Crystal Palace vs Tottenham: Match preview, Betting tips and Predictions - Spurs march on with trip to Selhurst
|Matt Doherty is back and in line for a return to league action for Spurs at Selhurst Park. (Photo credit: Premierleague.com)|
Crystal Palace vs TottenhamSelhurst Park3:15pm
Everything is happening right at Tottenham Hotspur at the moment, the players are ticking, the tactics of Jose Mourinho is working and the team is top of the premier league going into the hectic festive period.
There were lots of concerns when Mourinho took over from Mauricio Pochetino over a year ago but he guided Spurs to Europa place finish and has since steadied the ship.
You’ll ask about the whereabouts of players like Harry Winks and Dele Alli but we all know he likes physical and quick players, that’s that about that.
Crystal Palace aren’t the team you’re expecting to see in the top ten, they have their days and especially if Wilfred Zaha comes to the party.
But their discipline issues, as well as injury woes, won’t let them be the team you’ll mention when you’re counting potential dark horses;
The Ivorien is back to fitness and with a bang too, in their 5-1 demolition of ten-man West Brom last weekend in a reunion of Gary Cahill and Branislav Ivanovic.
But the real test will be this weekend when their defence line tries to stop the duo of Harry Kane and Heung Min Son.
Spurs did their job in the first half against Arsenal, they were happy to let Arsenal have the ball and hit them fiercely on the break, something that is particularly synonymous with Jose Mourinho’s career.
The X-factor for the Portuguese manager is a fulcrum, the man in the middle to break opposition’s play and shield the back four.
He did with Claude Makelele and Michael Essien at Chelsea, Xabi Alonso at Real Madrid, Esteban Cambiasso at Inter, Nemanja Matic at Manchester United, and now, Pierre Emile Hoibjerg.
The key to success for Palace will be for Eberechi Eze and Zaha to hug the line, bid their time and time their runs expertly.
They might want to get on nerves and work Sissoko and the German enforcer up to get them booked, unsettle them and also defend well.
For Spurs, they can exploit the uncertainty in the Eagles backline, they have kept only one clean sheet this season, something the two musketeers upfront at Spurs will lick their lips for.
Christian Benteke scored twice for Palace against the Baggies, the first time he’s finding the net since forever and you’ll honestly wonder why Palace kept him over the summer.
But the real deal will be the African duo of Zaha and Eze.
The last three between these two ended in stalemates, but is that some hope for the Eagles?
That will be dependent on the mood of the terrific due at Spurs and how veteran, Roy Hodgson manages the affair with the flamboyant Jose Mourinho.