The Premier League returns this weekend and one of the fixtures sees Tottenham host Bournemouth. Spurs have yet to win at their adopted home in the Premier League and that is a concerning statistic heading into this match. If they are to seriously challenge for the title, they need to sort out their home form sooner rather than later. During the four meetings between these two clubs since the Cherries were promoted to the top flight, Mauricio Pochettino’s side have won on three occasions and scored 12 goals in the process. This is a fixture that they do well in and they will be hoping it is the one to put an end to their Wembley hoodoo.
Despite their struggles at ‘home’, they are positioned well in third position and in touching distance of the Manchester clubs. They are currently five points off the top, but a win this weekend could narrow that, especially as Manchester United have a tricky match against Liverpool. Tottenham are now seen as one of the best teams in the Premier League and this year offers another good opportunity for them to lift the trophy. Although the temporary move to Wembley hasn’t helped, they have the talent to overcome it and this weekend should be viewed as a must-win fixture if they are to challenge at the top of the division.
Bournemouth have had a slow start to the season and find themselves in the bottom three. It is too early to panic as there are a lot of games left to be played and a couple of wins would lift them up the table. However, there will be concerns about their immediate future as they are set to face last season’s top two in their next three matches. It could get worse before it gets better, but Eddie Howe has proven himself to be a good manager and he will believe he can turn things around.
- Only two of Tottenham’s 14 league goals have come at Wembley this season. That is a damning statistic and they will be keen to put that right with a few goals this weekend.
- Bournemouth have only managed to score once on the road this season. If these two trends continue, there won’t be many goals on Saturday.
The striker has been in superb form during the last six weeks and has recovered from a slow start in August. Kane is starting to be appreciated across Europe, as he was recently nominated for the 2017 Ballon d’Or. Although he is seen to have little chance of making the final shortlist, it represents a step forward for him and he will be keen to use that momentum to fuel him over the coming months. Since the beginning of September, the striker has scored 15 goals across all competitions for club and country. There have only been two matches that he hasn’t scored in and it is difficult to see him fail to score on Saturday. Bournemouth have started the season in poor form and there will be chances for the 24-year-old in the final third on Saturday.
The former Chelsea player was seen as an ambitious signing during the summer transfer window, as Bournemouth spent an eye-watering £20 million for his services. It was a transfer record, but they bought him based on his successful loan spell last season. The Cherries were at their best when they had the Dutchman in their defence and they didn’t fully recover him after he was called back to Stamford Bridge. Although he has yet to pick up where he left off, there is no doubting his ability and once he does improve, the team will get a lot better as a result. Tottenham will have a lot of possession on Saturday and it will be key that the visitors are intelligent when they do have the ball. In Ake, they have a player that is comfortable in possession as shown by his pass success rate of 85.5%. He will be vital to launching attacks from deep and ensuring his team offer some offence.
Mousa Dembele is a doubt for this weekend as he continues to struggle with an ankle injury. Victor Wanyama is unlikely to feature, which means Eric Dier and Moussa Sissoko could be the two chosen to start in central midfield. Danny Rose and Erik Lamela are both making progress in their recoveries, but they are unlikely to play a part against Bournemouth.
Ryan Fraser and Josh King are both doubts for this weekend, but there is an expectation that they will pull through to start. Callum Wilson could feature after making an appearance for the Under-23 side during the week. Tyrone Mings and Adam Federici won’t be involved for the visitors.
It is difficult to back against Tottenham in this fixture, despite their poor record at Wembley. At some point, they will start to find their stride at their temporary home and there is no reason why that can’t start this weekend. They will be recharged after the international break and ready to step up their efforts in the Premier League, as the players will recognise that they have a great chance of winning the title this season if they can find consistency. Bournemouth will go into this match with nothing to lose and look to replicate the success that Burnley and Swansea City had at Wembley, but they are unlikely to achieve that.