Tottenham Hotspur are third in the Premier League this weekend, and could reach the top of the tree if they fail to win 18th place at West Bromwich Albion and both Liverpool and Leicester City.
Jose Mourinho’s side will also have the confidence to win, having won matches away from all three of their leagues so far.
Tottenham They have beaten Southampton, Manchester United and Burnley on the road, but Tottenham have scored just five points out of a possible 12 at Hotspur Stadium.
So, why have they become more productive than at home on the road?
It’s not as easy as just looking at the results, either – if it were, we could point to the dominant performance against Newcastle and recognize that the scoreline doesn’t tell the whole story.
The Spurs averaged 2.4xG per game on the road, against 1.6 in their four games at home (by all statistics) StatesBMB / FBRF), And have outscored their opponents on xG in all three away games compared to two out of four at home.
Mourinho’s team has been adept at using the speed of other teams against them, waiting for them to overbalance before the home teams fight. The 2-2 win at Southampton was perhaps the best example of this, with the Spurs’ opponents throwing the men ahead and leaving themselves open to counters that were often simple in nature but ultimately decisive.
However, Tortenham also managed a different kind of test with their 1-0 win at Burnley, including an opponent that allowed them to occupy in the hope that they would still be able to maintain clear chances. Minimum.
In all these cases, the task of confronting the opponents should be easy, right? Sit back, take the pressure off and take your chances. Easy. Well, not quite.
Mourinho has a reputation for being happy to let opponents have many balls, with pre-dating of his arrival in north London. In a sense this is the easiest way to throw this in his face and force him to take the initiative, but his team has shown this season that things are a little more complicated than that.
While it’s true that the absence of stadium fans this season takes away the typical home and is dynamic, there remains an added pressure for the sides of the home to be seen as a minor offender. This has worked in favor of the Spurs on occasions where, like Old Trafford, they have moved on the road early, or even when their advantage has come early enough to put opponents under pressure.
Employees on the Snors side certainly adapt to this approach, with Son Hang-Min’s movement and to some extent Lucas Maura, with Harry Kane’s vision and determination in his new more withdrawn role, aggressively attacking the set-up over the counter-tee. However, their forwards also have the personal quality to break the burnleys of this world.
It is here that Hawthorne’s trip presents a strange case. West Brom have delivered a more surprising first-half salvage this season, before Chelsea finally drew -3–3 with three goals in the last 45 minutes, but failed to find a net in either of their other two places at home.
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At Slaven Bilik, he has a manager with a vast game history, both with Albion and at the previous club West Ham, where his team was often caught chasing games on home soil.
All this to say is that it doesn’t seem so easy for Burgess to get the kind of approach favored by Burnley, and indeed they can feel that the Chelsea game proves they don’t need to.
While the Spurs are unlikely to be able to stay unbeaten from home for the entire league season, games like Sunday can help provide a good barometer for how long they can continue to do what they are doing and choosing. Results on the road.
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