like his grievances had foundation as Spurs dominated the opening 45 and led through Harry Kane’s first-half header, before a spirited second-half showing from Fulham was rewarded with an Ivan Cavaleiro leveller 16 minutes from time, earning their fifth successive draw as Parker looks to have found a style that could keep his side up.

For Tottenham this was the same old story – a game of early domination, missed chances and ultimately dropped points.

That is six points lost from winning positions just at home this season and that will ultimately cost them any real shot at the Premier League title if it continues.

Despite his pre-match protestations, Parker was still able to name 10 of the players that played in their last Premier League game back on Boxing Day despite the club’s coronavirus outbreak.

They arrived in north London without a defeat in their last four league games where they tightened up at the back significantly.

But it was clear from early on that they would struggle to keep Spurs quiet as the hosts enjoyed some early chances.

Right-back Serge Aurier was enjoying a particularly fruitful night as he was the creator of three brilliant opportunities.

First he crossed for Sergio Reguilon, who fired over at the second attempt, then laid the ball on a plate for Son Heung-min to see a shot saved by Alphonse Areola’s legs before again supplying the South Korean, who brought a flying save out of the goalkeeper.

But Areola could only keep Spurs at bay for 25 minutes as they eventually made a breakthrough.

This time it was created on the left as Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg’s pass set Reguilon free and he delivered the most inviting cross for Kane, who obliged by sending a diving header into the bottom corner.

Kane then surprisingly put an even better chance over the crossbar from another Aurier cross before teeing up Hojbjerg for a golden opportunity only for the Dane to shoot straight at Areola.

Spurs struggled to play with the same verve as before the break but still looked the more likely to add to the scoreline as a surging run into the area by Moussa Sissoko was stopped at the last minute by Tosin Adarabioyo’s tackle and then Areola was again called into action to claw away Harry Winks’ shot.

As Fulham pushed for an equaliser Spurs sensed opportunities on the break and they had a big moment to make it 2-0 with 20 minutes left.

Son was put through on goal by Tanguy Ndombele for the sort of opportunity he has buried on many occasions this season, but this time he scuffed his shot and it hit the post.

Four minutes later the inevitable happened as Fulham got the equaliser.

Ademola Lookman had made an impact from the bench and he turned Davinson Sanchez before putting in a cross that Cavaleiro powered home.

Fulham were looking the most likely to win it as Hugo Lloris had to keep out Ruben Loftus-Cheek after he was played in by Lookman.

The visitors were grateful for a linesman’s flag that ruled out a late Reguilon effort for Spurs, but that would have been harsh on Parker’s men.

Premier League: Tottenham Hotspur v Fulham

Spurs were originally set to take on Aston Villa but due to an outbreak of coronavirus at Villa’s Bodymoor Heath training ground, the fixture was postponed after liaison with the Premier League.

Fulham have stepped in to replace Villa, with the Cottagers’ initially supposed to play their game with Spurs a fortnight ago – that too was called off at the time due to Covid-19.

As such, Fulham have had only a couple of days to prepare for the trip to Spurs, leading manager Scott Parker to label the rearrangements as ‘scandalous’.

Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho wasn’t too fussed however, highlighting that he would have been preparing his squad for a game on Wednesday regardless.

Although far from ideal for Fulham in terms of the short notice, they do head in to the clash at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium unbeaten in five matches in all competitions, although four of those have been draws.

Scott Parker’s side are currently in the Premier League relegation zone and three points from safety, but they do have two games in hand over 17th placed Brighton, who take on Manchester City in the earlier kick off.

A win for Fulham and defeat for Brighton at the Etihad swings the pendulum in the London club’s favour, as that will draw them level on points with their struggling South Coast counterparts.

However, a City win over the Seagulls won’t be welcomed by Tottenham, who have their eyes set on regaining a top four spot after Everton’s victory at Wolves on Tuesday nudged Spurs down to 5th – an Albion win in Manchester will be of great benefit to Spurs.

