Tottenham will look to end their wretched form in their brand-new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium when they host Crystal Palace in the Premier League on Wednesday night.
After several delays, Mauricio Pochettino’s side are finally set to play in their home ground for the first time this season. The Spurs boss will be hoping the occasion can help the team turn their league form. This is pivotal for finishing in the top four as well as finding rhythm before they face Manchester City in the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals.
The North London side are currently in third place with 61 points and are ahead of Manchester United in fourth on goal difference. Local rivals Arsenal are a point behind in fifth with a game in hand while Chelsea are also only a point away in sixth. If the Gunners beat Newcastle, then Spurs will drop to fourth before they kick-off against Palace.
This is a severe change in fortunes for Spurs when compared to a couple of months back. At that point in time, they were considered to be in the title race along with Manchester City and Liverpool. However, that is no longer the case and four losses in their last five games highlight the reason for their fall.
Meanwhile, the visitors, Crystal Palace come into the game with decent momentum. The Eagles are one of the toughest teams to face outside the top six and they relish these encounters. In fact, Roy Hodgson’s side have already beaten Spurs this season, a 2-0 win at Selhurst Park in the fourth round of the FA Cup.
Palace can be considered safe from relegation as they comfortably sit in 13th place with 36 points, 8 points clear of Cardiff City in 18th place. They are a better side than their position in the table indicates but they continue to underperform season after season. Their victory over Manchester City back in December at the Etihad is proof of the team’s quality.
In terms of team news, Pochettino is likely to miss the services of Eric Dier and Harry Winks again as the duo continue their rehab from muscle injuries. Serge Aurier is set to be another miss due to a thigh injury he suffered in the recent international break with Ivory Coast.
Hodgson has a fully fit squad at his disposal barring Mamadou Sakho who went under the knife for a knee problem last month. The Frenchman is a big miss for the Eagles and this affects their odds of getting a result against Spurs.
Tottenham vs Crystal Palace Preview and Prediction
Considering the form of both sides, the visitors come into the game in better shape, winning three of their last five games. Wilfried Zaha and Michy Batshuayi are a formidable threat and can hurt Tottenham.
The home team’s main man Harry Kane will look to create a piece of history by becoming the first goalscorer at the new stadium and helping his team win in the process. The previous encounter between the teams ended in a 1-0 away win for Spurs with youngster Juan Foyth scoring the winning goal.
In fact, the previous five league encounters between the duo have ended in 1-0 wins for Tottenham. However, the North London side’s poor recent form could see Palace score and the home side will need more than a goal to win the tie.
Both teams to score- Yes @ 1.80 at Pinnacle Sports