Who wants more Tottenham Hotspur football? Well, it doesn't matter whether you want more or not (you want more) because you're going to get more. Hooray holiday fixture congestion and thanks to the FA Cup and postponed Everton match we still have a week left of this! Before we can talk about that scary Cheltenham Town club, those rich Toffees or fair playing Wolves though, there is West Bromwich Albion (that's a stupid club name) to deal with.
The best part of the upcoming stretch is that all four matches are at home, meaning a comfortable spot for Niko Kranjcar in his usual bench seat at White Hart Lane. It also means that Spurs get to put their one-loss home record on the line as they look to put some distance between them and their third place challengers.
The last time that West Brom visited White Hart Lane the Baggies knocked kept Spurs from fourth place in Tottenham's final chance at second consecutive Champions League appearance fell by the wayside, overshadowing Jermain Defoe's 100th Premier League goal in a 2-2 draw. It's unlikely that history will repeat itself though considering Roman Pavlyuchenko also scored in that match, Michael Dawson saw the pitch and Heurelho Gomes was between the sticks.
On the flip side, there's Simon Cox, who scored a brilliant equalizer is that match last year, and hasn't been featured much this season, but should get a look against Spurs thanks to a rash of injuries at West Brom. Youssouf Mulumbu is certain to miss the match, while Chris Brunt and Shane Long look doubtful to play. In other words, if you play for West Brom and might be caught meandering into the attacking half, you're probably injured.
Spurs have injuries of their own to deal with. Aaron Lennon is looks likely to miss again, Ledley King is a question mark and Scott Parker is being called 50/50, or any other non-committal phrase you can come up with. Basically, Spurs are being Spurs and giving no information on anyone's injury status because that's how things go with this club. In all likelihood, Parker, Lennon and King will all play, but we'll learn an hour into the match that Emmanuel Adebayor sprained an ankle on Sunday and Gareth Bale will never play again thanks to a Monday leg amputation after a terrible vacuum accident at his mother's home.
The Baggies are a classic Roy Hodgson team with lots of players behind the ball. Hell, they played defensive at home versus Everton on Sunday. You can bet they'll do the same at the Lane and with more reserves coming into the squad because of injuries they won't even be as dangerous on the counter-attack. West Brom are average when fit and good, poor when out of form and rollovers when injured. They're actually playing relatively well, but they are injured so let's find a middle ground and call them meh.
Hosting West Brom is the exact kind of match that last season's Tottenham would have dropped points in and did drop points in. It's the type of match that kept Spurs from the top four and more Champions League fun. Then again, West Brom away is the type of match that Tottenham would really kick around last season, but in November they came away 3-1 winners at the Hawthorns so this really isn't last season anymore, huh?
Tottenham Hotspur vs. West Bromwich Albion
Game Date/Time: Tuesday, January 3, 2:45 a.m. ET, 7:45 p.m. local
Venue: White Hart Lane, London, England
TV: Fox Soccer Channel (USA), Sportsnet World (Canada), None (UK)