Brentford currently stand 14th place in the Premier League, nine positions below midweek opponents and London rivals Tottenham Hotspur.

Spurs have remained in this position since early December, with many teams in the league in competition for a top four place.

The Bees have only won one of their last five games (their win being versus Nottingham Forest in their last fixture), the rest being losses.

Formation and Lineup: Tottenham Hotspur

Ange Postecoglou usually plays a 4-2-3-1 formation and has continued to do so ever since November, but occasionally plays a 4-3-3 if defensive issues are restricting the Aussie manager.

It can also be expected that Guglielmo Vicario will start in Postecoglou’s side as he has been an exceptional replacement for his club since the departure of Hugo Lloris.

After starting for Spurs in every match this season, it is very likely that Pedro Porro will be significant in Tottenham’s defence.

Being crucial for Tottenham’s back line, Destiny Udogie has played every minute of Spurs’ last five matches.

Alongside him, we can expect to see Cristian Romero and Micky Van de Ven, who has now started both of Tottenham's most recent games against Manchester United and Manchester City following his injury. 

It is certain that Yves Bissouma will miss an appearance in this match as Mali, his international team, are still in the African Cup of Nations in which he is competing with them. Mali beat Burkina Faso 2-1 last night, progressing them to the next round and meaning that Bissouma will continue absence for longer.

However, Pape Matar Sarr was knocked out of AFCON on Monday so he is more likely to return to the squad but Postecoglou may choose to rest him, following his international campaign.

Rayan Ait-Nouri for Wolves played for his international club (Algeria) and when they got knocked out and he returned, Gary O’Neil decided not to start  him so Postecoglou may choose to do the same thing.

Postecoglou tends to vary his midfield by fluctuating between starting Oliver Skipp and Pierre-Emile Højbjerg for a more defensive approach and playing Giovani Lo Celso if he wishes to add more attacking tactics.

In terms of injuries, James Maddison (Postecoglou’s typical main goal scorer along with Heung-Min Son) is still out injured until at least January. However, it is likely that Maddison will continue to be replaced by Giovani Lo Celso, especially after his exceptional performance against Aston Villa and Man City - scoring in both games.

A consistent player for Spurs this season has been Brennan Johnson who was signed from Nottingham Forest in the 2023 summer transfer window, he has played in their last five games.

Dejan Kulusevski normally plays out wide for the Lilywhites but has played as a CAM since the introduction of Timo Werner. He played in this position in the FA Cup 4th round game.

Heung-Min Son definitely wont feature in Spurs’ lineup tonight as he is still out absent in the Asia Cup. The South-Korean was heavily missed by Tottenham fans in their last clash versus Manchester City, where they lost 1-0, knocking them out of the FA Cup.

With the absence of Son, Werner is likely to replace him as a right winger, with Richarlison as the centre forward. All eyes will be on him to create goal contributions for the North London side. 

Formation and Lineup: Brentford

Thomas Frank almost always plays a 3-5-2 formation with his squad, so that will be expected in the match against Spurs, however Frank did play a 4-3-3 squad in his 4-1 defeat against Wolves in the Premier League match on 27th December.

Despite Brentford signing Sergio Reguilon this transfer window after his recent loan spells to Atletico Madrid and Manchester United, the left back’s parent club is Tottenham Hotspur so Frank is unable to play him in this match day.

Mark Flekken is Frank’s usual choice of goalkeeper, who Brentford signed from Frieburg shortly after the 2022/23 season had finished.

However, Flekken was replaced (in Brentford’s initial FA Cup 4th round clash with Wolverhampton Wanderers and the replay match) by Thomas Strakosha.

Strakosha can be presumed to have started in these two FA Cup ties against Wolves because Flekken was being preserved for the league, as Strakosha hasn’t made an appearance for the Bees since Flekken had to come off injured versus the Hammers in early November.

Featuring in 4/5’s of Brentford’s lineups this season, Nathan Collins will most certainly make an appearance in this team, due to his versatility in defensive positions - playing at both wing back positions and Centre back in just his last five appearances in all competitions.

Alongside him is likely to be Ethan Pinnock who has played in every Premier League match for Brentford this season, with one goal to go alongside his outstanding attendance for the Bees, even though Kristoffer Ajer replaced position during the FA Cup 4th round.

As for the rest of the defensive set-up, Frank has struggled to keep consistency in Brentford’s defensive output, having started Vitaly Janelt, Ben Mee, Mathias Jorgensen, Mads Roerslev and Saman Ghoddos all at left-back in the last three  on the so there  is definitely great uncertainty for the Brentford coach as to where this player selection will align.

However, Ghoddos has also featured as a defensive midfielder on many occasions so his versatility may keep him as a LWB. Janelt can also play in this position but may act more central than Ghoddos.

It is typical for Christian Nørgaard to play as a CDM for Brentford, as he has done in the majority of the 18 games he has featured in Frank’s team this season.

Mathais Jensen and Keane Lewis-Potter have been two of the Bees attacking catalysts in Brentford’s midfield this season, however Lewis-Potter has featured as a forward in Brentford’s 4-1 defeat over Wolves, replacing Josh Dasilva.

Now that Ivan Toney has come back to the PL, we can expect to see him play with Neal Maupay in replacement of Yoane Wissa who has made some selective appearances for Thomas Frank’s side.

Players to Watch: Tottenham Hotspur

Guglielmo Vicario

Despite conceding one goal against Man City, knocking them out of the FA Cup this season, Vicario has been one of the best goalkeepers in this Premier League season. With Toney now back as Brentford’s biggest attacking threat, the Italian shot-stopper will be tested.

Rodrigo Bentancur

After returning from a serious injury, the Uruguayan has been an impressive figure in Spurs’ midfield. After scoring against Manchester United, he’ll be eager to continue his form going into the London derby.

James Maddison

Similarly to Bentancur, the striker has recently returned from injury since November. He’ll be looking to add to his three goals and five assists tonight against Brentford, who have conceded 12 goals in their last five PL matches.

Players to Watch: Brentford

Ben Mee

The veteran centre-back has been essential in Brentford’s back line in his second season, since his arrival from Burnley in 2022.

As well as helping his club to win their last game, he has also picked up a goal in the process so he will be looking to help his manager to take home three points away from Spurs tonight.

Neal Maupay 

Maupay has returned for a second spell at Brentford after his last season there in the 2018/19 season when Brentford were in the Championship.

The Frenchman has been one of Brentford’s main threats during this campaign, scoring three goals and three assists in 15 appearances this season for the London side. With Toney back in the squad again they could partner up to help Brentford receive fortune.

Ivan Toney

After his eight month absence due to betting rule controversy, Toney was vital in Brentford’s last win, scoring from a free kick upon his return. Due to this, he could prove to be an issue for Tottenham’s defence tonight.