|Crystal Palace will hope to find an encouraging result against Tottenham on Friday when the league leaders visit Selhurst Park. (Photo credit: 90Mins)|
It’s that time of the season when you have to pick as many points as you can as a buffer for rainy days. Spurs and Palace will go head-to-head on Friday night, just before the shift in time zones.
Palace is having an indifferent season; the 4-0 loss at Newcastle was a little harsh, but the Eagles must learn to manage games better in the absence of their top players. Conceding four of seven shots on target is worrying, and having a slow start didn’t help either.
Tottenham is having the time of their lives. Ange Postecoglou has led them to their best start to a Premier League season in their history, and a win away at Palace on Friday will give them a five-point cushion on the chasing park ahead of other weekend fixtures.
Palace will still be without Michael Olise, who we learned in midweek to be considering switching his allegiance from France to Algeria. He is also eligible to play for Nigeria as his father is from a West African country.
Ebere Eze is back on the pitch, according to inside sources, but he will not be available for the visit of Spurs, as well as James Tomkins and Dean Henderson. The Eagles lack goal scorers in their squad; it’s something they have to look at in January.
Destiny Udogie was removed before the hour mark in the Spurs win over Fulham, and Postecoglou has confirmed the defender is a doubt for the visit to Selhurst Park. Manor Solomon is out until December, and Ivan Perisic is not expected back until later in April.
Both sides have reasons to win. Palace lacks the quality up front and will struggle to cope with the firepower of their visitors, but Selhurst Park is a tough place to go, and the organisation of the hosts could be the difference.
How will the Spurs approach this? A win is important to ensure they end the weekend on top of the log regardless of what happens elsewhere. They need to break down the stubborn Palace defence so they won’t be as porous as they were at St. James’s Park.
Palace just needs to defend deep and then hit Spurs on the break. The visitors will keep a high line as always, and if Palace can maximise opportunities when they do get some, it could be a great day for them against their London rivals.