Chase. Tottenham Hotspur are chasing the tails of the Foxes of Leicester City in a tight title race. Spurs are five points behind Leicester City with a game in hand and Arsenal are even with Spurs, as things start to tighten with just 12 league games left for Spurs. Tottenham is starting to earn the wounds of a heavy game load, as Harry Kane recovers from a broken nose and Mousa Dembele misses out with a groin injury. The challenge will come in rebuilding the spine of the team, as Pochettino will have the options of bringing Dele Alli back into central midfield or turns to the likes of Ryan Mason or Nabil Bentaleb fills in.
Spurs host a Swansea City team that sits in 16th place, just three points away from the relegation places. The Swans have been felled by an anemic offense, but their defense has been the mainstay of the team. Swansea has goal scoring threats in Andre Ayew, new arrival Alberto Paloschi, and former Spur Gylfi Sigurdsson. The defense remains strong, as the quartet of Neil Taylor, Ashley Williams, and Federico Fernández have been mainstays. The question may be in which team can get the better of central midfield, as Spurs have to adjust to replacing Mousa Dembele.
Can Spurs keep the title gap at two points with a crucial home win? We shall see.
How to Watch
Date/time: Sunday, February 28, 2016, 2:00 p.m.. (UK), 9:00 a.m. ET (USA)
Venue: White Hart Lane, London, UK
Official: Mike Jones
TV: Not Televised (Premier League Extra Time Channels Only) (USA), Not Televised (UK), TSN 1 (Canada), Fox Sports 3 (Australia), other listings at livesoccertv.com
Streaming: NBC Sports Live Extra (USA)
Radio: Audio streamed at tottenhamhotspur.com, also BBC Radio London and TalkSport
Interesting choices for Pochettino as Mousa Dembele is out with injury and Harry Kane is recovering from a broken nose. We predict that Kane makes the lineup with a healthy enough nose, while Dele Alli drops into central midfield as Lamela, Eriksen, and Son start across the attacking midfield. However, it would hardly be a shock to see Ryan Mason start in central midfield after his strong Europa League performance, or perhaps another rotation of the fullbacks.
As for the Prediction League, Matthew dropped a perfect prediction on the City match, bringing him into a tie for the lead. 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||11|
Dustin Menno: Spurs look whipped after a couple of mid-week matches against Fiorentina, but they shouldn’t have much trouble with a Swansea side that just isn’t very good. 3-0 Spurs, and Harry Kane fires in the opener off his mask.
Skipjack: 2-2 Draw, because why not.
Ben Daniels: Swansea have been better since appointing Guidolin as the new Assistant to the Regional Manager, or whatever the hell he's supposed to be. Expect Siggy to score because that's what ex-players do, but we should still walk this one. Our title challenge does not end the week after it began. 3-1 Spurs
55thVin: Even though we played on Thursday, we should put out a relatively fresh starting XI. We're obviously going to rotate fullbacks and the likes of Harry Kane and Sonny will probably come back into the team. Even players like Ryan Mason and Erik Lamela who played against Fiorentina haven't been overextended in the last month. This should negate any boost the Swans might get from fresh legs. Plus we're better. 2-1 Spurs
Luke Zimmerman: Spurs' loss to Palace will fuel them on a string of relentlessly showing no quarter. 2-0 Tottenham
Earl of Shoop: Oh man, who to pick in the latest installment of #BPLBirdBattle? In case you've never seen one in person, Swans are really mean, and they're kinda big. The Tottenham cockerel, however, is sporting some pretty viscous looking spurs - basically just a fancy way of wearing knives as an accessory. Just like Swansea to bring a beak to a knife fight. Spurs carve up Swansea, 2-0.
Matt Pachniuk: 2-1 Spurs. While we've lessened the Europa League to Premier League fatigue narrative, we still have lost to both Newcastle & Crystal Palace after these fixtures. Swansea will be tougher than we imagine, but Spurs will eek out a win. 2-1 Spurs.
Jake Meador: Tight 1-0 win for Spurs. Swans were playing better last time we met them and even then relied on a fluke own goal and perfectly executed counter to get their goals.
GN Punk: Swansea aren't as bad as they were a few weeks ago, but they're still not good. Spurs are riding high and, even though they're a little banged up with Moose being out, they shouldn't have any issue. Also, wouldn't you be terrified if you were in net and saw Harry Kane coming at you wearing a mask? 3-1 to Spurs, only because Siggy scores a free kick against us.
Brian Mechanick: Feels like an ugly game to me. I think this may be a subpar Kane with his Batman mask, but I think Son Heung-Min may have a blinder and get the winner. 1-0 Spurs
Ed F.: Swansea have stabilised a bit after implementing their bizarre new management structure, so I think this will be a 2-1 win for us rather than the 5-0 it would've been over Christmas. 2-1 Spurs
Bryan Ashlock: Swansea have been better of late, but they've still never beaten Spurs in the Premier League. 2-0 Spurs