OPPONENTS Brighton & Hove Albion 
COMPETITION Premier League 
DATE Wednesday 13th December 2017
VENUE Wembley
3.  Gaetan BONG
5.  Lewis DUNK
7.  Beram KAYAL
8.  Jiri SKALAK
10.  Tomer HEMED
11.  Anthony KNOCKAERT
12.  Niki MAENPAA
13.  Pascal GROSS
14.  Steve SIDWELL
15.  Jamie MURPHY
17.  Glenn MURRAY
18.  Connor GOLDSON
20.  Solly MARCH
21.  Ezequiel SCHELOTTO
22.  Shane DUFFY
23.  Liam ROSENIOR
24.  Davy PROPPER
26.  Tim KRUL
29.  Markus SUTTNER
37.  Izzy BROWN
PREVIEW Spurs legend Chris Hughton brings his side to play against Tottenham at Wembley, having taken the Seagulls to the Premier League for the first time.  Chris has done some really good work with clubs in the First Division/Championship to get them promoted, but has received few plaudits for his achievements.  With a limited squad and a limited budget (perhaps someone needs to get the American Express card out), he has done wonders at the Falmer.

There is a lot of Tottenham in Brighton's play, as they like to close down the opposition, with quick breaks aiming for Glenn Murray with the final ball, as he still has the knack of scoring despite heading towards the twilight of his career.   Anthony Knockaert is another key player who is good on the ball and can make a well timed run to get on the end of a cross, Hemed is a striker good in the air at set-pieces, while newcomer Pascal Gross has shown a good ability in the box, as well as providing chances and Sam Baldock has scored goals down the leagues, but has found it a little harder this season.  Dutch international Davy Propper has had his moments for Brighton this season and Solly March is a tricky wide midfielder, who Spurs have looked at in the past.  Beram Kayal is a very good passer of the ball and if he is used, Jose Izquierdo is a very pacy winger, who they could use to hit Tottenham on the break.

There defence was instrumental to gaining promotion, but have been stretched by Premier League sides this season, so if Spurs can replicate the tempo that they played with against Stoke City, the likes of Lewis Dunk and Shane Duffy might have a busy night.  With Erik Lamela returning, it is hoped he can create plenty of opportunities for Harry Kane.  Spurs need to start keeping teams out at the other end too, so some of the mistakes that have been made over the last few weeks need to be eradicated.  We cannot take it for granted that Brighton will roll over and they are likely to be more organised than Stoke, but they did get hit for five by Liverpool a couple of games back and have found goal-scoring difficult away form the Amex.  We don't keep clean sheets any more, but should have enough to secure three points ... and that "Will do nicely".

PREDICTION Tottenham Hotspur    2         Brighton & Hove Albion    1
RESULTS HISTORY Click here for results, match reports and facts on meetings with Brighton & Hove Albion
Spurs are once again without the injured Toby Alderweireld (hamstring) and Victor Wanyama (knee), with Davinson Sanchez serving the second of a three game ban.
Steve Sidwell is Brighton's only absentee.

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Tottenham Hotspur  2 (1)                                                                       
Premier League
Wednesday 13th December 2017
Brighton & Hove Albion  0 (0)

Kick off 20:00
Aurier  39m 38s
Son  86m 51s
Rose (foul on Schelotto)  45


Knockaert (dissent)  41


Crowd :   46,438 Weather :   Rainy and chilly
Referee :  Robert Madeley (West Yorkshire) Assistant Referees :  Mr. S. Bennett; Mr. M. Perry
Fourth Official :  Kevin Friend  
Tottenham kicked off and played towards the East Stand end in the first half.
Game time : -  90 + ? minutes.
Tottenham Hotspur : kit Brighton & Hove Albion : kit
  1  Hugo LLORIS  (c)

  2  Kieran TRIPPIER

29  Harry WINKS  (19  Mousa DEMBELE  67)
7  Moussa SISSOKO
24  Serge AURIER 
11  Erik LAMELA  (20  DELE Alli  74)
  7  Heung-Min SON    (33  Ben DAVIES  90)
Christian ERIKSEN
  3  Danny ROSE    

10  Harry KANE

Unused subs: 
13  Michel VORM

21  Juan FOYTH
18  Fernando LLORENTE

    1  Mat RYAN

21  Ezequiel SCHELOTTO
22  Shane DUFFY
  5  Lewis DUNK  (c)
  3  Gaetano BONG

11  Anthony KNOCKAERT    
  6  Dale STEPHENS
24  Davy PROPPER
  7  Beram KAYAL  (13  Pascal GROẞ  78)
19  IZQUIERDO Mena  (20  Solly MARCH  62)

10  Tomer HEMED  (
17  Glenn MURRAY  72)

Unused subs: 
26  Tim KRUL
  2  BRUNO
18  Connor GOLDSON
37  Izzy BROWN


Manager :  Mauricio Pochettino Manager :  Chris Hughton
Sponsor :   AIA Shirt sponsor :  American Express
Kit Supplier :  Nike Kit Supplier :   Nike
Match report

I never expected a Chris Hughton team to play like Brighton did tonight, but perhaps after having seem Stoke ripped apart for being so open, he decided to tighten the Brighton side and get nine men back behind the ball as soon as they could.  Unfortunately for him, the tactics and the time-wasting brought nothing but a 2-0 defeat, with Tottenham having trouble finding a way through but kept plugging away playing their own game to break through in the end.

