What a bad week it’s been for Tottenham. Knocked out of the Europa League by Fiorentina, defeated in the final of the League Cup by Chelsea and hurt in their quest for the top four by victories for Liverpool, Manchester United and Arsenal – you’d be forgiven for thinking these Spurs lads had a somewhat damaged psyche heading into this clash. Swansea should be feeling altogether better than their London counterparts too. The Swans have recorded back to back wins in the league with 10 points being garnered from a possible 15 – including a comeback win against Manchester United. The Swans are doing well in eighth place and should be confident after taking the position away from West Ham recently. This should prove a real test for Mauricio Pochettino’s men.
Mauricio Pochettino has no new injury worries ahead of this game which is a great testament to the fitness of his chargers. The Spurs manager may opt for a little squad rotation given the amount of matches recently coupled with the potential for mental fatigue.
The Welsh side have just two injuries at the moment but neither are due back any time soon. Gylfi Sigurdsson and Kyle Bartley are both missing with hamstring and knee injuries respectively. Both are due back around the start of April.
Spurs have beaten Swansea in all three of their home games against the Welsh club.
Spurs have kept clean sheets in their last two home victories over Swansea.
Swansea have lost their last six Premier League games against Spurs.
Swansea have taken just one point from their previous seven matches with Spurs in the Premier League.
Christian Eriksen has enjoyed a much improved season in 2014/15. The Danish international arrived in London after a cut price £8m move from Dutch giants Ajax. After initially struggling to fully impose himself on the Premier League, Eriksen has now become a key figure in the race for the top four and his form will surely be one of the deciding factors in that battle for the coveted Champions League places.
So far this season, Eriksen has managed to bag an impressive nine goals with many of these coming in the latter stages of vital matches. Some of them have been from free kicks too which proves what a talent Eriksen is with the dead ball.
But Eriksen is far from a set piece limited player. The silky creator has an excellent 83% passing accuracy to complement the 62 chances he’s created for his teammates – that’s 2.63 p90. Eriksen is also a skilled dribbler (64.81% successful take-ons) and his ability to make space by “skinning” his opposite number has been vital for Spurs this term.
Jonjo Shelvey has endured a very topsy turvy season thus far. The capped England man has shown promise and frustration in equal measure with long range goals and silly suspensions equal in occurrence. Between scoring long range bullets and elbowing his way to suspensions, Shelvey has displayed a good range of passing but his carefree attitude must be eradicated if he’s to improve further – three defensive errors this season are testament to that.
Shelvey’s decision making is also something I’d like to see improved, especially in his shooting. 30% shooting accuracy is not high enough for someone who can strike the ball as well as him so I’m hopeful he can improve that aspect of his game soon by picking and choosing when to shoot rather than using his usual scatter gun approach.
However, in good form he is and his power as an attacking midfielder is there for all to see. So far this term, the former Liverpool man has competed well in the air and has won 52% of his headed duels – a decent figure. Shelvey has also proved himself to be competent with the ball at his feet with 58% of his attempted take-ons proving successful.
If Shelvey can curb his rush of blood that seems to cloud his judgement at key moments then I think he could become a competitive Premier League midfielder. Garry Monk will be hoping that this form continues and that his upwards trajectory stays steady and true.
My prediction for this game is going to be 2-1 to Spurs. I’m sure the Lily Whites will be desperate to get a result here and I think they’re well capable of it despite their League Cup heartache – after all, they didn’t play badly against Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea.
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