Tottenham have the chance to get a grip on their league season when they face Bournemouth with the third spot still not secure.
Tottenham sit in the third spot on the Premier League table with two games to go, but their place here is still not concrete enough for them to be relaxing yet. They face Bournemouth away from home, and the Cherries certainly are a threat to many teams as they have shown this season. Moreover, Spurs are not in the best run of form, losing four of their last five games, including a 1-0 loss at home to Ajax.
Mauricio Pochettino will be hoping the setback in the Champions League will not affect them domestically, although they did lose to West Ham during the last matchday. That loss was undoubtedly a blow to Spurs getting a grip on a top-four place, although a win here at the Vitality Stadium will go a long way in doing that.
Bournemouth have not had the best of times in the last few weeks, during which they have only a single win in five games, with the previous two matches ending in a draw and defeat. The Cherries sit safely in fourteenth place on the table and with no scope of qualifying for Europe next season Eddie Howe’s men have nothing to play for virtually, but the manager will be hoping to put up a good show on their last home appearance of the season.
The Cherries are not having the best of times at the Vitality stadium in the last few months. After thumping Chelsea here with a scoreline of 4-0, Howe’s men have only recorded two victories in the subsequent 12 games since and will be hoping to finish the home season with a win over Tottenham.
Team News & Tactics
Bournemouth have a massive injury crisis at the club with as many as nine first-teamers doubtful for the Spurs clash. Charlie Daniels, Lewis Cook, Simon Francis, Andrew Surman, Diego Rico, Adam Smith, and Junior Stanislas are all out of the clash. Additionally, Dan Gosling and Nathaniel Clyne face late fitness tests to determine their place in the lineup.
Howe will have to turn his attention towards Emerson Hyndman and hand him his first start of the season in the Premier League. Hyndman came on as a substitute against Southampton the last time out for Gosling.
Luckily for Bournemouth, they can still call upon the services of Joshua King and Callum Wilson for the Spurs clash. Wilson has had a hand in 10 goals in his last nine Premier League games, scoring six and assisting four, as he hopes to continue this good run heading into the end of the season.
Probable Lineup (3-4-1-2): Boruc; Mepham, Cook, Ake; Fraser, Lerma, Hyndman, Simpson; Brooks; Wilson, King
Tottenham suffered a blow when Jan Vertonghen went off injured against Ajax following his head clash with teammate Toby Alderweireld and Ajax goalkeeper Onana. The Belgian will understandably be missing from the roster and Pochettino will be hoping he returns in time for the second leg against Ajax.
There are other notable absentees in Harry Kane, Serge Aurier and Harry Winks, all of whom will miss the Bournemouth game, although Pochettino could call upon injury-prone midfielder Erik Lamela once more. The Argentine is back in the squad after a two-month injury lay off, which has just been part of other problems.
Juan Foyth could come back in the side at right-back, while Davinson Sanchez should line up in central defence alongside Alderweireld. Ben Davies is also in for a recall at left-back. Son Heung-min, who was suspended for the Ajax clash is also available to start and will do so up front in the absence of Kane and with support in attack from Dele Alli, Christian Eriksen and Lucas Moura.
Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Lloris; Foyth, Sanchez, Alderweireld, Davies; Dier, Wanyama; Moura, Eriksen, Alli; Son
- Bournemouth have lost six of their seven Premier League meetings with Spurs (D1), netting just two goals in those matches.
- Tottenham have won two of their three Premier League away games against Bournemouth, winning 5-1 in 2015-16 and 4-1 last term.
- Tottenham average 3.1 goals-per-game in the Premier League against Bournemouth (22 goals in seven games), their best such record against any side in the competition.
- Bournemouth are winless in five Premier League home games (D2 L3), losing the last two in a row.
- Bournemouth have never lost their last home Premier League game of the season, drawing one and winning twice.
Player to Watch
With five goals so far against Bournemouth, Son has probably enjoyed playing against the Cherries more alongside Watford against whom the South Korean has five goals too. From an attacking perspective, he is vital to the side, while there could be added the importance for Tottenham’s stuttering form.
Son’s availability once more will be a boost for Pochettino, and it will be necessary for the attacker to garner some playing time before the crucial leg with Ajax. With the Premier League trophy out of Tottenham’s reach, they still need to ensure a third-place finish as well as gather the spirit to beat Ajax in Amsterdam, for which they need Son at his very best.
Bournemouth 1-2 Tottenham
Tottenham have not fared well in their last few games, losing four of the five they have played in all competitions. The Bournemouth clash is a chance to get back to their original form and show what they are capable of, before the Ajax game. Spurs are expected to beat Bournemouth in this encounter, although anything can happen in football.
The 4-0 victory over Chelsea earlier this year showed a particular character in this Bournemouth side, but they have failed to bring that spirit again in subsequent games. The Cherries have nothing left to play for this season, and despite this game being their last home game for the season, Tottenham are better equipped to beat them this time.