Mourinho has suggested in the past that his Spurs side are ‘a pony in a horse race’, and after his ex-club Manchester United went top of the league yesterday by beating Burnley, he may have a point considering there is now a 7-point gap between Tottenham and top spot.

Three points against Fulham will be expected of Spurs, but they’ll have to fare without Giovani Lo Celso and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, with the former not expected to feature until next month and the latter still nursing a shin injury sustained in the Carabao Cup semi-final with Brentford.

Tottenham’s FA Cup tie with 8th tier Merseyside club Marine AFC gave Mourinho the chance to rest Harry Kane and Son Heung-Min, who no doubt will be back involved against Fulham.

The visitors have a clean bill of health much to the pleasure of manager Scott Parker, with no fresh injury concerns for the club to contend with.

Mario Lemina and Ademola Lookman have had time to recover in Fulham’s two-week break between Premier League games and should be available for selection.

Tottenham v Fulham kicks off at 8.15pm on Wednesday 13th January.

Tottenham versus Aston Villa postponed due to coronavirus, Spurs will instead play Fulham

The west Londoners’ game with Tottenham on December 30 was postponed due to a coronavirus outbreak at the Craven Cottage club.

Fulham’s derby versus Chelsea has been put back from Friday night to Saturday teatime, the club also confirmed.

Spurs’ fixture against Villa had been in doubt since it emerged last week that there had been a Covid-19 outbreak at the midlands club, with 10 of their first-team players testing positive.

However, Fulham’s acceptance of bringing the match against Tottenham forward to this week means Spurs’ backlog has remained the same, rather than got even worse.

Villa were forced to shut their training ground and fielded a youth team in the FA Cup third-round tie against Liverpool last Friday.

Villa’s league match against Everton – due to be played on Saturday evening – has been pushed back to Sunday, kicking off at noon, the Premier League said.

“Following Aston Villa’s request to rearrange the fixture, and due to the number of players and staff who have either tested positive for Covid-19 or have been placed in isolation by the club, the Premier League had no other option than to reschedule the game,” a league statement read.

“With the health of players and staff the priority, the league continues to work with Aston Villa on measures to ensure their league season resumes safely and at the earliest opportunity.

“The Premier League wishes those with Covid-19 a full and swift recovery and will rearrange Aston Villa’s game against Tottenham Hotspur as soon as possible.

“As a result of this rescheduling, Spurs will now play their home match against Fulham in its place, on Wednesday January 13 at 8.15pm on Amazon Prime Video. The fixture was previously postponed on December 30.

“With Fulham now playing on Wednesday, January 13, their home fixture against Chelsea will be moved from Friday, January 15 to Saturday, January 16 at 5.30pm, and will remain live on Sky Sports.

“Everton’s away game at Aston Villa will be rescheduled from Saturday, January 16 5.30pm to Sunday, January 17, 12pm, and will remain live on Sky Sports.”

Tottenham cruise to 3-0 Premier League win over Leeds United

Spurs ended 2020 on a bum note, with just one win in December, but the timely return to form his key pair means Spurs are now back in business.

It was Marcelo Bielsa’s side that edged out the opening stages as Ezgjan Alioski smashed just wide and Mateusz Klich scooped over the bar.

But with the visitors unable to find that all important breakthrough Spurs took full advantage on the half hour.

Alioski’s clumsy challenge on Steven Bergwijn was judged to be just inside the box and Kane confidently tucked home his tenth of the season from the spot.

That goal released a pressure valve for Spurs before the break as Bergwijn skewed wide and Son netted his 100th Tottenham goal.

Again it was to be the Son-Kane combo that did the trick for Spurs as Kane’s low cross was buried by the South Korean.

Leeds started the second half with the same force as they did the first, but again their lack of cutting edge came back to haunt them, as Toby Alderweireld made it 3-0.

Son’s corner caused problems for Illan Meslier and Alderweireld’s flicked header squeezed past him.

That goal took any sting out of Leeds in the final 30, with Meslier thwarting Bergwijn and Kane to keep the score down.

Spurs’ afternoon was dented late on as Matt Doherty was sent off for a second booking but the three points are all that matters to Jose.

