Tottenham vs Wolves: Kane sends Spurs top of the table

·6 min read

Tottenham beat Wolves 1-0 to momentarily go top of the Premier League table, as Harry Kane’s second half header was enough to get past a stubborn Wolves side.

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Antonio Conte’s side were second best in the first half but improved in the second half as Kane popped up with the winner and Wolves failed to take the chances they created.

Spurs have seven points from their first three games of the season, while Wolves have one point and despite showing plenty of promise they have yet to win this season and haven’t won in their last 10 games heading back to last season.

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What we learned from Tottenham vs Wolves

Leggy Spurs struggling with intensity: Similar to their game at Chelsea, Spurs couldn’t get going in the first half and will feel pretty lucky to have won this game. They struggled to match Wolves’ intensity and were a little leggy as they came up against a stubborn and determined Wolves side but they did enough in the second half to get the job done. Antonio Conte may have to tweak the way he sets up this Spurs team as they are getting overrun in midfield with this 3-4-3 formation.

Wolves lovely to watch, but same problems remain: Bruno Lage’s Wolves were superb in the first half and stroked the ball around brilliantly as new signings Goncalo Guedes and Matheus Nunes slotted in seamlessly. The latter almost scored with a flicked header but that was as close as Wolves got. And that is their main problem. Lage’s side knock the ball around splendidly and are more attack-minded in a 4-3-3 system but they still don’t have a clinical edge. With Raul Jimenez returning from injury, he will help with that. There were a lot of positive for Wolves to take from this performance but there’s still a nagging sense of whether or not they will score enough goals to push for European qualification this season.

Resilient Tottenham ready to take next step: Their spirited draw at Chelsea and this narrow win over Wolves proves that Antonio Conte is ready to take Tottenham to the next level. These are the kind of games you need to win if you’re serious about challenging for the title and that is the next step for Spurs. They may not be serious contenders this season but they do look to have closed the gap on Liverpool and Manchester City, especially when it comes to their mentality and resilience. We know Spurs have the attacking talents to blow teams away but we now know they have the mental toughness to hang in there and grab points when perhaps they didn’t deserve them.

Tactical focus

Wolves totally dominated the first half as they kept the ball well, looked dangerous on the break and outnumbered Spurs in midfield. Tottenham’s 3-4-3 system just wasn’t working as both Heung-min Son and Dejan Kulusevski were totally isolated. In the second half Spurs forced the issue more and won the midfield battle, as Spurs again relied on a Harry Kane header from a well-worked corner.

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Stars of the show

Harry Kane: Had the quality and composure needed in the second half to get Spurs on the front foot and scored the all-important goal. Scored his 250th goal for Tottenham in all competitions and 185th in the Premier League, to set a new record as he has scored more goals for a single PL team than any other player in history. Incredible.

Ruben Neves: At the heart of everything good Wolves did and the skipper came close to scoring on a few occasions. He oozes class.

What’s next?

Spurs travel to Nottingham Forest next Sunday, Aug. 28, while Wolves host Newcastle on the same day. Wolves also have a League Cup game at home against Preston on Tuesday, Aug. 23.

How to watch Tottenham vs Wolves live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 7:30am ET, Saturday
TV Channel: USA Network
Online: Stream via NBCSports.com

Key storylines

Spurs are looking very good for a top four finish, at least, this season but Antonio Conte’s side were very lucky to come away with a 2-2 draw at Chelsea last time out. That result, despite being outplayed, points to a new-found resilience at Tottenham and Harry Kane popped up with the crucial equalizer late on. If they want to close the gap on title favorites Manchester City and Liverpool this season, they have to brush aside teams like Wolves to stay in the hunt. They did that with minimum fuss against an attack-minded Southampton on the opening day of the season, so let’s see how they cope against a solid, stubborn team who will sit back and defend deep.

Speaking of Wolves, their main issue once again looks like it will be scoring goals. Raul Jimenez is out injured and the likes of Pedro Neto, Daniel Podence and Hwang-Hee chan all missed big chances last weekend against Fulham. They’ve switched to a 4-4-2 system this season and Lage is trying to rejuvenate his squad after a poor finish to the 2021-22 campaign. But let’s not forget, Wolves were pushing for European qualification for most of last season before the wheels came off. Also, Wolves have three of their last four Premier League games away at Tottenham…

In-form players to keep an eye on

Harry Kane got his goal against Chelsea last time out and he will look to be at his playmaking best to get Son and Kulusevski in-behind the Wolves full backs. Hugo Lloris has also been really good in the first few weeks of this season.

For Wolves, well, it’s the same old story as Jose Sa’s penalty save grabbed them a point at home against Fulham last time out. New signing Matheus Nunes will likely come straight into the team and his quality on the ball as a true box-to-box midfielder will excite Wolves’ fans.

Tottenham team news, injuries, lineup

Oliver Skipp remains out with a lower leg injury, while Clement Lenglet is back on the bench after an adductor issue. Center back Cristian Romero is definitely out with a hip issue, which is a big blow, as Davinson Sanchez comes in. Ivan Perisic comes in for Ryan Sessegnon, as it looks like Conte will stick with the 3-4-3 system.

Wolves team news, injuries, lineup

Raul Jimenez is back on the bench after his recent injury, while Joao Moutinho is back and starts. New club-record signing Matheus Nunes makes his Premier League debut after after arriving from Sporting Lisbon for $50 million. While fellow Portuguese international and another new signing, Goncalo Guedes, also makes his first start for the club.

Tottenham vs Wolves: Kane sends Spurs top of the table originally appeared on NBCSports.com