Tottenham will want to recover quickly from their Champions League elimination with a win over Bournemouth. Despite being the better side for the majority of the tie, they couldn’t overcome an experienced Juventus team and will now be looking for domestic success. That will come in the shape of another top-four finish and an FA Cup challenge. In the previous meeting of the two clubs this season, Spurs won 1-0 with a goal from Christian Eriksen. They will want a more convincing win this weekend.
Bournemouth remain in the relegation fight, but a six-point buffer to the bottom three means that they are in a great position to secure another season of Premier League football. This weekend poses a difficult challenge as they come up against one of the best teams in the division, but there is no pressure on them and they will know that a loss isn’t the end of the world. The Vitality Stadium can be a tough place to visit for top clubs and the Cherries will be looking to get another famous victory.
As things stand, Tottenham are five points clear of Chelsea in 5th place with a better goal difference. They are favourites to finish above the current champions and that would be an achievement in itself. Mauricio Pochettino is developing the club at an impressive speed and their Champions League campaign showed progress.
However, they need to be in the competition every year if they want to continue pushing forward, which is why a top four finish is required. In addition to their league campaign, Spurs would benefit from winning their first major trophy under the Argentine to build a winning mentality. They lacked the ability to manage the cup tie against Juventus, so the FA Cup will take priority. This is why they need to consolidate their league position as soon as possible, as it will allow them to go full-strength in the cup.
Ryan Fraser and Jordon Ibe are both doubts for the weekend, which leaves the club short on wide options. Marc Pugh will be missing for at least another week with a calf strain, while Tyrone Mings remains a long-term absentee.
Eric Dier could be missing for Spurs after suffering an injury against Juventus. Victor Wanyama is likely going to be the player to step into midfield if required. Toby Alderweireld is getting closer to full fitness, but he is not likely to feature on Sunday. The rest of the squad will be fit and available.
Two late goals have changed the result in Bournemouth’s last two matches. Dan Gosling’s 89th-minute equaliser secured a point for them at home against Newcastle two weeks ago, before Riyad Mahrez’s strike denied them a win only a week later.
Tottenham’s loss in 90 minutes to Juventus on Wednesday was their first in all competitions since December.
The Bournemouth midfielder has been one of the breakout stars of the season at the Vitality Stadium as he built on his summer’s success with the England U20 team to become a Premier League regular. Eddie Howe has spoken this week that the 21-year-old has a great chance of playing for the senior national squad very soon. Although that may seem ambitious, Cook can play himself into contention with a good performance against Tottenham this weekend. He has already been involved in a squad but didn’t make it on the pitch. That will only have whetted him appetite for more. The former Leeds United man is averaging 1.1 chances created and 2.9 ball recoveries per game. He can contribute in both halves of the pitch and the Cherries will need him to perform if they are to have any control in the central areas this weekend.
The Danish international has contributed only a goal and an assist in his last seven matches in all competitions. Tottenham will want him to finish the season strongly and a greater contribution in the final third will be required. He is currently on seven goals and seven assists in the Premier League. His target will be to break through the ten-mark for both, as that would represent a great season for him personally ahead of the World Cup. Bournemouth have shown that they can be liable to concede sloppy goals this season and the creativity of Eriksen could be too much for them to deal with. He will be key this weekend as he will be chances on the ball in the final third. If the 26-year-old plays well, Tottenham usually win. That will be the case this weekend.
Tottenham haven’t lost many matches recently, which is why their second-half performance against Juventus caused surprise. Their focus can now be on the domestic campaign and a win this weekend will put them in a strong position in the top four, especially as at least one of Manchester United and Liverpool will drop points. Bournemouth have been inconsistent this season. On their day, they can cause problems for a top-six team, but they have taken only two points from the last nine available. The visitors should have enough to claim the three points.
Bournemouth 0-2 Tottenham