It will be the battle of the interim managers at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Tottenham host Crystal Palace, in what will be an intriguing contest between teams in contrasting form. The home side desperately need three points to recover from their poor form. Ryan Mason will want to have a strong period in charge of the first team and this is an opportunity for him to taste victory. Meanwhile, Palace have been in great form under Roy Hodgson and they will attack this fixture with nothing to lose.
Tottenham are going to face a big summer of rebuilding with a new head coach. It is still unclear who will take the position and the standard of European competition that Spurs qualify for could determine that. They are still in a strong position to make it into one of the competitions, even if the Champions League looks beyond them. Their last three matches were make or break in that regard, as they had a chance to reel in Newcastle United or Manchester United. They failed to win either game.
Crystal Palace were a part of the relegation fight under Patrick Vieira, but the appointment of Hodgson now looks to be a smart one. The team have been in incredible form, especially in the final third and they have now climbed clear of the dog fight. There is an argument to be made that the same outcome was likely under Vieira due to the kinder fixture list, but it wasn’t a guarantee. Their summer now looks interesting, as there will be calls for Hodgson to stay on. A strong end to the season and it could be a decision that makes itself.
Tottenham have won 12 of the last 15 Premier League meetings with Crystal Palace.
If Michael Olise gets another assist this season, he will be the first Crystal Palace player in Premier League history to reach 10.
One of the main beneficiaries of the interim appointment of Ryan Mason has been Son Heung-min. It has been a very poor campaign for the South Korean, based on his high standards. However, he has now scored in both of the matches under Mason and he could have had even more over these two games. There seems to have been a switch in the attacking patterns that benefits the forward. Son is now more central and the player making runs in behind the opposition defence in central positions. His relationship with Harry Kane is well known and the pair are combining in dangerous areas once again. Son will be hoping he can finish the season strongly and get back to his best over the next 12 months.
The form of Ebere Eze since the appointment of Roy Hodgson has been excellent. He has scored four goals and emerged as a focal point in the Crystal Palace attack. Since joining the club, it had been expected that Eze would be one of the key players for the team. He is now emerging into that role and he is a player that may attract interest from clubs in European competition. Last weekend, he was excellent against West Ham United, making four key passes in the game. This was the most of any player on the pitch. Eze’s most impressive statistic was that he completed 93% of his 57 passes. Considering he was mainly operating in the attacking half, that is an exceptional display of ball retention. Tottenham have had issues in their midfield in recent weeks. Palace have a player that can make a difference in that area of the pitch.
Oliver Skipp and Hugo Lloris are both doubts for this weekend. Emerson Royal remains a week away from a possible return. Yves Bissouma and Rodrigo Bentancur won’t be seen again this season.
Wilfried Zaha and Nathaniel Clyne are both facing late fitness tests. They are the two main concerns for the visitors.
Given the form lines of these two teams, it seems more likely that Crystal Palace will win. However, the visitors have relatively little to play for and there will be a professional desire to get back to winning ways for Tottenham. They will want to finish in the top six and this is a good opportunity for them to get three points. They should have enough to win on Saturday.
Tottenham 2-1 Crystal Palace