After December’s postponement, Saturday’s match will be the first time Tottenham Hotspur and Brighton play one another in over a year.
It may be difficult to remember, but Brighton won 1-0 at the Amex Stadium the last time Spurs played against the Gulls. Much has changed for Tottenham since that loss. Tottenham’s manager has changed twice and much of the team on the field that day is no longer at the club.
The last time Tottenham faced Brighton
The last time Spurs faced Brighton, Harry Kane was injured and Gareth Bale was the captain of Jose Mourinho’s side. Interestingly enough, that team played with three in the back, one of the few times that occurred in Mourinho’s Tottenham reign.
Besides Bale, three other players who’ve since departed started, Tanguy Ndombele, Moussa Sissoko, and Toby Alderwerield. Even two of the three substitutes – Carlos Vinicius and Erik Lamela – are gone. Regardless of who plays on Saturday, a minimum of 46 percent of the team will be different.
When one team has twice as many shots – 16 to 8 – and has nine corners to the opposition’s two, you’d think they would also have the lion’s share of possession. That was not the case the last time these two teams played, as Tottenham dominated possession (57 percent) but struggled to create any chances. It was Brighton who bossed the shots and corner count.
Which was typical of many losses under Mourinho, where Spurs dominated possession but rarely created dangerous scoring opportunities. Brighton counter-attacked with genuine passion and absorbed what little Tottenham could muster.
Saturday’s match-up should be different for several reasons, not least of which the major change in personnel for the home side.
It is, however, an FA Cup match, which means it may be the last opportunity to see some fringe players in the squad, like Joe Rodon – who ironically started for Spurs against Brighton last January.
Then again, Conte knows how important winning a trophy is, and the FA Cup represents the last chance for Tottenham to do so this year, which he will not make light of.