Half empty or half full? Tottenham Hotspur's draw against Chelsea last weekend left Spurs supporters pondering that very question. On the one hand, the team drew with a talented Chelsea side and left itself still in great position to push for top-4. On the other hand, Tottenham was sour about being unable to break down a bus-parking Chelsea side at home, squandering a chance to draw even on points with fourth place Arsenal. Manager Mauricio Pochettino will be excited though to see his all of his first choice options eligible for selection, as Dele Alli and have ended their runs of suspension as Son Heung-Min returns to top form after missing over a month with injury. The test will be on to see if this ideal Tottenham squad can reach its highest heights.
In the way is a trip to the West Midlands to face West Bromwich Albion, currently sitting 13th in the table on 18 points. While The Baggies' attack has faltered this year as Saido Berahino has been in poor form, the West Brom defense has remained more resilient, as Jonas Olsson, Gareth McAuley, Jonathan Evans, and Craig Dawson have been mainstays. The attacking load will likely fall onto West Brom's veteran outfield players, and James Morrison, Solomon Rondon, and Darren Fletcher look to trouble the Spurs' defense.
Can Tottenham get a needed road victory to boost the team into the top 4? We shall see.
How to Watch
Date/time: Saturday, December 5, 3:00 p.m. (UK), 10:00 a.m. ET (USA)
Venue: The Hawthorns, West Bromwich, UK
Official: Jonathan Moss
TV: NBC Extra Time overflow channels (USA), Not Televised (UK), TSN 4 (Canada), Fox Sports 5 (Australia), other listings at livesoccertv.com
Streaming: NBCS Live Extra (USA)
Radio: Audio streamed at tottenhamhotspur.com, also BBC Radio London and TalkSport
Decisions, decisions. With all of Tottenham Hotspur's first choice outfield players healthy and not suspended, the question lies with what will be Mauricio Pochettino's new ideal starting XI. The CFC staff find it most likely that Erik Lamela is the odd man out, as Dele Alli returns to the lineup. However this is a 50/50 proposition at best, so do not be too surprised if Alli starts on the bench instead.
As for the Prediction League, Mechanick foresaw a Spurs' draw versus Chelsea, boosting him into sole possession of first place. The rules remain the same in the Prediction League -- one point for a correct prediction and a bonus point for getting the score correct. Here are the current standings:
|Earl of Shoop||4|
Michael Caley: TBD
Bryan A.: I dunno man. I suck at this game. West Brom are bad. Spurs are good. 2-0 Tottenham
GN_Punk: West Brom is not good, so expect to see not only a bus parked in front of the goal, but Pulis' car, a couple of food trucks, and maybe a Winnebago. Either way, I don't think it matters. We're miles better than WBA and I expect all three points. 2-0 Spurs
Mechanick: I really like the defense's chances of holding up against a wimp noodle of a West Brom offense. Throw in a goal for Kane and a goal for Eriksen, and I think you are in business. 2-0 Spurs
Ed F.: I predict a real grind of a game and a 1-0 win for Spurs.
Skipjack: 2-0 to Spurs. We win comfortably and Saido eats all the pies.
Dustin Menno: West Brom? More like Worst Brom, AMIRITE? Pulls gonna Pulis and park the bus, but this isn't Chelsea and we’re not Arsenal. With Alli back and both Sonny and Lamela (mostly) healthy and back to form, I ain’t scurred of a trip to the Midlands. 2-0 Spurs, goals from Kane and Eriksen.
Brett Rainbow: Have you seen how heavy Saido is? 2-1 Spurs.
Ben Daniels: West Bromwion are garbage donkeys. Once they get broken down, they collapse like a flan in a cupboard. Also, Saido Berahino has been replaced by a Side o' Beef-A-Reeno. 3-0 Spurs.
55thVin: This prediction is dedicated to all the pundits that told us we'd never amount to nothin', to all the people that lived in the buildings I lived in that called the police on me when I was just trying to celebrate a goal, and all the masthead in the struggle. It's all good baby, bay-bee. Spurs 3-0
Earl of Shoop: Our opponents this weekend are known as the Baggies, which from my experience are great for storing sandwiches but pretty bad at football. The Lilywhites is objectively (84.9%) a much, much better nickname than the Baggies, and we all know that nickname hierarchy is like half of what determines who wins. Other factors in our favor include: the presence of Tony Pulis; WBA's insane chairman; James Morrison; and apparent pie eating contest champion Saido Berahino. With that in mind, I must say the Baggies is actually quite a fitting name for West Brom, since it'll be easily modified into "the Paper Baggies" when a loss this week crumples them up and tosses them on their inevitable journey to their rightful place in the relegation zone/Premier League trash bin. Spurs have this one in the bag, 3-0 Spurs
Luke Zimmerman: West Brom has no prayer against a (near) fully weaponized Spurs side. The only threat Poch's group must overcome is their own apathy. 3-1 Spurs
Matthew Pachniuk: In the 31st minute, Saido Berahino will receive the ball at midfield relieving, for a brief moment, the unrelenting pressure of the Tottenham Hotspur attack. Shielding off a Belgian, Berahino will dribble back towards the WBA goal with pace. Eric Dier, Dele Alli, and then Harry Kane himself will all try to win the ball off of Berahino, but to no avail, this man is on a mission. England’s young striker will then launch a rocket past the outstretched hands of Ben Foster to put Spurs up 1-0. Little Bear, unleashing a primal roar, will rip off his navy blue and red away top revealing a white tee with a headshot of Jeremy Peace. Sprinting to the away section, Berahino will tear off this shirt, douse it with a small can of gasoline (provided by Spurs ground crew), and light his chairman’s face on fire. The only thing visible, besides the unholy contortions of this cursed footballer, is the sharp 2016-17 Spurs away kit that he was wearing across his chest all along. Spurs will go on to score two more goals to win 3-0. They will never sign Saido Berahino.
Jake Meador: 1-0 win for Spurs
Salmon Chase: TBD