Tottenham travel to Wales this weekend for a 1:30pm meeting with Swansea on Sunday. For Swansea this represents a chance to return to form, and begin to start proving again that the previous season was not just a one off. Spurs, on the other hand, are already in form, and will be looking to stretch their 5 game undefeated streak.
As previously mentioned, the Swans are struggling a little in the league. Not so much that they are candidates for relegation, but two wins in ten games means that they sit 13th in the table and are falling significantly short of the heights of last season. Although you would do well to find any fans that see Swansea as relegation candidates, they nonetheless sit only 3 points above the bottom three. An away win at Old Trafford in the FA Cup should serve as a confidence boost (despite the fact that they lost the same fixture in a league game in their next match), and now Tottenham will be vulnerable to a club seeking momentum.
That said, Tottenham have seen a pleasing turn in their fortunes since the sacking of Andre Villas-Boas. A 5 – 0 loss to Liverpool saw an end to the ex-Chelsea, and now ex-Tottenham manager too, but Spurs are undefeated in the league since. One draw and four wins, most notably against Manchester United away, means Sherwood has got off to almost the best possible start, with players like Adebayor and Eriksen benefiting from the new reign. In the league, Tottenham are only two points from a Champions League position, and European qualification is certainly their goal. That is what this match represents to the North Londoners, a continuation of their push for the top four.
Bony was perceived as a huge signing for Swansea in the summer, coming from Vitesse in Holland and scoring 51 goals in 69 games, but he has arguably failed to live up to that reputation since his arrival. He has only scored 6 league goals so far, but he is my key man by virtue of his current goal scoring form. He dramatically scored the winner against Manchester United in the FA cup, and his two goals against Manchester City, although in vain, were impressive nonetheless. If he can continue to score against the big teams, then Swansea will have a very good chance against Tottenham.
It is a similar story for Eriksen since he is my key man for Tottenham due to the form he has been in since the exit of Andre Villas-Boas. He has started 5 games in a row for Spurs having not made any appearances in any of the previous 5 to that. Moreover, he has scored 3 goals in that time and managed 1 assist as well. Another player coming from the Dutch league with massive hype around him, he has previously failed to produce anything spectacular that may have been expected of him. His luck seems to be changing under Sherwood though, and now I see him as a key figure for Spurs in this match and for the rest of the season.
Swansea have a massive 9 players currently injured. Michu, Dyer, Hernandez, Vorm and De Guzman are the biggest names absent from the squad, although the latter two are close to a return. Canas, Tiendalli, Monk and Lamah will also sit this one out.
Tottenham aren’t much better off with their injuries, and have 8 worries ahead of this one. Walker is out with no return date, while Vertonghen, Townsend, Lamela, Sigurdsson, Kaboul and Ranieri are all close to returns; some may even make it this weekend. Paulinho won’t be back until the end of January.
It should be a closely fought match, given that Swansea are the home team and due a win, and that Tottenham are on a nice winning streak. Ultimately it’s too far away from an even playing field and so I’m predicting a draw for this match.
Draw: 2 – 2