Premier League Preview: Crystal Palace vs Tottenham Hotspur
Tottenham Hotspur will make the short trip to Selhurst Park this Sunday to take on Crystal Palace in the team’s final game of the 2019/20 Premier League season.
Jose Mourinho’s side are currently seventh in the table, just a point below Wolves in sixth. A win on Sunday, coupled with the Midlands’ outfit dropping points against Chelsea would ensure a top-six finish and in turn seal qualification for the UEFA Europa League.
Crystal Palace, on the other hand, are 14th in the table. Safe from the relegation battle and well off from a shot at finishing in the top half of the table, the Eagles have little to play for. However, they will be looking to sign off on the season on a strong note, having seen their form suffer since the restart.
As mentioned previously, Roy Hodgson’s side are on a torrid run of results of late. Having won their first game upon the restart of the season last month, Palace have lost each of their subsequent seven fixtures. Their most recent fixture ended in a 2-0 defeat to Wolves. During this run, the Eagles have let in 17 goals, while scoring just four.
Tottenham, on the other hand, finally seem to be clicking under Mourinho. The Lilywhites have failed to win just three of the club’s eight games since the campaign resumed. In fact, after the defeat to Sheffield United earlier this month, Spurs have won four of the last five matches (D1), most recently beating Champions League hopefuls Leicester City 3-0.
Crystal Palace: 12 Tottenham Hotspur: 31 Draws: 13
Tottenham have won seven of their last eight meetings against Crystal Palace, keeping a clean sheet in each of those fixtures. The only defeat during this run came in January last year in the FA Cup. The reverse fixture, played in September last year, ended in a thumping 4-0 win as Son Heung-min starred with a brace.
Palace have a number of injury issues heading into the game, most of them in the defence as James Tomkins, Mamadou Sakho, Gary Cahill and Patrick van Aanholt have all been ruled out. Striker Christian Benteke is suspended for the contest, while midfield mainstay Luka Milivojevic is a doubt for the contest.
The good news for Spurs is that Dele Alli was pictured back in training earlier this week, after having missed the last four matches with a hamstring problem. Juan Foyth was also spotted in the session, but it is unlikely that he will play any part given his lengthy absence.
Eric Dier is back after serving his four-match ban, but might not start, considering that the defence has conceded just twice in the last four games. Tanguy Ndombele remains sidelined with an injury.
Vicente Guaita; Joel Ward, Scott Dann, Cheikhou Kouyate, Tyrick Mitchell; Andros Townsend, James McArthur, James McCarthy, Jeffrey Schlupp; Jordan Ayew, Wilfried Zaha.
Hugo Lloris; Serge Aurier, Davinson Sanchez, Toby Alderweireld, Ben Davies; Moussa Sissoko, Harry Winks, Giovani Lo Celso; Lucas Moura, Harry Kane, Son Heung-min.
Players to Watch
The Ivory Coast international has been the Eagles’ best player over the course of the 2019/20 campaign. Zaha, in his 37 games this term, has scored four times and set up five more. And while those might not be great numbers, the winger brings so much more to the table with his pace and ability to get past defenders.
Coming up against the likes of Serge Aurier and Davinson Sanchez, who have been prone to errors this season, the 27-year-old has what it takes to hurt the Tottenham defence.
He may have started off a tad scratchy when the season resumed last month, but Harry Kane seems to be back to his belligerent best. Having bagged a double against Newcastle United, the England captain backed it up with another brace against Leicester City last weekend.
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With those goals, he has taken his tally for the season to 23 goals across all competitions. Expect him to continue from where he left off and end the campaign with a flourish.