Tottenham supporters will be pleased that this season is coming to an end, but they will want to beat Crystal Palace to maintain the positive momentum they have built in recent weeks. It has been a turbulent period under Jose Mourinho. The Portuguese manager has faced criticism from many, but he will point to the league table since his arrival. In that period, Spurs sit in 4th position and that is a platform to build from. Meanwhile, Palace have once again steered clear of relegation under Roy Hodgson.
It has been a good season for Crystal Palace as they are eight points above the relegation zone and their Premier League status was never really in doubt. However, Palace have one of the oldest squad in the division and it is desperately in need of a rebuild. The current situation makes that difficult, as the club will be reluctant to spend big given the financial impact of the pandemic. The arrival of Nathan Ferguson is a welcome piece of good news following a long protracted saga. Supporters will be hoping that more signings like this follow. There has been some speculation on Hodgson’s future, but he guarantees safety on a yearly basis and Steve Parish knows this.
The season coming to an end is a positive for Spurs. The Champions League final was supposed to be the start of challenging for major honours. Instead, it was the the climax of Mauricio Pochettino’s tenure with the Argentine leaving soon after the start of this campaign. Mourinho is a very different type of manager with a focus on results, with the Portuguese coach known for winning trophies. There have been some highs, with the victories over Arsenal and Leicester City showing that they can come out on top in big matches. The performances remain a concern for supporters, but Mourinho will believe he has started well in the role.
Crystal Palace have lost seven successive matches in the Premier League and if they lose on Sunday, it will match their worst run of results.
Regardless of the result on Sunday, this will be Tottenham’s worst points total since the 2008-9 campaign.
Every summer, it is thought to that Wilfried Zaha will leave Crystal Palace. At the age of 27, this could be his time to leave Selhurst Park. His performances have lacked consistency this season, with a contribution of four goals and three assists. These numbers are significantly worse than his returns in the last three seasons and it is a worry for Palace. They may decide that this is the right time to cash in and use it to fund their rebuild. That said, he remains the player at Palace most likely to win a game on his own. As it is the final day of the season, he could see this as an opportunity to put himself in the shop window. He will be going up against Serge Aurier, who isn’t the most convincing defender. He could cause real problems for the Tottenham defence. During the last four matches, he has had 11 shots and he is looking like the biggest threat in the Palace side.
Since the resumption, he has been one of the top scorers in the league with six goals. The England captain has had his fair share of injuries in recent seasons, but his recent performances suggest that he is getting back to his best. In his last two matches, he has scored four goals and he has a small chance of reaching 20 goals for the season, despite the time missed. He will need to score a hat-trick on the final day to achieve this, but you can never rule Kane out of doing this, especially against a side that has lost seven in a row. The lockdown has served the striker well, as he has managed to get fully fit and find his rhythm again. Although it is only a short break before the next campaign, it will be hoped that he can maintain his current levels of form and fitness. If he does, Tottenham will have a much better chance of getting back into the top four in the new season. This weekend, Palace are out of form and have injuries at the back. Kane will be confident of ending the season with a goal-scoring performance.
Luka Milvojevic is facing a late fitness test to prove he is able to play the final match. Mamadou Sakho, James Tomkins, Gary Cahill and Patrick van Aanholt are going to be missing for the home side. Christian Benteke remains suspended.
It is hoped that Dele Alli will be back to feature against Crystal Palace, while Tanguy Ndombele is expected to miss out.
This should be a straight forward win for Tottenham. They are in good form, with three successive wins, while Palace have lost seven on the spin. The injuries that the home side have make it very difficult for them to get anything from the game, especially as they have very little to play for. Spurs can move into the top six with a victory, if Wolves drop points. They should take the three points.
Crystal Palace 0-2 Tottenham