After the derby drubbing in West London, Spurs will look to get their domestic campaign back on track against a team from South London this time in Neil Warnock’s unpredictable Palace when both teams face each other at the White Hart Lane come Saturday evening. A promising start against the league leaders for Pochettino’s side during midweek followed by sheer implosion, saw them make the short trip back home without a win at Stamford Bridge again, which stretches their already long wait for a win at Chelsea to 24 years now. The crushing defeat, their sixth in 14 games has left the North Londoners languishing in mid-table with 20 points, meaning the Argentine will be under some considerable pressure from the board to get a thumping result at the weekend.
The Eagles, on the other hand, suffered a rather shock defeat at Selhurst Park to a Benteke-inspired Aston Villa in midweek leaving them with just 13 points from the first 14 games, meaning the away side will have to pick some points in this crucial run-in of games and gather momentum. The inconsistency in the performance levels of Crystal Palace is there for all to see as the side was expected to build on the impressive victory at home to Liverpool, their previous game at Selhurst Park. But the fact that they failed to beat an Aston Villa team that was struggling to convert draws into wins and notably a team that was without a win for the last 9 games, adds to the misery. With just 5 ppoints from a possible 15 and as many as 3 defeats in the last 5, it’s time Neil Warnock turned the fortunes with a famous away win.
Pochettino will have a few players back before the game on the 6th of December but whether they could be available for contention remains to be seen. Forward Adebayor has been doing some light training after the back injury he suffered, will return to the fold on the 6th, Townsend and Rose have recovered from the Ankle and Chest injuries, but will require fitness tests and are widely expected to sit out of the weekend’s fixture. Kyle Walker though, is certain to miss out on the next two games at least with the defender still on the recovery table after stretching his groin.
Neil Warnock will be boosted by the return of Dwight Gayle who has made the much anticipated recovery from illness and will certainly be fit for the clash against Spurs. Meanwhile, Delaney and Johnson will need late fitness assessments prior to the game to ensure their availability for team selection. Mariappa, is the only long term absentee, with no definitive return date, as the defender is still recovering from a complex Knee Ligament injury.
Tottenham have won their last two league clashes against Crystal Palace without reply; they’ve not won three in a row since November 1989.
Palace have won only one of their last eight Premier League games (L5 D2).
Spurs are kings of the short corner, having taken 24 – more than any other team this season.
Crystal Palace have not claimed a single point from any of their three London derbies so far this season (level on zero with QPR).
It was a nervy 2-0 win for Tottenham under Tim Sherwood when these two sides met last season in January with Christian Eriksen and Jermain Defoe finding the net.
Harry Kane – Tottenham Hotspur
The 21-year old has been finding his feet at Spurs, now arguably one of the better players for Pochettino this season, scoring goals in both domestic and European exploits. In 10 appearances, Kane has scored twice, and could have added to his growing tally against Chelsea if not for the woodwork. He was noticeably impressive in the away game against Hull City where he scored the all-important equalizer that got them back in the game which they would go on to win. The youngster has also created 6 chances from open play this season that includes a direct assist. With a shot accuracy of 67% and a conversion rate of 13%, it is evident that Harry Kane has the potential to deliver the good when he’s trusted enough by the gaffer to be handed a start up top – in front of a creative midfield duo in Lamela and Eriksen. Tottenham are struggling to get goals this season and if one man could make a difference to that – it has has to got to be Harry Kane.
Yannick Bolasie – Crystal Palace
On his day, Bolasie poses a threat down the flanks, with his pace and trickery and the inherent ability to take on full-backs. He showed what he was capable of in the game against Liverpool where he proved to be a constant source of threat and recurring attacks down Liverpool’s inside right channel, a game they registered a resounding 3-1 win at. He’s created 17 chances from open play this season in 14 appearances that includes a couple of direct assists and has got himself on the score-sheet once, in the game against Everton. On an average he involves himself in 2 defensive actions per game and has so far enjoyed a 40% success in 1-v-1 duels. Given the space behind the full-backs that he could possibly get on Saturday offered by Tottenham’s nature to attack early at White Hart Lane and the subsequent failure to re-organize themselves in time, I for one would fancy him to score or create a goal or two.
A hard-fought home win against a dejected Palace side.
Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 Crystal Palace