A Harry Kane-less Spurs deserved a draw at Old Trafford and then beat Real Madrid 3-1 at Wembley in the past week. With that win, Tottenham sit with Bayern Munich, PSG, and Manchester City in already qualifying for the knockout stages of the Champions League after just four matches in a group of death with Madrid and Dortmund. We also thrashed Liverpool the week before. This team is scary good and producing historic results at an insane clip. Its privilege to watch.
Spurs maintain the third spot in the Premier League table, now three points behind United and eight points adrift of City. They still hold a two point advantage over Chelsea and Arsenal and a four point lead over Liverpool. Sunday’s opponent is in dead last with a negative seventeen goal differential and just four points and one win accumulated on the season over ten matches. Yikes.
Heroically, Palace’s only win came against Chelsea and that was just three weeks ago. Last week, they earned the other point in their 2017-18 campaign with a draw against West Ham. Palace were miserable to an embarrassing degree to start the season, but they’ve turned it around some under Roy Hodgson, are significantly more organized, and aren’t nearly as dreadful as they were in August and September.
Ultimately though, Palace are limited. They were already shallow in striker depth when Christian Bentenke hurt his knee against City and he’s been out since late September. Without him, they just don’t have a true number nine in the team and that weakness has festered in their open play this year. Their offense primarily comes from Tottenham academy product Andros Townsend and the sometimes mercurial Wilifred Zaha who have been given free reign in the attack. At the end of the day though, neither of these players are true goal scorers and aren’t answers to their striker situation at all.
Sitting behind them are Yohan Cabaye and Luka Milivojević who are a pretty strong central midfield pairing for a relegation contending side. Yet the Golden Eagles bleed goals, twenty-one of them to be exact, and are the only team in the Premier League to not secure a clean sheet this season.
Crystal Palace will concede, but can Tottenham Hotspur deal with injuries to stars and stalwarts Hugo Lloris and Toby Alderweireld? The match is quite important and probably won’t be a walk in the park for Tottenham Hostpur. They will be drained from the past week and its a match that they really need for their Premier League standings and title challenge. Spurs will look to take three points at Wembley from Crystal Palace on Sunday.
How to Watch
Date/time: Sunday, 12:00 p.m. (UK), 7:00 a.m. ET (USA)
Venue: Wembley Stadium, London, UK
Official: Kevin Friend
TV: NBCSN (NBC Sports Live Extra), BBC Radio 5 Live, BT Sport 1, BT Sport 4K UHD (UK), TSN4, TSNGO (Canada), Optus Sport (Australia), other listings at livesoccertv.com
Streaming: NBC Sports Live Extra (USA)
The win against Madrid didn’t come without cost as both Hugo Lloris and Toby Alderweireld sustained groin and hamstring injuries respectively. Victor Wanyama remains sidelined with a knee injury too, but he is at least conducting field work training at the moment.
The injuries though, probably don’t effect our formation or how we play too much. The question is whether or not we go with a 3-4-3 or a 4-2-3-1. Eric Dier can just slide into Toby’s spot in the 3-4-3 scenario without changing much, but I think we start in a 4-2-3-1 with an attack minded unit. Michel Vorm will start in net with Serge Aurier, Davinson Sanchez, Jan Verthonghen, and Danny Rose across the backline. Harry Winks and Eric Dier will begin in the double pivot, with Christian Eriksen, Dele Alli, and Son Heung-Min in the attacking band. Harry Kane will be the lone striker up top.
Alex Greenberg predicted a correct result, but Dustin Menno and Joe Patrick predicted perfect scorelines. Nobody picked Spurs to win, but many chose a draw. The three above were the only ones to garner points this week. Sad!
Cartilage Free Captain Prediction League Standings 2017-18
|Earl of Shoop||7|
Dustin Menno: Y’all. Crystal Palace didn’t even SCORE until week 8. 4-0 Spurs.
Matthew Pachniuk: Spurs win 3-0.
Bryan Ashlock: Andros Townsend FROM DOWNTOWN. 1-0 Palace.
Jake Meador: We are tired and Hodgson is annoying. 1-1.
GN Punk: Roy Hodgson may have made Crystal Palace less bad, but they're still that: Bad. Spurs 3-0.
Salmon Chase: This team is named after a house, a really nice house to be sure. Unfortunately they are not a very nice team. Not so much a palace as much as a 30 year old single family home in a suburb that hasn't been in a housing boom since 2006. Metaphors people. If you want success, learn metaphors (winks, double gun points). 2-0 Spurs.
Ed F: Roy still owes Spurs for the last game of the 2011/12 season, and also me specifically for my 4 years of England fandom 2012-2016. 2-0 Spurs.
Earl of Shoop: Le Corbusier once said: "You employ stone, wood and concrete, and within these materials you build houses and palaces. That is construction. Ingenuity is at work." I don't see any mention of using crystal, which seems like it'd be a pretty hilariously poor choice. Also hilariously poor is this entire Palace team. Maybe they need a little steel? No he didn't mention steel either. Hm. Well, anyway that amount of serious consideration for how to fix this squad appears to be more than anyone who's paid by the club has put in so far this season. Maybe Roy can firm up this shaky squad and do a little rebuilding in January, but any kind of improvement isn't starting this weekend against a very, very hot Spurs team. We win this one comfortably, despite missing some key players (Toby no!!!!): Spurs 2-0
Skipjack: Crystal Palace don't have the currency to beat Spurs. 3-1 Tottenham.
Pardeep Cattry: here will be a lot of rotation for Spurs, but not a lot of goals. Tottenham 1-0.
Joe Patrick: Last time we came off a big result against Madrid, I thought we'd have a letdown, but we dominated. I still think it will not be super pretty, but 2-0 Spurs nonetheless.
Alex Greenberg: Zaha will score and we'll sign him next summer, but the COYS boys will get the job done. 3-1 Spurs.
Nathan Giannini: The week after Tottenham's famous 3-1 win over Inter Milan in 2010 we promptly went up to Bolton and lost 4-2. Because of course we did. BUT NOT THIS TIME. 4-0 Spurs.
Joel Wertheimer: Palace are better than their record. Palace are still a bad team coming to Wembley. 3-1 Spurs.