Tottenham have a tricky fixture to negotiate this weekend at Bournemouth, as they prepare for the second leg of their Champions League tie. The last couple of months have been disappointing for Mauricio Pochettino’s men when it comes to the Premier League. They have fallen far off the pace, while their position in the top four has come under threat. For the home side, they have had another successful campaign in the top-flight and they will be looking to finish that off on a high over the next two weeks.
Eddie Howe continues to do a great job on the South Coast as he has led Bournemouth to safety in mid-table. They are currently in 14th position on 42 points, which is an excellent return for a club of their size. Although they have slowed down since the turn of the year, they have never been in threat of relegation and they deserve credit for that. They will view this summer to push on further as a top-flight team.
Despite their recent struggles, Tottenham haven’t been punished due to the lack of quality being shown by the teams below them. A single victory will confirm their top four finish and ensure they play another season in the Champions League. It is imperative that the club spend money this summer to provide Pochettino with the tools to challenge on multiple squad. The limitations of the squad have been there for all to see over the past month and it cost them on Tuesday.
Bournemouth have a number of players missing including Diego Rico, Charlie Daniels, Andrew Surman and Lewis Cook all out. Dan Gosling and Nathaniel Clyne are both major doubts.
Jan Vertonghen won’t be available after being taken off with a head injury during the week. Harry Kane and Harry Winks will both be missing through injury. Serge Aurier is closing in on a return, but this fixture is likely to be too soon for him.
- Ryan Fraser has the joint-most assists in the Premier League this season with 13.
- Tottenham have now lost 18 games in all competitions, which is the most they’ve suffered since the 2008-9 season.
This has been an excellent season for Bournemouth with Callum Wilson being one of the standout players. His form in front of goal has earned him an England cap and interest from top-six clubs, including this weekend’s opposition. This is an opportunity for him to show his quality against top quality opposition ahead of the summer. He will be hoping to be included in England’s Nations League squad and there could be potential for a big money move. This season, he has contributed 14 goals and nine assists, which shows his well-rounded abilities as a striker. His journey from the Football League to the Premier League has been incredible and at the age of 27, he could progress even further. Tottenham’s recent struggles mean that there will be chances for Wilson this weekend and he will be full of confidence following his two-goal haul last Saturday.
Pochettino may be tempted to make a few changes this weekend with Wednesday’s match against Ajax in mind. It could be that he chooses to rest Christian Eriksen, but that would pose a major risk as he has been much better in recent weeks, providing a number of key contributions in a Tottenham shirt. The Danish international has contributed seven goals and 12 assists in the Premier League this season, which is another good return for him. The consistency he has shown in recent seasons has been remarkable and he will be remembered as one of the best players of Spurs’ recent history. Bournemouth’s defence has remained a weakness throughout this season. The visitors should have the quality to cut them open on Saturday. Eriksen could have a field day if he performs to his best.
This should be an entertaining watch for the neutral, as it provides an opportunity for Bournemouth to remind the world of their qualities. Tottenham will be there for the taking considering their injury problems and upcoming Champions League semi-final second leg. There should be goals and it wouldn’t be a surprise if the home side managed to get something from the game.
Bournemouth 2-2 Tottenham