For the second in three home matches, a weak referee failed to punish a side who were time-wasting from soon after kick off.  Especially when he even failed to add on the time that had been wasted !  It looked as though Madley would be unpopular with both sides after turning down an early penalty shout when Son was knocked over, but Stephens did get to the ball first, then allowing some foul-looking challenges by Spurs go as they won the ball and launched attacks.  And for the first ten minutes, Spurs played a quicker game, which produced a shot from Son, coming in from the left, that hit Duffy, but unlike Saturday, it went off for a corner and not into the net.

Brighton looked as though they might make a game of it, when Schelotto put a ball across the Spurs goal after the defence had let Knockaert run a long way with the ball, but Izquierdo couldn't get on the end of it.  A free kick out on the right saw Lamela bend a ball in to Kane's head, but he couldn't get much power on it and it went through for an easy save by Ryan.  The former Spurs loan keeper's dallying on the ball was seen by the crowd who whistled for him to get on with it, but the most the referee did was have a word with the Brighton captain, which changed nothing.  In fact, the game got a bit bogged down with Brighton not looking to go forward and Spurs unable to penetrate their way through ten bodies.  Finally, when Jan played a cross-field ball that found Aurier in behind Bong, the Ivorian struck a shot, but there was a defender in front of him to block it.  Then Spurs had a bit of an opening, as Eriksen spooned a shot off a defender into the air and it dropped for Kane, but a sprawling defender blocked his first effort and Harry couldn't get a decent contact on the rebound.   There was a good cross by Aurier that just missed Lamela in the middle, being a bit too high for him, then Kane headed back across goal for Son, but it was just out of reach.  Kane then found a little space to drill a low shot at goal, but Ryan got down to it well. 

One of the best chances came when Spurs broke on Brighton and Kane shot, Ryan saved and Lamela got the loose ball, but turned to hit it over the bar before on a rare foray into the Tottenham half, Schelotto won a corner and from it Duffy had a free header, but his header was weak and straight at Hugo.    Spurs couldn't break as Brighton blocked off the outlets, but Spurs worked the ball and Sissoko's low shot had Ryan diving to get behind it, but following a good passing move, it was played out wide to Serge Aurier, tight on the right touchline.  He moved forward and Izguierdo threw his chest at the Spurs defender just as he was about to cross the ball.  The lineman was waving furiously for a foul, but Madley had the presence of mind to follow the flight of the ball into the box, where it caught Ryan at his near post and sailed over him into the top corner at the near post to give Spurs an unlikely lead.  It was a bit of luck that we needed to break through against a stubborn defence, who were all that Stoke were not the previous weekend.  Aurier lapped up the adulation for his first goal for the club,  which came at a good time a few minutes before the interval. 

The game got a little ragged just before the break, with Kane going down under challenge from two Brighton players and was left on the floor holding his head, which appeared to have been stood on, but play went on and Rose, then Vertonghen went in hard.  The result was the game wasn't stopped for Winks' head injury and Rose got a booking for a challenge on Schelotto.  The one minute added for what I am not sure, was played out in the rain and Paul Coyte got to interview Alan Mullery and then Luke Mellows, the Director of "The Lane" documentary to be shown on BT Sport on Saturday getting absolutely soaked.

You wondered if Brighton would come out being a goal down, but they were soon dropping back into their ranks of four an five in front of the keeper.  They did shut us down as we played the ball across the back line in our penalty area, ending with Jan putting the ball out for a throw in instead of landing it at Serge's feet.  It lead to Propper having a shot that he shanked across goal but well wide, but a melee almost lead to a goal at the other end, when Rose's cross was met by Sissoko, but he couldn't take it down, allowing Kane to have a shot blocked without getting a firm contact, but the move finished with Son blasting it at goal from the left of the goal and Duffy almost chesting it away as he dived forward to stop it.  The lineman's flag was up anyway, so it wouldn't have counted.

