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Preview: Tottenham Hotspur vs. Everton

Sports Mole takes a closer look at both sides ahead of Saturday's Premier League clash between Tottenham Hotspur and Everton.

Tottenham Hotspur will continue their search for a first win of the season when they welcome Everton to White Hart Lane on Saturday.

Everton make the trip to the capital with four points from three games, while Spurs are currently two behind the Toffees.


Spurs

Dele Alli of Tottenham Hotspur celebrates scoring his team's first goal with his team mates Tom Carroll and Harry Kane during the Barclays Premier League match between Leicester City and Tottenham Hotspur at The King Power Stadium on August 22, 2015© Getty Images

In a frustrating beginning to the campaign, Mauricio Pochettino's side prepare for their fourth game knowing that they could be sitting comfortably with three victories from three games had they avoided the mistakes that have hampered the start of their season.

After losing 1-0 to Manchester United on the opening day, Spurs were expected to bounce back from a result which was perhaps slightly harsh but they have wasted leads in the last weeks to draw with Stoke City and Leicester City respectively.

Pochettino was quick to reveal his anger last week after Dele Alli's first goal for the club was cancelled out by Leicester's Riyad Mahrez less than two minutes later, and the pressure is now on Spurs to kickstart the season with an impressive display against the Toffees.

Much of what Spurs can achieve in the Premier League and in Europe this season could hinge on their success in the transfer market over the next few days as they desperately search for attacking reinforcements to provide support for Harry Kane, who is yet to get off the mark this season.

Saido Berahino appears to be the number one target, but West Brom rejected a second bid earlier this week and it remains unclear whether Spurs chairman Daniel Levy will pay the £25m asking price for a forward who scored 20 goals in all competitions in the previous campaign.

If reports are to be believed, Bayer Leverkusen attacker Son Heung-min does appear to be on the way to North London, and Pochettino will be hopeful that he is not the only new arrival before Tuesday's deadline, with Crystal Palace's Yannick Bolasie still rumoured to be a target.

Spurs fans remain hopeful that the squad will receive a much-needed boost in the coming days, but the pressure is on the current players to improve the mood surrounding the club with an improved display.

Recent form: LDD


Everton

Roberto Martinez, manager of Everton gestures during the Capital One Cup second round match between Barnsley and Everton at Oakwell Stadium on August 26, 2015 in Barnsley, England© Getty Images

Despite matters off the field continuing to steal the headlines, Roberto Martinez will be quietly confident that his side are heading in the right direction once again after last season's disappointment.

Victory over Southampton proved the quality in the side, and despite suffering their first defeat of the season last time out against Manchester City, Martinez certainly has plenty to be feeling optimistic about as he prepares to take his team to North London.

Everton matched City for long spells but the title contenders clinched all three points with a clinical attacking display, and the result was quickly forgotten when the Toffees returned to action in a dramatic League Cup clash with Barnsley in midweek. It was far from the perfect display, but Martinez's side showed impressive resilience by coming from behind twice to win 5-3 in extra time.

Adding to the squad is a possibility in the final days of the transfer window, but the real challenge for the club is to follow through with their claims that John Stones will not be sold to Chelsea, despite the defender handing in a transfer request.

The speculation has not yet affected the 21-year-old's form and Martinez will be fully aware how crucial he will be to his side's hopes this season, and more rumours will be unavoidable as he looks for a second win of the season on the road.

Recent form: DWL
Recent form (all competitions): DWLW


Team News

Mauricio Pochettino manager of Tottenham Hotspur looks on during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford on August 8, 2015© Getty Images

Despite reports picking up pace in the closing stages of the transfer window, Spurs are unlikely to have any new signings in place for Saturday's game and Pochettino will once again be without Christian Eriksen, who is battling a knee injury.

Alli's stock continues to rise after coming off the bench to score against Leicester and he could be rewarded with his first start as a replacement for Erik Lamela, but Mousa Dembele and Nacer Chadli could keep their places in an attacking trio behind Kane.

Martinez decided against leaving out most of his key men against Barnsley on Wednesday night, but Tim Howard, James McCarthy and Ross Barkley are among the players expected to earn recalls.

Gerard Deulofeu, who signed for the club earlier this summer after his impressive loan in the 2013-14 campaign, has fully recovered from the hamstring injury that kept him out at the start of the season and his fine display as a substitute in the League Cup win could see him start at White Hart Lane.

Spurs possible starting lineup:
Lloris, Walker, Vertonghen, Alderweireld, Rose, Dier, Mason, Alli, Chadli, Dembele, Kane

Everton possible starting lineup:
Howard, Coleman, Stones, Jagielka, Galloway, McCarthy, Barry, Barkley, Deulofeu, Cleverley, Lukaku


Head To Head

Spurs were victorious in the most recent meeting between the two sides thanks to Kane, who scored the winner in a 1-0 victory on the final day of last season at Goodison Park.

The result completed a league double for Pochettino's side following their 2-1 triumph in the reverse fixture last November.

Three successive wins against the Toffees mean that Spurs head into the game unbeaten in the last five meetings, and Everton are searching for their first win over the North Londoners since Nikica Jelavic netted a stoppage-time winner in a 2-1 win in December 2012.


Video Preview

Hit play below to see what the Sports Mole Sofa had to say about this encounter:


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We say: Spurs 2-1 Everton

Everton will be confident of taking points away from Spurs, whose defensive displays should be enough to give the in-form Lukaku a boost. Despite playing well for long spells, Pochettino's side have not yet picked up a win and he will be hopeful of an improved performance over 90 minutes. Much could depend on whether the speculation surrounding Stones persuades Martinez to leave the defender out. Spurs may have just enough to claim all three points.



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Harry Kane in action during Spurs' game with Stoke on August 15, 2015
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