The Premier League is drawing to its climax and this weekend could have big repercussions at both ends of the table. Tottenham face a difficult trip to in-form West Brom, who realise that they must win this weekend if they are to keep their slim hopes of surviving relegation alive. Meanwhile, the visitors could see their lead over Chelsea cut if they fail to win and their top-four place will be under threat. Both teams have something to play for and know that a win is required for different reasons. It should make for an excellent match.
Darren Moore has impressed during his short spell in charge at the Hawthorns and there will be a large section of the support hoping that he is given the job on the full-time basis, regardless of which division the team is playing in next season. The Baggies have won two and drawn two of their four matches under their interim manager, with the performance levels increased significantly. Although they remain five points from safety, they have made their position respectable and they still have a small chance of escaping relegation.
Tottenham have been consistent during the last three seasons and another top-four finish would be seen as a good achievement considering the competitiveness of the top-six. However, there will be disappointment that the team failed to win a trophy this season, as they certainly have the quality to be competing on multiple fronts. They need another five points to be certain of a Champions League place next season and a win this weekend would go a long way to achieving that.
- Despite being in charge of 14 fewer matches, Moore has already earned as many Premier League points as Alan Pardew.
- Dele Alli is finding form ahead of the World Cup, as he has played a part in seven goals during his last seven matches.
It has been an underwhelming season for Matt Phillips as he hasn’t been able to live up to the heights of his first campaign with the club. However, there has been a noticeable improvement during recent weeks and he looks like a new player under Darren Moore. Last weekend, he scored the winner against Newcastle United and he will be keen to maintain his momentum with another strong performance. He is a player that the club will want to keen even if they do suffer relegation and a strong finish to the season will be beneficial for him. Tottenham haven’t been as defensively solid this season and West Brom will have opportunities to cause problems. It is important that they make the most of them and Phillips will be one of the players they look to for inspiration.
There is no doubting that Christian Eriksen is one of the best midfielders in the Premier League and he has proven that this season with another great season. The Danish international has started 34 of the 35 Premier League matches that Tottenham have played, which is very impressive considering the intensity that Pochettino demands from his players. The 26-year-old has contributed ten goals and ten assists, becoming the first Spurs’ player to do that since Emmanuel Adebayor during the 2011-12 season. With three matches left to play, he will be looking to finish the campaign on a high and take his good form into the World Cup.
Nacer Chadli is hoping to be able to play a part against his former club. However, Gareth Barry and James Morrison have been ruled out for the rest of the season. Neither will have a part to play on Saturday.
Mousa Dembele and Danny Rose are both facing a battle to be passed fit in time for the away match against West Brom. Meanwhile, Harry Winks remains on the sidelines with an ankle injury.
The performances from West Brom during recent weeks underline the quality that they have at the club. At one stage, they looked like one of the worst Premier League teams in recent history, but it has become clear that results on the pitch were negatively affected by the choice of manager, rather than a lack of quality. It will be tough for them to beat Tottenham, but I would expect a competitive game on Saturday, as the home side have refused to believe that their fate is sealed. Relegation this weekend remains the most likely outcome, but I would expect a hard-working performance and it wouldn’t be a surprise if they managed to get a point.