|OPPONENTS||Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park|
|DATE||Saturday 10th November 2018|
Having maintained our good results without actually catching fire
yet, Spurs stayed in fourth place after beating Wolves and then
showed their tenacity with a late winner over PSV in midweek.
Although Spurs lost Mousa Dembele for two months last Saturday with
an ankle injury, there was better news with the return of Dele Alli
and Christian Eriksen on Tuesday, with both Victor Wanyama and Eric
Dier both back in training and close to full fitness.
Visiting Crystal Palace, who have struggled so far this season, might not be as easy a task as it might seem. While they have won twice against the bottom teams in the division, they took a home point off Arsenal. Mainly they have been losing regularly this season to sides, but not getting thrashed. 1-3 to Chelsea last week at Stamford Bridge was the most goals they have conceded in the league.
Julian Speroni has lost his goalkeeping position to Wayne Hennessey, who has had plenty to do and done it reasonably well. The Welsh international has a good shot-stopping ability, although his judgement on coming for the ball is dubious sometimes, with his angles not always covered. In front of him, there has been a reshuffle of personnel, with Patrick van Aanholt, Mamadou Sakho, James Tomkins and Aaron Wan-Bissaka being the most often fielded back four. Fringe defenders include Martin Kelly and Scott Dann who are both injured; Papa Souare, Jeffrey Schlupp and Joel Ward, who might be called upon from the bench.
Former Spur Andros Townsend is often selected in a wide position for Palace and after having moved around since leaving Spurs, it is a shame that he has not realised his full potential. He may suffer badly in comparison to Palace's star man Wilfried Zaha, but the limelight that shines on him is not always for the best reasons. His inability to stand on his own two feet seems to be prevalent when he approaches the penalty area and his whingeing about not getting protection form the referee shows a weakness that opposition players are targeting. The strength in midfield comes from Luka Milivojevic and Cheikhou Kouyate. The former could tread a fine line between what is within the rules and what isn't, while the latter (an ex-Iron) is leggy and gets around the pitch well, but his distribution is sometimes questionable. German prodigy Max Meyer was linked with a move to Tottenham a couple of years back, but he has ended up at Selhurst trying to resurrect his career. Good on the ball and decent in making options off it, he cannot be ignored. James McArthur has been a regular at Palace for four years now and he works hard and tried to support the front men, by getting forward into the attacking third. Thos who might be on the bench include Sully Kaikai, Jason Puncheon, Dutchman Jairo Riedewald and Welsh international Jonny Williams. ANother ex-Tottenham man is on their books, but he is only getting a rare look in and that is Nya Kirby who controversially left White Hart lane for Chelsea, but turned up at Palace without playing for the Pensioners.
Christian Benteke hasn't hit the form that Palace bought him on the strength of, but his presence can be unsettling and the physical side of Connor Wickham's game previously. Unfortunately for Palace, they are both sidelined with injuries. The Eagles have taken Jordan Ayew on loan from Swansea City and he is a decent striker when given the opportunities near goal, while Norwegian Alexander Sorloth has yet to show his integration into the English game for Palace, although he is another big, strong forward.
On form and on paper, this game should pose no problems for
Tottenham and if they get a start like they did last week, they
might be able to hang onto it a bit better, but Palace will be up
for it and be looking to repeat their efforts against the Goons.
However, we appear to be even better than we are at home so far and
while I hope that doesn't become the norm once we return to the
Lane, I expect three points to be hading our way come 19.30 on
|PREDICTION||Crystal Palace 1 Tottenham Hotspur 3|
|Premier League||Kick off 17:30|
Tottenham Hotspur 1 (0)
Foyth 54m 15s
|Crowd : 25,685||Weather : Heavy rain thorughout|
|Referee : Jon Moss (Leeds)||Assistant Referees : Mr. Eddie Smart; Mr. Andy Halliday|
|Fourth Official : Roger East|
|Crystal Palace kicked off and played towards the Whitehorse Lane end in the first half.|
|Game time : - 90 + 8 minutes.|
Tomkins (foul on Moura) 43
Winks (foul on Ayew) 86
|Crystal Palace :||kit||Tottenham Hotspur :||kit|
James McARTHUR (
9 Alexander SORLOTH70)
Hugo LLORIS (c)
Kieran TRIPPIER (24
Serge AURIER 24)
10 Harry KANE
|Manager : Roy Hodgson||Manager : Mauricio Pochettino|
|Sponsor : Mansion||Shirt sponsor : AIA|
|Kit Supplier : Macron||Kit Supplier : Nike|
Struggling Crystal Palace put up a good fight at a rain-sodden Selhurst Park, much as they did against Arsenal, but they found that this Tottenham side are more resilient than Spurs sides of old, giving little credence to claims that they are still prone to lose games they shouldn't. The 1-0 win over the South London side came at a cost with Trippier limping out of the action and Lamela coming off with a cut head, but there was some redemption for Juan Foyth, who was harshly criticised for last week's performance at Wolves and was this week's match-winner.
With so many games played
recently, Mauricio Pochettino shuffled his team using the squad and
working around the injuries, with six changes from Tuesday night.
The rain lashed down at Selhurst Park and the conditions suited
Palace’s longer ball game, as without Zaha, they were looking for
Townsend to use his pace. When a cross from the left went to the far
post and came back in, it was Lucas Moura of all people who flicked
a header away with Kouyate, who was looking for a scissors kick
behind him. Juan Foyth was installed in the back four,
replacing Davinson Sanchez, who was missing with a hamstring pull
and the Argentine was being played on by the Palace players after
last week’s debut at Wolverhampton. He played a loose back
pass as Spurs tried to play out from a goal kick and forced Lloris
to concede a corner, but he showed confidence when he stepped out
with the ball a couple of times, feeling that he wanted to play his
Some loose passing prevented
Tottenham making more of the breakaway opportunities they had, but
Palace were stoically winning corners to try and get one of their
giants on the end of them. Tomkins got away from Dele at the far
post from one and the former Iron put his header wide of the goal
when he should have nodded it back across goal. Foyth cleared up a
messy Lloris kick out that went about ten yards and not very high to
save the keeper any embarrassment. When Spurs got upfield,
Dele shot from outside the box and it hit Moura on the way through,
forcing Hennessey to push it wide, even though it was well wide of
the goal. Kane headed a shot towards goal when Davies shot as
the ball dropped to him from a corner and he had bounced it into the
Palace always put up a fight against Spurs and make it difficult to play against them, but they sacrifice their attacking options, looking solely to hit on the break or through set-pieces. They should have done better with the few chances they made, but Foyth's reading of the situation at the other end was the difference between the sides in the end. Not a classic display by Spurs and not conditions that were conducive to a flowing game of football, but it was another three points in the bag as the good start continues.
The good thing at the moment is not just the points total, but players who are coming in are playing well, as Sissoko continues to improve and Wanyama looked more like his old self tonight. With a bit more depth added in January, it could help Spurs in the run-in to the end of the season. That is a long way off and tough games are coming, with Chelsea next, but Pochettino can be satisfied with the first dozen games.
James from Hertford
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|What you thought|
|Other scores during this week :|
|Cardiff City||2||Brighton & Hove Albion||1||Saturday|
|Huddersfield Town||1||West Ham United London||-||Saturday|
|Manchester City||3||Manchester United||1||Sunday|
|League Table 2018-19|
|12||Brighton & Hove Albion||12||4||2||7||12||18||14||-6|
|13||West Ham United London||12||3||3||6||14||18||12||-4|
Position before match :
Position after match : 4th
Position after the weekend : 4th
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