The Premier League is approaching the end and this game-week it will resume at White Hart Lane when an in-form Spurs take on Bournemouth in North London on Saturday afternoon.
Spurs have been the best side at home this season. Having won the last 11 matches on the spin at the fabled White Hart Lane, it’s natural for Pochettino and his young and vibrant Tottenham to be bouncing with confidence.
Their last win came against Watford, an emphatic 4-0 victory, which saw them temporarily reduce the gap between themselves and Chelsea to four points until the latter beat Eddie Howe’s Cherries at the Vitality Stadium to restore their 7 point cushion at the top. With another opportunity to apply some scoreboard pressure owing to Spurs playing a day earlier, it is imperative that they maintained their focus ahead of what is, by all accounts, a tricky fixture.
Bournemouth have had a steady campaign, if anything, under Eddie Howe. With only one defeat in the last 6, the Cherries can have a go at any side on their day, which was best illustrated at Anfield when they came back from a 2-1 deficit to draw 2-2, in a game they really should have grabbed all three points.
Bournemouth have had some difficult results in the past against Tottenham, especially the 5-1 defeat last season at home still ripe in memory. They are a much assured side now 16 months on from that dreadful loss, but Eddie Howe has expressed his admiration of Spurs laced with a bit of caution in the pre-match press conference – naming them as one of the two toughest opponents they faced last season alongside Manchester City. But if Bournemouth were to improve on their current league position (15th), these are the games they will have to avoid a defeat in.
Tottenham Hotspur defender Danny Rose (knee) is still out but Victor Wanyama (back) has trained with the squad and is available for selection. Goalkeeper Michel Vorm (knee) will be assessed. Midfielders Harry Winks (ankle) and Erik Lamela (hip) will both miss the rest of the season.
Bournemouth midfielder Dan Gosling (knee) is a doubt, according to the manager, but defender Tyrone Mings is available after suspension. Long-term absentees Callum Wilson and Andrew Surman (both knee) remain out.
- Two of the three league games between these sides have seen the opening goal scored in the opening minute, with the other game finishing 0-0.
- These two clubs have won the most penalties in the Premier League this season – Bournemouth have won 10 and Spurs have won eight.
- The Cherries have won only once in their last 10 away Premier League games (D3 L6) and none in the last six.
- If Tottenham win this match they’ll reach 71 points from 32 games – one more point than they achieved in the whole of 2015-16 (70).
Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur) v Tyrone Mings (AFC Bournemouth)
Dele Alli has, much like compatriot Harry Kane, proved why the hype surrounding him is to some extent, absolutely justified. Nominated for the PFA Young Player of the Year award, the 21-year old has had another prolific season for the North London club, scoring 16 goals and creating 5 more, taking his tally to 21 (goals+assists) in 28 starts.
Besides his ability to find spaces to run into and exploit with the ball which undeniably defies his age and experience, what fascinates me about this attacking midfielder is his incredible conversion rate which puts several strikers to shame. For a player who takes under 3 shots per game, his goal return is ridiculous and it is this ruthlessness that runs throughout the Spurs side which will be key for them to finish the season strongly.
Tyrone Mings has had a difficult period at the South Coast club – what with the long-term injury he suffered that ruled him for most of last season.
The left back despite being fully fit, has been unable to be involved with the Cherries in the last few weeks, due to the five match suspension he received for a stamp on Zlatan Ibrahimovic at Old Trafford. With the 26-year old being back now, the defender will be looking to help his side and the manager as well as he can, to see them finish as high as possible in the league table starting from Saturday’s tough encounter in North London.
Spurs to keep their faint hopes alive on another comfortable afternoon at White Hart Lane.
Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 Bournemouth