Tottenham will be looking to make it back-to-back wins as they travel to the South Coast on Thursday night to face Bournemouth. The Cherries have been woefully out of form and they look like they are headed towards relegation. That said, they have had some success against top-six opposition at the Vitality Stadium down the years and they will see this match as one that could revive their season. Although Spurs managed to pick up a win against Everton, they are far from their best. Their recent defeat to Sheffield United showed their vulnerabilities, but whether Bournemouth can have similar success is doubtful.
Although Bournemouth are only one point from safety at the time of writing, they have lost all of their matches since the restart. It is disappointing to lose matches, but the performances will cause even greater concern for Eddie Howe. His side have looked very open at the back and players are making individual errors. They have conceded nine goals in their last two matches. Their attack are creating chances, but in their current guise, they need to score three or four to even stand a chance of getting a point. There needs to be a stark improvement, starting on Thursday.
Tottenham moved into 8th position after their victory over Everton. The performance wasn’t great, but they managed to get the result and that will encourage Jose Mourinho. The argument between Son Heung-min and Hugo Lloris at half-time during the match did suggest there are deeper problems at the club. It is important that they start building positive momentum and try to finish in the top six. They are only four point behind Wolves and that will be their target. Given Bournemouth’s awful defensive record, they will see this fixture as one they should win in style.
Bournemouth have now lost 20 points from leading positions this season. Only West Ham United have lost more.
Tottenham have now kept a clean sheet in two of their last three Premier League matches. This is as many as they had kept in the previous 14.
The Bournemouth striker will need to be at his best over the coming weeks if he is to help Bournemouth to survival. He was impressive against Manchester United, as he linked the play well. During the match, he managed to get a goal and assist. It has been a frustrating season for the Norwegian international, but he will be boosted by his contribution at the weekend. That brought his season tally to five goals and three assists, which underlines the struggles that the Cherries have had. Callum Wilson is struggling with an injury at the moment. In his absence, King needs to step up and be the talisman in his absence. Manchester United nearly signed him in January, which suggests that his reputation is high in the league. If Bournemouth are to go down, he will be hoping to finish strongly and secure a move to stay at this level.
This is shaping up to be a key period in Harry Kane’s career. There have been doubts about how injuries have impacted on his output. Since the return to action, he has managed to score twice, but he will be hoping to improve on that significantly over the coming weeks. Tottenham’s current position could bring his long term future into doubt, as Kane has spoken openly about his long term ambitions. He will want to prove that he still ranks as one of the best players in the league. Despite his injuries, he has managed to score 19 times across all competitions. This fixture gives him a great chance to improve on that scoring record given Bournemouth’s defensive issues.
Chris Mepham and Andrew Surman could be back for the home side. They still have a number of injury worries though, with Steve Cook, Charlie Daniels, Jack Stacey and Simon Francis on the sidelines.
Dele Alli is a doubt for the visitors with a knock. Juan Foyth and Japhet Tanganga won’t be available.
This should be a straight forward win for Tottenham given the recent form shown by Bournemouth. However, it is never that simple in the Premier League. The midweek win by Watford increases the urgency for the Cherries to return to winning ways. Sheffield United showed that this Spurs team can be beaten and a surprise could be in the offing. That said, the smart money is on an away win.
Bournemouth 1-2 Tottenham