Tottenham head to Everton depleted, but with fringe men rising to the task

Burnley's Jack Cork (left) and Tottenham Hotspur's Oliver Skipp battle for the ball during the Premi

Burnley's Jack Cork (left) and Tottenham Hotspur's Oliver Skipp battle for the ball during the Premier League match at Wembley Stadium (pic: John Walton/PA Images). - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

Oliver Skipp showed his potential last weekend with an accomplished display and he is one of many to step up recently

It will not count for much, but if Spurs are to come unstuck at Everton in the Premier League on Sunday, they will at least be in the top four on Christmas day.

Mauricio Pochettino will not care about that fact should Tottenham Hotspur suffer a loss at Goodison Park, but it is a tiny achievement.

Rewind back to the middle of September and the Lilywhites were the side some were backing to miss out on Champions League qualification this season.

A glance at the table now and Spurs are being talked about as a dark horse which may suddenly challenge for the title along with Liverpool and Manchester City.

While that is a tad premature, it shows how quickly things change and the drama which is attached to every single bad result suffered by one of the ‘big six’.

Spurs are nearly at the halfway mark of the campaign and they are in a very good position to kick on in 2019.

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A large reason behind this is the way some of their fringe men have stepped up in times of need with Saturday a prime example.

When the Tottenham team to face Burnley was revealed, there would have been a lot of shocked faces because included in the starting XI was Oliver Skipp.

Yet the 18-year-old defied his lack of experience to put in an accomplished display in a dramatic, late 1-0 home win.

Skipp is one of many to have been given an opportunity and to have grasped it with both hands and he could feature against the Toffees with Eric Dier, Mousa Dembele and Victor Wanyama all out.

The trio look set to be sidelined until January with Dier needing surgery to remove his appendix last weekend.

Jan Vertonghen is another who will miss the upcoming games at Everton and Boxing Day’s home clash with AFC Bournemouth.

The Belgian has a thigh injury, but did see his N17 stay extended until at least June 2020 this week.

In Vertonghen’s absence, Juan Foyth has stepped up and when Serge Aurier and Kieran Trippier were both injured, Kyle Walker-Peters took his overdue chance.

Elsewhere, Moussa Sissoko has suddenly become an integral part of Pochettino’s starting team and even Fernando Llorente has made an impact recently.

All of the above have made sure Spurs will be in the top four after Sunday and they will now look to ensure they remain third with a win at eighth-placed Everton.