This weekend will be Tottenham’s third consecutive away match and they will be hoping to return to winning ways. It won’t be easy as they will be facing an AFC Bournemouth team who are full of confidence after thrashing Hull City 6-1 last weekend. The meeting of the two clubs should be one of the matches of the weekend, as both sides play an entertaining brand of football. The emphasis is on the away side to show that they can recover from a couple of disappointing performances, especially if they are aiming to be involved in the title race for the second season running.
Bournemouth have had a mixed start to the season and there were doubts about their ability to push on after an excellent first campaign as a Premier League club. However, they put Hull to the sword last weekend, which was encouraging as their home form wasn’t great during their first year in the top flight. The signing of Jack Wilshere on loan has provided the squad with a boost and other players have stepped up their game as a result. Junior Stanislas was the star against Hull and the Cherries will look to use their pace to great effect once again this weekend. It won’t be easy to get a positive result, but they will look to attack Tottenham, providing a different sort of test to West Brom last weekend.
Tottenham were disappointing in their Champions League match against Leverkusen and they will be eager to put on a much better display on the South Coast. Mauricio Pochettino’s men are the only Premier League side that is still unbeaten and that shows how much they have improved under the Argentine. Although they won’t be targeting the league title this season, there is a good opportunity for them to compete once again. It is important that they win matches like these ones, but Pochettino will know the threat that is posed by Bournemouth. It won’t be a straight-forward win for the North London club.
In their two meetings last season, Tottenham ran out convincing winners on both occasions. This fixture finished 5-1 to the visitors, with Harry Kane (3), Mousa Dembele and Erik Lamela scoring the goals. This came after Matt Ritchie had given the home side an early lead. At White Hart Lane, Tottenham won by a 3-0 scoreline and it was Harry Kane (2) and Christian Eriksen that scored for the home side. Bournemouth will be happy that Kane is not going to feature this weekend as he continues his recovery from injury.
Bournemouth managed to score three first half goals for the first time in a Premier League match last weekend.
Tottenham have the best defence in the Premier League this season, conceding just four goals from their first eight fixtures.
The on loan Bournemouth midfielder will be keen to play well in this match as Tottenham are the rivals of his parent club. He is expected to return to play for Arsenal over the coming years and the away support will give him abuse during the game. It is up to Wilshere to prove that he can deal with that and put in a good performance. He has yet to find his feet at Bournemouth and is still building his match fitness. It is going to be a difficult match for the home side and Wilshere is one of their few top quality players. They need a good performance from him if they are to get a positive result. He has the intelligence to create chances for his team and will see this as a great opportunity to impress both Arsene Wenger and Gareth Southgate. At the age of 24, Wilshere needs to add consistency to his game and dominate matches such as this one. The reason for his loan move to Bournemouth was to prove that he can do both, it is now up to him to prove it.
Tottenham are still without Harry Kane and their attack has suffered during his absence. A positive for Mauricio Pochettino is that Dele Alli has found the form that he showed last season. There were concerns that the England international was going to suffer from the infamous second season syndrome, but his recent upturn in form has stopped further talk of that. He has now scored in both of his last two Premier League matches and there will be hope that he can continue that good form this weekend. Alli is excellent at finding space in the final third and is a decent finisher. He does waste some good chances at times, but he is young and this side of his game will improve. As Vincent Janssen is struggling to find his feet in the Premier League, Alli is Tottenham’s main goal threat and he may need to provide the goals this weekend.
The home side have a number of injury concerns with Harry Arter the latest casualty. Brad Smith, Max Gradel, Lewis Cook and Marc Pugh are also all set to miss out this weekend. Jack Wilshere is expected to start against the local rivals of his parent club.
Danny Rose could be fit in time to start against Bournemouth as he recovers from a foot injury. Toby Alderweireld is expected to be missing, with Kevin Wimmer set to start in centre defence. Harry Kane won’t be back until next month, which means that Vincent Janssen may start once again.
I expect Tottenham to return to winning ways this weekend as they have been excellent at bouncing back under Mauricio Pochettino. They have a talented squad and should be able to deal with the absences of Harry Kane and Toby Alderweireld. Bournemouth were excellent last season, but they are still some way beneath the top clubs. Although they are able to compete on their day, they can’t do so regularly and it will be a shock if they manage to get a positive result this weekend.
Bournemouth 1-3 Tottenham