How Tottenham Hotspur could line up in 2018-19

:Headline: How Tottenham Hotspur could line up in 2018-19: ID:333041: from db_amp
Ahead of their Premier League opener against Newcastle United, Sports Mole looks at how Tottenham Hotspur could line up in the 2018-19 campaign.

What was meant to be a summer of promise and optimism for Tottenham Hotspur fans may well have turned into one of concern and caution.

The new stadium is not yet ready, meaning that three of their first four matches will come on the road while the other will be played at Wembley, before they are finally able to move into their new home ahead of their match against Liverpool on September 15.

The World Cup dazzled and delighted fans throughout the summer, but those of a Tottenham persuasion may have been watching it through their fingers having had an unequalled nine players taking part in the semi-finals, leaving them missing a host of first-team stars for the opening weeks of the campaign.

On top of that Spurs made history by becoming the first Premier League team not to sign a player during the summer transfer window since its inception in 2003, leaving them with largely the same starting lineup as the one which finished third last season.

Manager Mauricio Pochettino has a big job on his hands to hold off the challenges of those below them, then, yet alone close the 23-point gap to champions Manchester City and finally end the club's 10-year wait for silverware.

Here, Sports Mole looks at how Spurs could line up in the 2018-19 campaign.

Transfers in: None

Transfers out: Keanan Bennetts (undisclosed, Borussia Monchengladbach), Anton Walkes (undisclosed, Portsmouth)

Hugo Lloris endured arguably the worst season of his Tottenham career last term as questions were asked of the captain for the first time, but he has since lifted the World Cup for France and so should return to North London brimming with confidence.

Pochettino must decide whether to deploy a back three or back four ahead of the new campaign, with the former being the most likely after Toby Alderweireld stayed at the club despite strong interest from Manchester United. Alderweireld missed a large chunk of last season - first through injury and then while the uncertainty raged over his future - but he should be a regular in the starting lineup again this term.

Alderweireld's compatriot Jan Vertonghen continues to be a fixture of the defence and both come into the season off the back of helping Belgium to their best-ever World Cup finish, while Davinson Sanchez established himself in the first team last season and is expected to hold on to that role in 2018-19.

England's World Cup hero Kieran Trippier continues to improve but faces ongoing competition from Serge Aurier on the right flank, while on the opposite side of the defence it is a similar story, with Ben Davies vying for his place with Danny Rose.

Two more World Cup semi-finalists are likely to make up Pochettino's first-choice midfield with Mousa Dembele and Eric Dier operating in the centre, although Dembele's struggles to play week-in, week-out should provide plenty of chances for Victor Wanyama, Moussa Sissoko and Harry Winks, while Pochettino could also look to switch up his formation and include Son Heung-min in matches when he can afford to be more attacking.

Son begins the season at the Asian Games, which means that Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen will provide the main attacking support for Harry Kane, who missed out on the Premier League golden boot despite his first 30-goal haul last season but won the World Cup equivalent with England over the summer.

Erik Lamela and Lucas Moura provide further depth in the final third for Pochettino, although Tottenham's failure to strengthen means that Fernando Llorente remains their most effective 'Plan B' option up front in the absence of Kane or Son.

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