Tottenham Hotspur will hope to continue their winning ways when they travel to Vitality Stadium to lock horns with AFC Bournemouth.

The games in the Premier League continue to hit viewers fast and robust as Tottenham Hotspur prepare for their third game within six days. They travel to the coastal region of England to take on AFC Bournemouth on matchday 34.

After a near-perfect 2018/19, Tottenham have gone into what can only be described as turmoil this season. Daniel Lewy switched Mauricio Pochettino for Jose Mourinho in November, who was able to bring the club to life temporarily before hitting a string of poor results. They were battered and knocked out of the UEFA Champions League by RB Leipzig who put four unanswered goals past them.

Spurs faced Manchester United first after football restarted, drawing 1-1 against them. Since that, they have won two games and lost once. Their previous outing came against Everton on Monday, which they won thanks to a shot from Giovani lo Celso which found its course into the net after deflecting off Michael Keane.

Far from his 'best'. (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)

Far from his ‘best’. (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)

Bournemouth boast of a worse story, though. They sit just above rock bottom Norwich in the table with 27 points – four off safety right now. The turn of the year has not treated them well. They have won just two games in 2020, losing ten times. They would be hoping for a favour from either of Newcastle or Burnley who will go against Watford and West Ham respectively this midweek.

Eddie Howe’s men travelled to Manchester in an attempt to take some points off an in-form Manchester United but were hit for five within 60 minutes despite scoring the opener. The English manager has registered just one win over Jose Mourinho, tieing one game and losing five.

The previous fixture between these two sides ended in a 3-2 win for Spurs which was Mourinho’s second PL game in charge of the London outfit. Dele Alli scored a double for Tottenham that day as Moussa Sissoko added the third. Harry Wilson was able to make the net bulge twice through his efforts. The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at this fixture.

Team News & Tactics

AFC Bournemouth

Wilson returns for Bournemouth. (Picture Courtesy - AFP/Getty Images)

Wilson returns for Bournemouth. (Picture Courtesy – AFP/Getty Images)

Eddie Howe will have to cater to several injuries ahead of the game against Spurs, with Simon Francis, Charlie Daniels, and Jack Stacey out because of injuries. Steve Cook and Andrew Surman are doubtful but could be given the green light for this game.

Aaron Ramsdale will continue in goal for Bournemouth. The youngster has kept the joint lowest amount of clean sheets in the league this season among first-choice goalkeepers. The duo of Nathan Ake and Lloyd Kelly will screen him from the heart of defence as Adam Smith and Diego Rico provide width from the back.

David Brooks and Junior Stanislas will start the game as wide midfielders on the right and left respectively. The former of the two was setting a lot of high expectations before his horrible injury earlier this season but has not been performing at that level since project restart. Lewis Cook and Jefferson Lerma are expected to feature in the double pivot.

Callum Wilson returns to the lineup from injury and will start alongside partner in crime Joshua King. Dominic Solanke is also in contention to start alongside Wilson, but his one goal in 60 games in the Premier League does not justify his place as a starting striker.

Probable Lineup (4-4-2): Ramsdale; Smith, Ake, Kelly, Rico; Brooks, Cook, Lerma, Stanislas; Wilson, King

Tottenham Hotspur

No Dier for Spurs for the next four games. (Picture Courtesy - AFP/Getty Images)

No Dier for Spurs for the next four games. (Picture Courtesy – AFP/Getty Images)

There are no fresh injury concerns for Jose Mourinho to take care of; in fact, Dele Alli could be in for a return tomorrow after missing the game vs Everton. Japhet Tanganga and Juan Foyth are still out and are unlikely to return this season.

However, there are more significant problems for Mourinho. They will be without Eric Dier tomorrow following his four-game ban after jumping into the stands and confronting a fan in their FA Cup defeat to Norwich City.

Dier will be replaced by Jan Vertonghen in the heart of defence partnering compatriot Toby Alderweireld. Serge Aurier and Ben Davies will flank the two Belgians on the right and left respectively. This four-man backline will screen captain Hugo Lloris who will hold the fort for Spurs between the posts.

The midfield will be primarily made up of a double pivot of Harry Winks and Moussa Sissoko who kept the Everton midfield at bay in the last game. Ahead of them, Erik Lamela will start in the attacking midfield role ahead of Giovani lo Celso who will be rested to avoid fatigue.

Harry Winks will lead the line for The Chickens and will hope to add to his 13 goals to the season. He will be aided by Heung-Min Son on the left and Steven Bergwijn on the right. The latter came on for the former on the weekend, but the two will start together tomorrow over Lucas Moura who has not scored a goal in the league since mid-December against Wolverhampton Wanderers. He has also failed to provide an assist in the league since the first week of February.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Lloris; Aurier, Aldeweireld, Vertonghen, Davies; Sissoko, Winks; Bergwijn, Lamela, Son; Kane

Key Stats

  • Tottenham Hotspur and AFC Bournemouth have met nine times in the Premier League. The record stands in favour of Spurs as 7-1-1.
  • Out of the seven times, Eddie Howe has come across Jose Mourinho, he has won once and lost five times.
  • The last times these sides met at the Vitality Stadium, Bournemouth scraped a 1-0 win thanks to a Nathan Ake header in injury time. Heung-Min Son and Juan Foyth were sent off in this game, three minutes before and after half time respectively.
  • Spurs have put 25 goals past Bournemouth in nine games, conceding just five.
  • Harry Kane is the top scorer in this fixture with seven goals in just as many appearances.

Player to watch

Harry Kane

Tottenham will be relying on Kane's expertise in front of goal. (Image courtesy: AFP/Getty)

Tottenham will be relying on Kane’s expertise in front of goal. (Image courtesy: AFP/Getty)

Harry Kane is still one of the best strikers in the world even though he has hit some sort of rough patch over the past two years. And his numbers are proof of the same. He ended last season with 17 goals, five off the top berth. He has managed to register 13 this season, the highest in the Spurs squad.

The Englishman has played all games since the resumption and has scored twice, one goal each against Sheffield United and West Ham. He boasts of a spectacular record vs AFC Bournemouth with seven goals. We can expect him to add to this and his overall tally for the season tomorrow as he comes against a frail defence.

Prediction

AFC Bournemouth 2-2 Tottenham Hotspur

AFC Bournemouth are admittedly on a poor run of form and could well be on their way out of the top division. That said, Tottenham Hotspur are not doing too well in the league, either. They have lost 11 games this season and won just 13. Moreover, Spurs have one of the worst away forms in the Premier League, sitting on 13 with only three wins out of 16 games. They have lost four of their last five away games in the Prem.

Eddie Howe will undoubtedly be motivated to take his side out of the relegation zone, while Jose Mourinho will intend to rise above their town rivals Arsenal who dropped points yesterday against Leicester City. However, neither of the two teams’ form suggests that they will be able to pull off a win tomorrow.

 

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