Erik Lamela had been lively all game and looked happy to be back out there, hitting a shot at goal that took a touch off a defender and Ryan had to try to push it wide, but it beat him and bounced off the bottom of the post for a corner.  When it was played in Dier got to it, but could direct his header on target.  Spurs were pressing and shots were being blocked before they got to the area

Son looked on his game again, so when he hit a shot at goal, we all were hopeful, but Dunk blocked it for a corner, whereas it didn't add to his total of three own goals he already has this season, while Brighton broke away with Propper leading a break again and Kayal's cross found Hemed around the penalty spot, but he shot weakly straight at Hugo with 70 minutes gone.  If that had gone in, the result might have been different, as Tottenham were still finding it problematical to break down the determined Brighton side.

Kane tested Ryan with a low shot and the Dele tested the crowd's reflexes with an effort that saw hi  go for power rather than placement, perhaps epitomising his frustration at the way teams were playing against Spurs at the moment.  Rose shot over the bar via the aid of a deflection and then when Eriksen was brought down centrally and 25 yards out, Harry Kane beat the wall and the keeper, but not the upright, with the ball coming flying back out.  When Bong needlessly fouled Aurier wide on our right, Eriksen played a flat ball into the near post, where Son dived forward and somehow glanced a header on goal, that beat the keeper thanks to a touch from Propper to round off a 2-0 win with four minutes left.  The South Korean had looked the most likely to score for Spurs and he kept up his good scoring record over the last fee weeks.  It was about the last thing he did in the game, with Davies coming on for him after he took a late knock and he didn't miss much, as little happened in the three minutes of added time, which after one in the first half, just about covered the substitutions and the goals.

While it wasn't the most scintillating game of football Spurs will ever play, it showed a level of patience and belief n the way they play their game to ignore the fact that Brighton made if hard to score, but score they did and kept a clean sheet too.  Not that the Seagulls carried a lot of threat in that department.  Chris Hughton has done wonders with teams coming up into the Premier League and he had got Brighton into a decent position, but having been smashed at home by Liverpool, I suppose they will be reserving their more attacking performances for teams around them.  It's a dangerous game to play and with their goal-scoring issues, it may be that they find themselves struggling very soon if they continue to set up like this. 

Tottenham looked as if they would start well, but soon had to pass and pass to try and pull Brighton out of their shape.  It didn't work particularly well and the movement at times left players like Winks and Eriksen without options, so in trying to force a pass, they played it to a man who was well marked.  And thus possession was turned over.  We still had 75% in the game, but it is what you do with it that counts and Spurs did enough tonight to take the three points. Brighton deserved what they got, so they can have few qualms about the outcome.

It will need an improved performance against Manchester City on Saturday, but it could be an interesting game if we play to our potential.

Grayling Barraclough




Brighton's first venture into the Premier League has seen them fly above the Swans, the Eagles and the Magpies in the top flight pecking order.


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What you thought
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Other scores during this week :
Burnley 1 Stoke City 0 Tuesday
Crystal Palace 2 Watford 1 Tuesday
Huddersfield Town 1 Chelsea 3 Tuesday
Liverpool 0 West Bromwich Albion 0 Wednesday
Manchester United 1 Bournemouth 0 Wednesday
Newcastle United 0 Everton 1 Wednesday
Southampton 1 Leicester City 4 Wednesday
Swansea City 0 Manchester City 40 Wednesday
West Ham United London 0 Arsenal 0 Wednesday


League Table  2017-18
  P W D L F A Pts GD
1 Manchester City 17 16 1 0 52 11 49 +41
2 Manchester United 17 12 2 3 37 11 39 +26
3 Chelsea 17 11 2 4 31 14 35 +17
4 TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 17 9 4 4 30 14 31 +16
5 Liverpool 17 8 7 2 34 20 31 +14
6 Burnley 17 9 4 4 16 12 31 +4
7 Arsenal 17 9 3 5 30 20 30 +10
8 Leicester City 17 7 5 5 27 22 26 +5
9 Watford 17 6 4 7 26 29 22 -3
10 Everton 17 6 4 8 21 29 22 -8
11 Huddersfield Town 17 5 3 9 12 29 18 -17
12 Brighton & Hove Albion 17 4 5 8 14 23 17 -9
13 AFC Bournemouth 17 4 4 9 15 20 16 -5
14 Stoke City 17 4 4 9 19 37 16 -17
15 Southampton 17 4 6 7 17 23 15 -6
16 Newcastle United 17 4 3 10 16 26 15 -10
17 West Bromwich Albion 17 2 8 7 12 22 14 -10
18 Crystal Palace 17 3 5 9 12 28 14 -16
19 West Ham United London 17 3 5 9 14 32 14 -18
20 Swansea City 17 3 3 11 9 22 12 -13


Position before match :  7th
Position after match :  4th
Position after the midweek games :  4th


* Pub facts may not actually be true, but after a few pints everyone might think so.


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