TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR FC
CRYSTAL PALACE FC
White Hart Lane, London
Sunday 20th September, 2015, 1230 GMT
Mauricio Pochettino hosts Alan Pardew in Tottenhama s first London Derby of the season. Will Palace leave their rivals to dust or will Spurs end Pardewa s good form?
Of the five London teams playing in the Premier League, 4 of them this week will face off in heated and much anticipated London Derbies. With Arsenal and Chelsea set to lock horns at Stamford bridge, North Londona s Tottenham welcome city rivals Crystal Palace to their home in what is sure to be an action packed thriller of a game. With just three points and six places separating the two teams, the result of this game is no doubt very important to how the table would look on Monday.
Tottenham Hotspur are as unpredictable as the London weather. With their third game at home, Mauricio Pochettino will look to ensure his team pick up what will only be their third win in all competitions this season. With an injury marred squad, the manager finds himself with some of his best players side-lined. However, Tottenham will continue to line up in a 4-2-3-1 with Hugo Lloris at goal. In defence, the Belgian pair of Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld will take their place. Although much criticism has been thrown towards Vertonghen off late with fans asking for Austrian centre-back Wimmer to be given a chance, Jan has showed glimpses of his past form in the game against Everton and is expected to step up in this fixture. With Trippier having played mid-week, Kyle Walker will return to the right side of defence. Danny Rose will be looking to retain the left full-back position in place of Ben Davies in order to offer Tottenham aid while going forward.
With Mason injured, and Dembele and Eriksen doubtful, we could see the likes of Son and Na jie feature this week. Dier who had a good game against Quarbag will provide the much needed defensive shield to the back four. Alli, the youngster will come in to the side alongside Dier to play in a box to box role. Having rested mid-week, Nacer Chadli will come into the side on the left, whilst new signing Son and Englishman Townsend will start at the center and right respectively. Harry Kane will find himself leading the side up front playing as a lone striker. Na jie who put in a few minutes at the Lane midweek could again feature as a substitute along with Eriksen who has recovered from injury.
Tottenham have one of the worst cross and corner success rates this season (17%), which can be one of the reasons for Kanea s on going goal drought. The introduction of Townsend in the previous fixture against Sunderland, changed how Spurs played as he made use of the wings to provide crosses from wider areas of the pitch. His inclusion is sure to keep Dembele out of the starting eleven for a while. Lamela being played on the left too has offered good results, he and Na jie may soon prove to be front runners for Chadlia s place in the team, as the Belgian has failed to deliver down the left wing.
Predicted Line-up: Lloris; Walker, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Rose; Dier, Alli; Townsend, Son, Chadli; Kane;
Crystal Palace are cruising with three wins and two losses out of 5 games. Alan Pardew has done wonders with the side and has brought Palace to the 6th place in the table. With a small set back in what was otherwise an impressive performance against Manchester City, Palace showed the resilience and quality of a top notch football club. With a few players returning from injury, Pardew might opt to go ahead with the same team as from the previous game in a 4-2-3-1 formation.
Alex McCarthy will be their chosen keeper over Speroni due his exceptional performances recently. Scott Dann and Berde Hangeland will be the preferred center back pairing. Martin Kelly and Souare will make up the right and left wing back positions respectively. Having conceded 6 goals this season, they have the poorer defensive record of the two teams which is a cause for concern. On the other hand with Tottenham having somewhat of a goal drought, Palancea s defensive lapse wont pose too much of a problem.
Cabaye and McArthur will make up the two defensive midfielders ahead of the back four, with Cabaye offering his clinical passing and long range efforts from outside the box. James McArthur on the other hand will play a slightly more advanced attacking role. Ahead of the duo will be Bolasie to the left, Puncheon at the center and Zaha to the left. With Wickham yet doubtful, Sako who has been excellent for Palace will lead the strike force. Bolasie who was rumoured to have shown interest to a move Tottenham will sure be glad to play for the other side as he and Zaha will offer Palace the much needed pace and width. Wickham who returns from injury will be a welcome sight for Palace fans, nevertheless the striker yet battling for full fitness, might be offered a few minutes off the bench.
Predicted Line-up: McCarthy; Kelly, Dann, Hangeland, Souare; Cabaye, McArthur; Zaha, Puncheon, Bolasie; Sako.
- Tottenham have scored only 4 and conceded 4 goals this season
- Crystal Palace have a better goal scoring record (8) but a poorer defensive record (6)
- Majority of the teama s head to head fixtures in the last 6 games have ended in a draw (Spurs 1 win, Crystal Palace 1 win, Draws 4)
- Since Pardew took over, Palace have scored 16 goals from set pieces
Man to Watch
Although Cabaye has no figures that are prominent to state, he has been a brilliant addition to the Crystal Palace. One could say that his presence has been the key reason the other attacking players such as Puncheon, Sakho and Bolase have performed. The Frenchman not only stands as a concrete cover for the back four but also stands as an attacking threat through his deep play making abilities as well as excellent positioning. Cabaye will act as a catalyst to Palacea s counter attacking football and will be crucial if the London side looks to win the derby.
Tottenham 1-2 Crystal Palace
Tottenham are no doubt riding high on confidence after their first league victory as well as a Europa League win. However, Crystal Palace are an in form side and are well rested and 6 places above Spurs. Their counter attacking and fast paced football will be a tad too much for the unpredictable North-London side.
Blast from the Past