Tottenham Hotspur will host in-form Crystal Palace in the Premier League as Mauricio Pochettino looks to end a three-game winless run.
Tottenham may have had a solid summer transfer window after more than 18 months without signing a player, but that hasn’t improved their results. Spurs are without a win in their last three games since winning at home to Aston Villa on opening day. Since that victory Spurs have drawn against Manchester City and Arsenal while losing a thrilling battle against Newcastle United.
The international break could not have come at a better time for Spurs. They have continued their form from the end of last season where they lost 7 of the last 12 league games. The previous game against Arsenal was an excellent example of Spurs’ problems when they allowed their rivals to come back from two goals down to draw the game.
The Palace game, however, is trickier than we think. Spurs will have to work their way through a stubborn Palace rearguard, similar to Newcastle. However, Pochettino will be hoping to gather all the positives from their recent results against top-six opponents, and motivate his squad to start performing and challenging for honours at the top.
Crystal Palace meanwhile are on a good run of results, winning three on the bounce in all competitions since their loss to Sheffield United in the league. This run also saw Palace pick up three points at Old Trafford against Manchester United. Their narrow win over Aston Villa in the last matchday puts them above Spurs in the table.
Roy Hodgson will be hoping his side take inspiration from Newcastle United’s performance at the Tottenham stadium to defy the odds and collect yet another impressive scalp of a big-six team away from home. To achieve such a result, Hodgson will demand his side put in a disciplined display with the objective of at least collecting a point against Spurs.
Team News & Tactics
After early-season problems with injuries, Pochettino can finally look forward to selecting from a near full squad. The likes of Eric Dier and Kyle Walker-Peters are all back in training, along with new signings Ryan Sessegnon and Tanguy Ndombele. Spurs’ record signing missed last weekend with a thigh injury but has since returned to full training this past week.
The international break did come with its costs, as new signing Giovani Lo Celso was injured playing for Argentina. The former Real Betis man will have to wait at least until November to make his first start for the club after being sidelined with a hip injury. Fellow Argentine Juan Foyth also remains out with an ankle problem he picked up during pre-season.
Davinson Sanchez is also reportedly doubtful to take part in the Palace game after suffering an ankle problem. Pochettino might look to continue with Belgian pair Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen in central defence. Harry Winks and Moussa Sissoko are expected to play in central midfield, despite the return of Ndombele.
Pochettino has good options of attackers for the Palace game. Christian Eriksen, Son Heung-min, Erik Lamela, Lucas Moura, Dele Alli and Harry Kane are all available for selection. Pochettino might go with Eriksen, Lamela, and Son to support Harry Kane up front.
Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Lloris; Walker-Peters, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Rose; Sissoko, Winks; Lamela, Eriksen, Son; Kane
Hodgson will be happy to select from the choice of players that have won the last three games in all competitions. The manager does have a few injury problems in his side with Scott Dann, James Tomkins, and Martin Kelly all set to miss the Spurs game with respective injuries, but there is a feeling Hodgson has the area covered.
Hodgson will look to continue fielding a 4-3-3 formation that has worked well so far this season. Gary Cahill and Mamadou Sakho are primed to start at the back with Joel Ward and Patrick van Aanholt providing support as the full-backs.
James McArthur is set to undergo a fitness test on the day of the game and should start if he passes. If not, James McCarthy could be in for a starting berth. Luka Milivojevic and Cheikhou Kouyate are nailed down for central midfield roles with former Tottenham star Andros Townsend, Jordan Ayew and Wilfried Zaha lining up in attack.
Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Guaita; Ward, Cahill, Sakho, van Aanholt; McArthur, Milivojevic, Kouyate; Townsend, Ayew, Zaha
1. Tottenham Clean Sheet – NO @ 1.66
2. Over 2.5 Match Goals @ 1.61
1. Wilfried Zaha to score anytime @ 5.50
- Tottenham have won their last eight Premier League games against Crystal Palace, conceding just one goal in that run.
- Crystal Palace are winless in their last seven away Premier League games against Spurs (D2 L5), failing to score in each of the previous six.
- Tottenham lost their last home Premier League London derby – a 0-1 defeat against West Ham in April.
- Tottenham have lost two of their last four home league games (W1 D1) – more than they had in their previous 30 in the Premier League at White Hart Lane.
- Crystal Palace’s last five Premier League away games against ‘big six’ sides have seen them pick up wins against Manchester City, Arsenal and Manchester United (L2).
Player to Watch
It is not very uncommon to have Harry Kane as the man to watch in the build-up to Tottenham’s games, but this time the period is quite crucial. The club are winless in the last three games, and Kane is coming back from a good outing with England. Kane needs to find his feet this season with Tottenham, although he has scored three goals already.
The fact that Tottenham are not able to provide the required incision in attack could be down to the negativity that surrounded the club in the last days of the transfer window. But with all that behind, Kane, with the help of his fellow attackers, needs to find his leadership boots and help Tottenham to genuinely challenge for trophies this season. A win over Crystal Palace could certainly kickstart such ambitions.
Tottenham Hotspur 1-1 Crystal Palace
Of course, there is a visible gulf in the quality of both teams, but Crystal Palace are in a good period this season, winning two and drawing one of their four games so far. Hodgson’s side have beaten Manchester United at Old Trafford, and they might have the formula worked out to beat Tottenham in North London.
Spurs, on the other hand, will be desperate to put a bad run of games behind them to collect three points only for the second time this season. However, Palace have been stubborn, and their defensive displays have been astute, something Spurs will find difficult to break down. Expect a low scoring game with the result that can go either side, but we are leaning towards a 1-1 draw.