Tottenham Hotspur vs Brentford Predicted Lineups: How Will the Bees Cope Without Ivan Toney?

Tottenham Hotspur vs Brentford Predicted Lineups: How Will the Bees Cope Without Ivan Toney?
London, England, 26th December 2022. Dejan Kulusevski of Tottenham Hotspur and Mathias Zanka Jørgensen of Brentford challenge for the ball during the Premier League match at Brentford Community Stadium, London. Picture credit should read: Paul Terry / Sportimage - Photo by Icon sport

Tottenham Hotspur welcome Brentford to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Saturday in what will be the club’s final home game of the Premier League season. It’s been a rollercoaster ride for Spurs fans this season with the club starting the season with renewed hope under Antonio Conte, only to finish it with Ryan Mason as the interim head coach.

Going into the match, Spurs are 7th in the Premier League table and will still harbour hopes of finishing inside the top six following Brighton’s defeat to Newcastle United on Thursday night. Mason’s side are a point behind the Seagulls and will need to win both their remaining games if they are to have any chance of squeezing into the Europa League next season.

For Brentford, the game presents Thomas Frank with the opportunity to see how his side fares without the mercurial Ivan Toney. The centre forward was given an immediate eight-month ban following gambling offences which will see him sit out until the middle of January next year. The Bees have enjoyed another successful campaign in the top flight and will want to end strongly.

The match is set to kick off at 12:30 UK time on Saturday and viewers will be able to watch live coverage on BT Sport.

Tottenham Hotspur Team News: Will Eric Dier return to the starting lineup?

Last time out, Spurs took on Aston Villa at Villa Park and became unstuck against Unai Emery’s men. They lost 2-1 and were forced to play without Eric Dier, who has been a constant at the heart of the Tottenham defence all season.

Without the 29-year-old, Emerson Royal was moved into the back three with Cristian Romero playing in the middle of the three. Dier, who is close to signing a new contract with the club, remains a doubt for the visit of Brentford on Saturday which likely means that Mason will continue with the same defensive lineup, particularly with Japhet Tanganga also unavailable.

One alternative solution could be to bring in Davinson Sanchez from the start although Mason has been keen to avoid playing the Columbian since taking over last month. Another option would be to move Ben Davies back to centre back and play Ivan Perisic at left wing-back.

In terms of longer-term injuries, Hugo Lloris, Ryan Sessegnon and Rodrigo Bentancur all remain out and will do so until the start of next season. As far as Lloris is concerned, however, rumours continue to circulate that he has played his last game in a Tottenham shirt.

In Lloris’ absence, Harry Kane will captain the side in what could be his final home match at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium with reports of a move to Manchester United not going away.

Brentford Team News: Ivan Toney to begin his eight-month ban

The big news from the Brentford camp is the unavailability of Ivan Toney after the 27-year-old was handed an eight-month ban by the FA for a series of gambling offences. With Toney out, Thomas Frank has a dilemma on his hands as to who he should start up front.

The three most likely contenders to be played up front, at least until the end of the season when reinforcements will be considered, are Bryan Mbeumo, Yoane Wissa and Kevin Schade. All three men played against West Ham last week as Toney was out with a hamstring injury and they combined nicely.

In terms of injury problems, Frank will be without Christian Norgaard, Pontus Jansson, Keane Lewis-Potter and Thomas Strakosha. All four men are expected to also miss next weekend’s home finale with Brentford but Jansson will almost certainly be there regardless to bid farewell to the Brentford faithful ahead of his return to Malmo in the summer.

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