Tottenham Hotspur will be looking to make it three wins in three under new boss Jose Mourinho, when they take on AFC Bournemouth on Saturday.
Tottenham Hotspur will be aiming to continue their winning start under newly appointed manager Jose Mourinho, when they lock horns with Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth side at home this weekend.
Having sacked Mauricio Pochettino earlier this month, the North Londoners brought in former Chelsea and Manchester United boss Mourinho as a replacement. The Portuguese kicked off his reign with Spurs with a 3-2 win over West Ham United last weekend – their first win in the Premier League since September.
Tottenham, then, came from behind to beat Greek outfit Olympiacos 4-2 in the UEFA Champions League earlier this week. Currently 10th in the league table, the Lilywhites can jump up to the fifth place with a win on Saturday, provided results elsewhere go their way.
Bournemouth are just a point and a place below Tottenham in the table. The Cherries have won just one of their last seven outings (D3 L3) – a 1-0 triumph over Manchester United, following which they lost 2-1 to Newcastle United and Wolves. Eddie Howe will be hoping to guide his team back to winning ways or at least come away with a point from their trip to the capital this weekend.
Ahead of this enticing match-up coming our way on Saturday afternoon, we at The Hard Tackle take a closer look at both the teams.
Team News & Tactics
Captain and first-choice goalkeeper Hugo Lloris remains sidelined until the new year, while Erik Lamela is also set to miss out due to a thigh problem. Ben Davies is also ruled out for Tottenham owing to the ankle injury he picked up against West Ham. Mourinho has used his trusted 4-2-3-1 formation in his first two matches in charge and will stick with the same on Saturday.
Paulo Gazzaniga should continue in goal for Spurs. Davinson Sanchez could make way for Jan Vertonghen as Toby Alderweireld’s central defensive partner as Jose would want to keep his players fresh ahead of a busy period. Danny Rose is the obvious pick at left-back, while Serge Aurier, who scored a goal in the midweek clash, is expected to slot in at right-back.
Eric Dier was unceremoniously substituted in the first half against Olympiacos by Mourinho after Spurs had let in two goals. However, the England international could be reinstated to the two-man midfield pivot for Saturday’s fixture alongside Tanguy Ndombele, who will be replacing Harry Winks to make his first start under the new manager.
Christian Eriksen, despite making an impact in the last game, is expected to remain on the bench. Dele Alli ought to continue as the No. 10 for Tottenham, flanked on either side by the dangerous duo of Lucas Moura and Son Heung-min. Spearheading the attack for the Lilywhites will be star striker Harry Kane.
Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Gazzaniga; Aurier, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Rose; Dier, Ndombele; Lucas, Alli, Son, Kane
Bournemouth have a host of injury problems to contend with heading into the weekend clash. Manager Howe will have to make do without the services of Junior Stanislas, David Brooks, Charlie Daniels, Josh King and Andrew Surman all of whom are out with injuries.
Lloyd Kelly is also a doubt for the Cherries having picked up a thigh injury two weeks ago. However, there is some good news as Dominic Solanke and Ryan Fraser are expected to be available for selection for the trip to London. Simon Francis is suspended after being sent off last week, while Philip Billing will also serve out a one-match ban due to accumulation of yellow cards.
Howe is expected to switch back to the 4-4-1-1 formation after setting his team up with a three-man backline last time out. Aaron Ramsdale has impressed in goal for Bournemouth this term and ought to continue between the sticks. Adam Smith and Diego Rico should slot in as the two full-backs with Simon Cook and Nathan Ake pairing up at the heart of the defence.
On-loan Liverpool starlet Harry Wilson is a shoe-in on the right flank given his goal-scoring form, while summer signing Arnaut Danjuma could get a look in on the left. Lewis Cook should hold on to his place in the middle of the park, with Jefferson Lerma partnering him in place of the suspended Billing.
Having shrugged of the knock he picked up last week, Fraser, who has been linked with a shock January move to Liverpool, is likely to take up the free role in behind the main striker Callum Wilson.
Probable Lineup (4-4-1-1): Ramsdale; Smith, Cook, Ake, Rico; Harry Wilson, Lerma, Cook, Danjuma; Fraser; Callum Wilson
- Tottenham Hotspur have won all four of their Premier League home games against Bournemouth by an aggregate score of 13-0.
- Bournemouth have won just one of their eight Premier League encounters against Spurs (D1 L6), though it did come in their last meeting back in May earlier this year.
- Tottenham have kept fewer clean sheets than any other Premier League side this season (1), with that shutout coming against Crystal Palace in September. The last time they had kept just one clean sheet in their opening 13 Premier League games was in 2012-13 under Andre Villas-Boas.
- Since the start of last season, Bournemouth winger Ryan Fraser has provided more assists than any other player in the Premier League (17).
- This will be Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho’s first home league match in charge of the club. None of the last five permanent Tottenham managers have lost their first such game (W3 D2) since Martin Jol lost 2-3 against Charlton in November 2004.
Player to Watch
After having struggled in the initial parts of the season under former boss Mauricio Pochettino, Dele Alli has burst into life since Mourinho took over the reins. The 23-year-old was one of Spurs’ standout players in the derby win against West Ham, where he got an assist to his name.
The England international followed it up with another impressive performance in the midweek clash against Olympiacos, scoring Tottenham’s first goal that started the comeback. Having earned plenty of praise from his new manager, Alli will be keen to build on his recent displays and reach his top level once again.
Tottenham Hotspur 3-1 Bournemouth
Bournemouth have won just one of their last eight games in all competitions and are without a victory in their last four games on the road. Tottenham picked up their second win under Mourinho earlier this week, showing great fight and determination to come back from a difficult situation and will be keen on making it three in three.
There is no denying that Spurs have problems at the back, and Bournemouth most certainly have the ability to exploit that. However, as was seen in the last two games, the Lilywhites will be hard to stop in front of goal and as a result, we at The Hard Tackle expect Mourinho’s men to make it three wins in a row in all competitions.