Tottenham Club Focus – Is January crucial for Spurs?

There is naturally always a lot of focus in January on the transfer window, with media and fans speculating on who their club will buy or sell. In the meantime, the rest of this month will see a hectic football programme for all of the top six clubs. Despite, having five games in the remainder of this month, Tottenham Hotspur have – with the exception of an away trip to Manchester City – arguably one of the kinder set of fixtures. It may be vital for Spurs to make the most of this.

On Wednesday Spurs play their game in hand at home to an Everton side that are organized and tough to break down. If three points are gained, then the Lilywhites move to 45 points alongside Manchester United, and in doing so create an eight point gap to fourth place Chelsea. After that Spurs have two home fixtures to Wolves and Wigan that should be winnable either side of two away fixtures, an FA Cup tie at Watford, where fans may expect the team to be rotated and crucially, the away trip to a Manchester City team that will be missing two key defenders Koulo Toure and Vincent Kompany and the influential Yaya Toure in midfield.

Whilst there may be an acknowledged depth in the City squad, the absence of Kompany and Yaya will be felt, especially when City should have an eye on the Carling Cup semi-final [second leg] just three days later. Spurs manager, Harry Redknapp should hope to pick up at least 10 points during the rest of the month, going into February on an impressive 52 to 54 points.

The difficulty for rivals to rotate in January, through a mixture of injuries, suspensions or the African Nations Cup, may be critical. Spurs have the ability to rotate against Watford in the FA cup ties over the weekend of the 28, 29th Jan, potentially vital with a full league programme just three days later, whereas other rivals, may not have that luxury. In the remainder of January, Liverpool as well as three league fixtures, have the two legged Carling Cup semi-final against Manchester City, and an FA Cup tie versus the red part of Manchester. United themselves on top of this have just three league games, but one away to Arsenal.

The most points they can achieve is nine to get to 54 points. Man City apart from the Carling Cup have three fixtures so the maximum they can achieve will be 57 points – Spurs fans will be hoping this is at least three points less. The inconsistent Chelsea have a home game to a resurgent Sunderland under Martin O’Neil, followed by tricky away games at Norwich and Swansea, whilst Arsenal as well as hosting the Red Devils also face Swansea away and Bolton at home.

Harry Redknapp should acknowledge that three home games against teams in the lower half of the league, two perhaps battling relegation, should be the perfect opportunity to take nine points and keep the pressure on the two Manchester clubs currently above them in the table. With other rivals dealing with absences to key players, several tough or tricky matches there is perhaps an opportunity to press an advantage. A result against City should leave Spurs in a healthy position.

See what the expert tipsters at OLBG are tipping on Tottenham v Wolverhampton

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