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White Hart Lane, Tottenham
Saturday 6th Dec, 2014, 15:00 GMT 


Tottenham Hotspur will be looking for their third successive home win for the first time this season when they host Crystal Palace in the Premier League on Saturday. Spurs have already lost four times this season at home but arguably produced their best display under new manager Mauricio Pochettino to beat Everton last weekend. Another positive performance (but a poor result) saw them end up with a 3-0 loss at Stamford Bridge which left them in 10th position in the standings.

Crystal Palace also suffered a shock defeat at Selhurst Park to a Benteke-inspired Aston Villa in midweek. The inconsistency in the performance levels of Crystal Palace is a major concern for Neil Warnock as his side failed to build on an impressive win over Liverpool in their previous game at Selhurst Park. With just 5 points from possible 15 and 3 defeats in the last 5, the pressure is on Neil Warnock to turn around the fortunes of the Eagles.

Team news and tactical brief

Tottenham Hotspur

Kyle Naughton is available again after a ban but Vlad Chiriches might still continue in his unorthodox position at right back. The rest of the defence should remain same as there is a gradual understanding growing between the players and Pochettino will continue with Jan Vertonghen, Federico Fazio and Ben Davies. With Etienne Capoue injured, academy graduates Nabil Bentaleb and Ryan Mason seem to be the Argentine’s preferred midfield pivot. The central midfielders have looked increasingly confident and particularly Mason has been largely excellent since breaking into the first team in September.

Aaron Lennon will provide the width down the right hand side while Christian Eriksen will drop back inside and a bit deeper to orchestrate the play from like he did in Tottenham’s win over Hull few weeks ago. In-form striker Harry Kane looks likely to retain his place behind the striker tonight. Roberto Soldado missed out against Chelsea despite scoring the winner against Everton at the weekend and he is likely to return to the starting lineup. Emmanuel Adebayor has been doing some light training but is still not fit enough to make a start.

Probable Starting Line-up (4-2-3-1): Lloris(Gk); Chiriches, Fazio, Vertonghen, Davies; Mason, Bentaleb; Eriksen, Kane, Lennon; Soldado


Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace boss Neil Warnock has been lamenting the lack of a quality striker following the midweek defeat and revealed that he was looking to sign Harry Kane on loan from Spurs earlier this season. Dwight Gayle and former Spurs loanee Frazier Campbell are his two options tonight to lead the line while Ezekiel Fryers, who joined from Spurs this summer, will be waiting for his debut. Joe Ledley was ruled out of Tuesday’s fixture with a hip problem but he is likely to make a comeback for this game and should start alongside Mile Jedinak. The more aerially inclined focal point of Marouane Chamakh will also provide an outlet for Warnock’s men.

Adrian Mariappa and Damien Delaney continue to miss out through injuries, so Brede Hangeland and Scott Dann, who was directly blamed by his manager for Benteke’s 32nd-minute winner midweek, will continue as the centre-back pairing. Wingers Yannick Bolasie and Wilfred Zaha lacked quality with their final deliveries against Villa and they are expected to deliver a better performance tonight as they look to exploit the wingbacks. Wilfried Zaha seems certain to be given another chance at Jason Puncheon’s expense.

Probable Starting Line-up (4-4-2): Speroni(Gk); Ward, Dann, Hangeland, Kelly; Zaha, Ledley, Jedinak, Bolasie; Chamakh, Campbell

Key Facts

  • Tottenham have won their last two league clashes against Crystal Palace without reply; they’ve not won three in a row since November 1989
  • Mauricio Pochettino has lost twice as many Premier League games at White Hart Lane (4) as Tim Sherwood did (2), despite taking charge of four games fewer there (7) than his predecessor (11)
  • Christian Eriksen has created more goalscoring chances without actually providing an assist than any other Premier League player this term (28)
  • Tottenham have conceded a season-high five penalties in the Premier League this season
  • Spurs are kings of the short corner, having taken 24 – more than any other team this season
  • Crystal Palace have not claimed a single point from any of their three London derbies so far this season (level on zero with QPR)
  • Mile Jedinak has scored three of Crystal Palace’s last six Premier League goals
  • Palace have won only one of their last eight Premier League games (L5 D2)
  • Crystal Palace have won 99 points from their previous 106 Premier League games away from home (W23 D30 L53)

Players to Watch Out For

Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur)

The 21-year old has been one of the better players for Spurs this season scoring goals in both domestic and European fixtures. In 10 appearances the Englishman has scored two times and could have added another one against Chelsea in midweek only to be denied by the crossbar. The youngster has created plenty of chances for his teammates including one direct assist. Tottenham are struggling to find the back of the net this season and Harry Kane might be the man to make a difference tonight.

Yannick Bolasie (Crystal Palace)

On his day Yannick Bolasie is a major threat down the flanks with his pace, trickery and direct running at the fullbacks. His best performance of the season so far was against Liverpool where he was a constant menace down the right channel,creating chances for the midfielders and his strike partner Dwight Gayle. Bolasie will be looking to exploit the spaces provided by the marauding fullbacks of Tottenham in this game and Pochettino will have to keep an eye on him tonight as he looks to grab a crucial win ahead of a very busy schedule.


Tottenham Hotspur 2–0 Crystal Palace

Tottenham come into this game on the back of their best performance of the season at home to Everton last weekend and a crushing 3-0 defeat to Chelsea in midweek. Pochettino’s side have potential but still look shaky in defence. Palace’s disappointing defeat on Tuesday leaves them only a single point off the drop zone and with only 1 win from their last eight games. They will sit back and look to keep things tight against a Spurs side that have struggled against such organized defenses. However, Pochettino’s men should have too much for this Palace side without a clean sheet since September.

Blast From the Past

Tim Sherwood’s Tottenham secured a nervy 2-0 win over Crystal Palace last season in January with Christian Eriksen and Jermain Defoe finding the net.