Tottenham Hotspur take a trip to Bramall Lane on Thursday evening hoping to continue their solid form since the Premier League restart.
José Mourinho’s men have improved ten-fold since the restart, largely due to the return of Harry Kane, Moussa Sissoko and Heung-min Son from injury.
A few months ago many would have perhaps favoured Sheffield United in this clash, yet their recent wobble has offered Mourinho’s men a chance to close the gap on the teams above them, while all but ending the Blades’ European hopes.
With this fixture on the horizon and – Japhet Tanganga aside – a potentially fully fit squad to choose from, how should Spurs lineup on Thursday?
Hugo Lloris (GK): The Spurs skipper has had his critics in the past, yet has been in extremely impressive form since the restart, notably keeping out a fizzing Anthony Martial effort in the meeting with Manchester United. There are few better shot stoppers in the league.
Serge Aurier (RB): While it may pain many Spurs fans to see him take the field week after week, the lack of alternatives means Aurier will start. Aside from being a walking defensive mistake, he does offer a real threat going forward, with his five assists being testament to that.
Davinson Sánchez (CB): The Colombian is likely to get the nod over Toby Alderweireld, having established himself as a starter in recent weeks.
Eric Dier (CB): It’s been a wretched last few seasons for Eric Dier, but he seems to have found a new home at centre-back. He did concede a penalty against United, but looked solid throughout the game, making a crucial block from a Martial effort, while he was rarely troubled by a limp Hammers attack.
Ben Davies (LB): While Aurier charges up and down the right flank, Davies offers a much needed defensive presence on the left.
Moussa Sissoko (CDM): The Frenchman has been sorely missed this season, as evidence by the fact that they looked like a completely different side since he’s returned from injury.
Giovani Lo Celso (CDM): The Argentine has been gradually introduced to English football, yet is beginning to look like the man capable of taking on the creative mantle from Christian Eriksen.
Erik Lamela (CAM): Lo Celso’s compatriot could return to the starting line up, after only making a substitute appearance against West Ham. His performance against the Red Devils was tenacious and dynamic.
Lucas Moura (RW): The Brazilian is a bit of an inconsistent performer, but on his day he can make a real difference for Spurs.
Heung-min Son (LW): Aside from perhaps Harry Kane, Son has been the club’s most vital asset over the last few seasons and has often carried the goalscoring burden in the England captain’s absence.
Harry Kane (ST): Speaking of Kane, it was extremely pleasing to see the 26-year-old back on the scoresheet last week after a frustrating injury plagued season. While there are those who suggest that perhaps the side plays better without him, his predatory finishing and link-up play will be absolutely essential to Spurs’ rebuild.
Tottenham Hotspur face Sheffield United at Bramall Lane on Thursday.