How long do midseason international breaks take? Supporters are always prepared for the post deadline day national team duties, but my goodness it feels like an age since Tottenham Hotspur suited up last. Spurs last encounter was away to Huddersfield Town and it was a dominant performance. Harry Kane notched two goals within the first twenty-three minutes, with Ben Davies adding a goal of his own in the sixteenth minute, and Spurs cruised to a 4-0 win. Harry Kane scored ELEVEN goals in seven matches in September as Tottenham’s only blemish was a 0-0 draw to Swansea. We’ll be obliged to take that output in October and November thank you very much.
The lilywhites have now moved into sole possession of third place with fourteen points, five points behind the two Manchester sides in the top two spots, and one point ahead of London rivals Chelsea and Arsenal who are in fourth and fifth place respectively. Liverpool are two points behind Spurs and now have to deal with an injury to Sadio Mane to boot. Bournemouth is on the complete opposite side of the table. The Cherries are alone in nineteenth place, with just four points won on the year. Only dumpster fire Crystal Palace, with a net total of zero points, sits below the south coast side.
Bournemouth nearly beat Manchester City earlier in the year and drew Leicester 0-0, but have failed to impress much this term. They’ve only registered four goals the entire Premier League season and their sole win was against newly promoted Brighton. Their roster has some serviceable role players, but is a bit drab overall.
The Cherries are led by £130,000 pound per week striker Jermain Defoe. He is a legend and its nice to see him raking in a hefty salary this late in his career, but his partnership with Josh King has been anything, but prolific. Yet that striking duo, which certainly can finish if given the opportunity, is probably the most threatening part about the Bournemouth attack. Ryan Fraser and particularly Jordan Ibe can bring pace and creativity to the flanks, yet between those two and Harry Arter, there isn’t much playmaking ability in the side.
Their backline has some decent players — namely Nathan Ake and former Tottenham academy product Adam Smith. Ake has some pedigree and class to his game and Smith has really performed and become an important cog in the Cherries defense over the past few seasons. Great for him! Lastly, Asmir Begovic has found the first team shirt for a Premier League side and he is backed up by Artur Boruc, which means that Bournemouth’s goalkeeping situation is pretty fantastic, just maybe not in the consistently capable kind of way.
Like all our visitors this term, Bournemouth will be excited to play in historic Wembley. They will also be desperate to turn the page on their season and start anew. Yet the Cherries talent is limited and aligned with their place in the table. If Spurs can bottle Defoe and Josh King, they should have a great chance of a comfortable three points on Saturday
How to Watch
Date/time: Saturday, 3:00 p.m. (UK), 10:00 a.m. ET (USA)
Venue: Wembley Stadium, London, UK
Official: Bobby Madley
TV: CNBC, NBC Sports Gold (USA), BBC Radio, Talk Sport Radio 2 UK (UK), TSN1, TSNGO (Canada), Optus Sport (Australia), other listings at livesoccertv.com
Streaming: NBC Sports Live Extra (USA)
Danny Rose and Erik Lamela are back in training, which is wonderful. Both seem like they have been out forever and are welcome additions to the first team. Further, Victor Wanyama is healthy and in contention to play. All spectacular news on the injury front.
With Madrid and the Santiago Bernabéu looming on Tuesday, it will be interesting to see who Pochettino elects to play in a winnable fixture. One player who I imagine will be out is Mousa Dembélé who will be saved for Spain and I think (hope) he prefers Aurier in a big match to Kieran Trippier. He could tinker with sitting Christian Eriksen or Dele Alli, but both are young enough to recover from Saturday to Tuesday, and I don’t think anyone will have trouble in terms of motivation and energy when playing Real Madrid.
The lineup then will start with Hugo Lloris in goal, Toby Alderweireld, Davinson Sanchez, and Jan Vertonghen across the back three, and Ben Davies and Kieran Trippier manning the flanks. Eric Dier will partner with Moussa Sissoko in the middle, while Christian Eriksen, Dele Alli, and Harry Kane will play in the attack. There is a chance that Winks starts in the center midfield with Sissoko replacing either Eriksen or Alli. In this regard, Poch could have two of Eriksen, Sonny, and Alli completely fresh for Tuesday. I’m not making that call, but it is a possibility.
The young upstart Joel Wertheimer came out swinging two Saturdays ago and predicted a bang-on 4-0 scoreline for a big two points. Joe Patrick picked a draw, quivering from the colossal talent that is Aaron Mooy, while Bryan A also chose a draw, thus successfully picking the incorrect result, which is a big win for him. Everybody else foresaw a Spurs victory.
Cartilage Free Captain Prediction League Standing 2017-18
|Earl of Shoop
Dustin Menno: My only regret about this match is that we can’t watch Tottenham injure Jack Wilshere at the same time. 4-0 Spurs.
Matthew Pachniuk: I am going to pick 2-0 victories at Wembley against shite opponents until it finally comes true. 2-0 Spurs.
Jake Meador: Bournemouth are bad. We are not. 2-0 win.
GN Punk: Eddie Howe continues to ruin his chances at being Arsene Wegner's replacement. Spurs roll 3-0.
Earl of Shoop: Now you'd think a team with "mouth" right in the name would have the advantage over a team whose name contains "ham." But, once again, dear reader, you'd be wrong. As wrong as the parents of anyone who decides to name a child Ben. Anyway the point here is that this time the ham eats the mouth. We cruise to a delicious win, Spurs 2-0
Bryan A: TBD
Skipjack: Until Harry Redknapp really gets behind Bournemouth as a cryptocontender they really don't have any legitimacy in my eyes. Spurs 3-0.
Ed F: Harry Kane boots the Wembley Curse into orbit. 3-0 Spurs.
Pardeep Cattry: Spurs have to beat Bournemouth, even if it's at Wembley, right? RIGHT? Tottenham 1-0.
Joe Patrick: 4-0 seems to be a score that Spurs hit quite often when they are clearly the superior team, so I will say 4-0 Spurs
Salmon Chase: Whoever this joe guy is, he makes a lot of sense. I shall copy him. 4-0 Spurs
Alex Greenberg: Bournemouth surprise us and defend well, but Moussa Sissoko (yes, that's right) comes off the bench and gets the winner. Now that he has opened his account he won't be able to stop scoring. 1-0 Spurs.
Nathan Giannini: Oooh boy I did not realize how bad Bournemouth had been so far this year, which makes me feel better about Wembley being Wembley. 3-0 Spurs.
Joel Wertheimer: We have been derping a lot of goals and we'll derp one a way here. But still we're way better. 3-1 Spurs.