Full Time at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium it’s Tottenham 3 Leeds United 0

Premier League Preview: Tottenham v Leeds

Bielsa has stuck steadfastly to his offensive game plan in the face of heavy criticism following his side’s recent 6-2 defeat at Manchester United.

He has been rewarded though with back-to-back wins and two clean sheets against Burnley and West Brom, but acknowledged Leeds, who have not won in the capital in over three years, face a step up in class.

Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham are set to be without Giovani Lo Celso and Gareth Bale – the Welshman was withdrawn in their EFL Cup tie at Stoke last week after picking up an injury.

Leeds meanwhile remain without their captain, Liam Cooper, who is still suffering from the abdominal issue that kept him out of their win over Burnley.

Bielsa is also missing long term absentee Robin Koch with a knee injury, and Mateusz Klich picked up a knock in midweek, so is touch and go.

Spurs against Leeds is the lunchtime game on Saturday with kick off at 1230.

Spurs-Fulham off due to Covid-19 cases in Cottagers’ camp

The Cottagers returned a number of positive test results on Tuesday and after more came in on Wednesday the Premier League decided to call the match off less than three hours before the scheduled 6pm kick-off.

It becomes the third top-flight game to be wiped out by the virus, following Newcastle’s match with Aston Villa earlier this month and Monday’s game between Everton and Manchester City.

A Tottenham statement said: “The Premier League informed us of the decision this [Wednesday] afternoon, with Fulham having requested the postponement on the grounds of the number of Covid-19 positive cases among their players and staff.

“Everyone at Tottenham Hotspur sends their best wishes to Fulham for a safe and speedy recovery to all those who are affected.”

No new date for the game has been announced.

Premier League Preview: Tottenham v Fulham

Jose Mourinho’s side have hit a bump in the road in December with just two points in their last four Premier League matches.

However despite that drop in form, the Portuguese boss is not expected to make sweeping changes as he looks to turn things around in North London.

Gareth Bale has joined the growing injury list at the club in recent days, but the returning Lucas Moura and Carlos Vinicius could push Mourinho for a starting spot.

As for Fulham, Parker will encouraged by their improving form in recent weeks, with four successive draws heading into this one.

And the ex Chelsea midfielder is likely to follow his former boss’ example with the absolute minimum changes to his team.

But on loan midfielder Mario Lemina could return to face Spurs after being ineligible to play against parent club Southampton last time out.

And it’s a 6pm Kick Off in this London derby on December 30th at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Wolves fight back to seal 1-1 draw with Tottenham

The hosts have struggled to string results together in recent weeks but a draw in this one should reinject some confidence.

Neither side showed their best on a freezing night in the West Midlands, despite Spurs taking the inside sixty seconds at Molineux.

Ben Davies’ speed took him in behind the Wolves defence and Tanguy Ndombele arrived in the box to bury his cross.

However, Mourinho’s side failed to build on that momentum before the break as Hugo Lloris produced a pair of stops to deny Daniel Podence.

Wolves picked up where they left off after the break, as Mourinho looked to stick to his principles and dig in.

But just as Spurs looked set to cling on for the three points, Saiss got above his man from Pedro Neto’s corner, to bullet home an equaliser.

Full Time from Molineux it’s Wolves 1 Tottenham 1

Premier League Preview: Wolves v Tottenham

Defeats to Liverpool and Leicester have forced Spurs out of the Top Four in recent weeks with Nuno Santo’s Wolves winning just once this month.

Mourinho rang the changes for the midweek cup win over Stoke and the Portuguese boss is likely to recall most of his big hitters.

Toby Alderweireld, Sergio Reguilon and Son Heung-min were all rested against Michael O’Neill’s team and should be fresh to return at Molineux.

Defeat to Burnley in midweek will have raised some selection problems for Santo to mull over and he will look to overhaul his starting side.

Willy Boly and Fernando Marcal should come back to stiffen up the defence with Adama Traore and Fabio Silva set to add some greater attacking power.

Kick Off in this one is at 8pm at Molineux.