Tottenham Hotspur will be playing their first-ever match in their new stadium as they host Crystal Palace at the Tottenham Hotspur Arena on Wednesday.

Tottenham will become the first club to play a home game at two different stadiums within a single Premier League season when they welcome Crystal Palace at the Tottenham Hotspur Arena this week.

The North London giants are winless in their last five league matches and are running the risk of losing out on the top-four race, with Manchester United and Chelsea pushing on. But, they will hope for the upturn of fortune when they host Crystal Palace in their new home turf on Wednesday.

Spurs are coming on the back of an unlucky 2-1 defeat to Liverpool last weekend, meaning any more slip-ups could allow both their league rivals in United and Chelsea to move over them in the league table.

As for Palace, they secured an impressive 2-0 win over lowly Huddersfield Town in their last game but things could be much more challenging against a Tottenham side, who are often revered as one of the most well-balanced teams in Europe.

The Eagles are currently dawdling in the mid-table but collecting all three points against Tottenham will allow them to climb over 12th placed AFC Bournemouth in the league standings.

And here, at the Hard Tackle, we take a look both of these sides ahead of their highly anticipated encounter on Wednesday.

Team News & Tactics

Tottenham Hotspur

Mauricio Pochettino has been dealt with a host of injury-related problems ahead of his side’s encounter with Crystal Palace this week. Erik Lamela and Fernando Llorente are both ruled out along with key midfielder Eric Dier while Serge Aurier is unlikely to feature, due to a hamstring problem. Harry Winks is fit again and is likely to be involved in some part.

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 29: Eric Dier of Tottenham Hotspur shakes hands with Mauricio Pochettino, Manager of Tottenham Hotspur after being substituted off during the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City at Wembley Stadium on October 29, 2018 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Pochettino will continue to miss out on the services of Eric Dier. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

As for the formation, the Argentine is likely to stick to his 3-4-1-2 formation, where the trusted defensive trifecta of Toby Alderweireld, Davinson Sanchez and Jan Vertonghen will all retain their places in the starting lineup.

Elsewhere, Aurier’s likely absence means Kieran Trippier is a guaranteed starter in the right wing-back slot while Ben Davies might get the nod ahead of Danny Rose on the opposite flank. Trippier, however, will need to be wary of his defensive duties, especially when facing Wilfried Zaha this week.

With both Dier and Winks ruled out, Pochettino will once again have to rely on the services of Moussa Sissoko at the base of Spurs’ 3-4-1-2. The Frenchman will be partnered by Christian Eriksen, who will operate in a slightly advanced midfield role.

The Dane will look to combine with the lone attacking midfielder in Dele Alli, who is likely to return to his customary role after being deployed in a wider role against Liverpool. Alli will be tasked with the responsibility of providing the creative spark in the final third while the Tottenham attack will be led by Son Heung-Min and Harry Kane.

Probable Lineup (3-4-1-2): Lloris; Alderweireld, Sanchez, Vertonghen; Trippier, Sissoko, Eriksen, Davies; Alli; Kane, Heung-Min.

Crystal Palace

Unlike Spurs, Crystal Palace will have minimal injury worries to deal with coming into this fixture, with Mamadou Sakho being their only injury-related absentee this week, Roy Hodgson confirmed in Tuesday’s press conference.

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 15: Mamadou Sakho of Crystal Palace reacts during the Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Leicester City at Selhurst Park on December 15, 2018 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)

Mamadou Sakho will be Crystal Palace’s only injury-related absentee this week. (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)

That means Scott Dann could continue to deputize for the injured Sakho at the heart of the Palace defence. The veteran defender will be partnered by the ever-present figure of James Tomkins in the four-man backline while Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Patrick van Aanholt are both guaranteed starters in the full-back positions.

Wan-Bissaka, in particular, could play a key role, against the attack-minded nature of Ben Davies on the right flank. And with the young defender known for his defensive solidity, it will be interesting to see who comes out on top.

Hodgson could make one little alternation in midfield, with Max Meyer likely to make way for James McArthur. The Scot’s hard-working attitude and impressive work-rate could be useful in dealing with the technically gifted midfielders of Tottenham.

McArthur will be partnered by Luka Milivojevic and Jeffrey Schlupp in central midfield, where the former’s excellent deliveries from set-pieces could cause problems for the Tottenham defence.

And in attack, Michy Batshuayi could once again be preferred ahead of Christian Benteke and the Belgian will be partnered by the wide-duo of Wilfried Zaha and Andros Townsend.

Predicted Lineup (4-3-3): Guaita; Wan-Bissaka, Tomkins, Dann, van Aanholt; McArthur, Milivojevic, Schlupp; Townsend, Batshuayi, Zaha.

Key Stats

  • Crystal Palace have an impressive scoring record on the road, of late, having scored at least two goals in six of their last seven away matches.
  • Tottenham Hotspur have an excellent record against Crystal Palace, winning all of their last seven league games against the Eagles.
  • Tottenham have kept a clean sheet in 5 of their last 6 home matches against Crystal Palace in all competitions.
  • Tottenham have won 1-0 in each of their last five Premier League matches against Palace, the longest run of consecutive identical results between two sides in the history of the competition.
  • Palace are winless in their last six away league games against Spurs, failing to score in their last five.

Player to Watch

Wilfried Zaha

BURNLEY, ENGLAND - MARCH 02: Wilfried Zaha of Crystal Palace looks on during the Premier League match between Burnley FC and Crystal Palace at Turf Moor on March 02, 2019 in Burnley, United Kingdom. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Can Wilfried Zaha make a difference against Tottenham? (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Wilfried Zaha is arguably the most in-form player coming into this fixture, having notably secured a brace of assists in his side’s comfortable 2-0 win over Huddersfield Town last weekend.

The former Manchester United star has now nine attacking returns in his last ten Premier League matches and with Tottenham Hotspur struggling with lack of form, this could be an excellent opportunity for Zaha to extend his record this week.

His pace and willingness take on defenders could be a challenging task, especially for the Tottenham wingbacks, nearly all of who have lacked defensive solidity this season. That means the 26-year-old will have the opportunity to exploit the gaps left by the marauding wing-backs, which could definitely spell trouble for the Lilywhites.

Prediction

Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 Crystal Palace

Although Tottenham are winless for five league matches, they have been largely unlucky throughout the past few weeks. And with Lilywhites set to kickstart a new era at a new stadium, we could expect the home side to churn out a narrow 1-0 win over Palace, who have had a topsy-turvy record in their last five matches.

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