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Tottenham Hotspur vs. Bolton Wanderers: Preview

I swear, the fish was THIS big!
I swear, the fish was THIS big!

We've heard it a million times. The European hangover. After a massive win in Europe, conventional wisdom is that Spurs will struggle on the weekend in the league. They picked up injuries and their players are probably both tired and lacking in focus.

The good news, though, is that they didn't travel midweek. They pulled off their big win over Inter Milan at White Hart Lane, meaning they certainly won't be tired from travel or an altered schedule. Hopefully, all of this European hangover business is just a bunch of cliche BS with no basis in reality.

Unfortunately, Bolton blogger Matilda Hankinson doesn't think so. She did an interview for CFC for our "Know Your Opponent" feature and she believes that Spurs' European hangover will lead to a Bolton victory tomorrow. It's tough to blame her, since Bolton look decent so far this season and Spurs did this against Wigan after the Young Boys win. Enough of this negative thinking, though. Let's get positive.

Community member Ryan Rosenblatt is positive. He wrote the Spurs-Bolton preview for the SBN Soccer mothership this week, predicting that Spurs will win 2-1. Atta boy, Ryan.

We'll be missing Rafael van der Vaart and Aaron Lennon, which is a giant bag of suck. However, we are playing Bolton. Bolton don't suck, but they don't have anything that particularly scare the crap out of me. Lee Chung-Yong is a really good player, as is Stuart Holden. The strike pairing of Kevin Davies and Johan Elmander is pretty effective. None of these players are true match winners, though. They can only score if they all work well together and we screw up. Now, this is Spurs, our defense screws up plenty, but we're not talking about Wesley Sneijder, or even Nani or Tim Cahill, the guys who have made our lives miserable in the very recent past.

So...I'm not getting the high scoring predictions of Mattie and Ryan. I don't think that we're going to see a lot of scoring in this game. We'll be playing more defensively than usual just because it's an intelligent way to get our most talented players on the pitch with Lennon and VDV injured. Bolton only create goals from nothing on set pieces. I like a whole lot of nothing to happen.

So, will we see a random David Bentley or Giovani dos Santos? Probably not. Ryan came up with that lineup that he has in his preview after a discussion in the fancy shmancy chat room that the SBN Soccer front page editors have, and I totally agree that Harry will do exactly what he posted. Looks like a lot of meh, but hopefully it's meh + 3 points.

Projected Lineup, Bolton: Jaaskelainen / Steinsson, Cahill, Knight, Robinson / Lee, Muamba, Holden, Taylor /Davies, Elmander.

Projected Lineup, Tottenham: Gomes / Hutton, Gallas, Kaboul, Assou-Ekotto / Modric, Huddlestone, Sandro, Bale / Keane, Pavlyuchenko

Prediction: Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 Bolton Wanderers