Disappointment surrounds Tottenham Hotspur as they travel south to the Vitality Stadium to face Bournemouth on Sunday. Not once did the lilywhites bring shame to the badge in the 2017-18 Champions League, yet about thirty minutes of poor play over the course of two matches against Juventus cost Spurs a spot in the final eight of world football’s most prestigious competition. The way Spurs went out was particularly frustrating, but lets not forget the incredible memories forged in the past six months. If we handle business in the final quarter of the Premier League season, this will be an experience to build upon.
With Chelsea and Arsenal losing on the last Premier League matchday, Spurs victory over Huddersfield built a five point and thirteen gap respectively over our two London rivals. Spurs sit in fourth place with nine games left, two points behind third-placed Liverpool, and only four points behind second-placed Manchester United. The race for the top four will be dramatic, that is for sure.
The Cherries are doing fine in the Premier League, holding down the League’s twelfth spot, but with only six points between them and the relegation spots, they are closer than they’d like to the bottom. Since the Christmas period though, Bournemouth have been pretty darn good. Over the past ten matches they’ve won five, drew four, and only lost one. Victories over Arsenal and Chelsea, along with draws against Everton and West Ham were among the positive results in this stretch.
Bournemouth’s best player on the season has been their £20 million pound transfer, center-back and Dutch national team member, Nathan Aké. Though Bournemouth’s defensive record hasn’t been stellar, both he and former Spur Adam Smith have been bright spots for Bournemouth this season. Jordan Ibe has been a spark in midfield for the Cherries as has Ryan Fraser with four goals on the season. Ibe should miss out for Sunday, but Fraser is healthy. That leaves Josh King and Callum Wilson to provide the firepower up front, with nine goals between them on the season. Thirty-five year old Jermain Defoe could potentially come off the bench, though he hasn’t been used yet since the fractured right ankle he sustained two months ago.
The Juve loss has to be taxing on the psyche of the squad and Sunday will be a test to see if Tottenham can bounce back. Bournemouth is a side Spurs have not struggled much against and it should be a welcome match for Spurs to take out their frustrations on. Its already been a great season, hopefully Tottenham can stay focused and finish up their Premier League and FA Cup competitions in a strong fashion.
How to Watch
Date/time: Sunday, 4:00 p.m. (UK), 12:00 p.m. ET (USA)
Venue: Vitality, Stadium, Bournemouth, UK
Official: Mike Dean
TV: NBCSN (NBC Sports Live Extra), BBC Radio 5 Live , Sky Go UK, BBC Radio, SKY GO Extra, Sky Sports Main Event, Sky Sports Premier League (UK), Sportsnet World, Sportsnet World Now, Sportsnet Now (Canada), Optus Sport (Australia), other listings at livesoccertv.com
Streaming: NBC Sports Live Extra (USA)
Radio: Audio streamed at tottenhamhotspur.com, also often at BBC Radio London,BBC Radio 5 Live, and TalkSport
Toby Alderweireld remains sidelined, while Eric Dier hurt his elbow against Juventus and is questionable. With this information, I think the lineup will be as follows: Danny Rose and Serge Aurier will be starting at the left and right-back spots respectively, while Davinson Sanchez and Jan Vertonghen will round-out the back four. Victor Wanyama and Mousa Dembélé will start in the double pivot, with Christian Eriksen, Dele Alli, and Heung-Min Son in the attacking band. Harry Kane will start up top.
Menno dropped ANOTHER perfect scoreline and stretched his lead to three points with nine games left. Everyone else who predicted a score, predicted a Spurs victory. The top of the table is taking shape.
Cartilage Free Captain Prediction League Standings 2017-18
|Earl of Shoop
Dustin Menno: Lads, it’s Bournemouth. 3-0 Tottenham.
Matthew Pachniuk: Spurs 2-0. It will be tighter than we’d like, but Tottenham will fight back and walk away with three points.
Jake Meador: We start to recover with a win over Bournemouth. 2-0.
GN Punk: “Either we heal now as a team or we will die as individuals.” Spurs get back on track with an Al Pacino speech, 2-0.
Skipack: Bournemouth’s value has been overstated. 2-0 Spurs.
Ed F: 2-1 Spurs, and for his valiantly futile efforts Eddie Howe is awarded Manager of the Month again and also offered the England job.
Pardeep Cattry: Spurs will bounce back much like they did at the end of last season. That does not mean good things for Bournemouth. Tottenham 3-0
Earl of Shoop: Time to take out some anger on a poor, unsuspecting Bournemouth squad. Maybe they do expect it. They should probably expect it. They won’t be disappointed. Spurs 3-0.
Alex Greenberg: TBD
Joel Wertheimer: 1-1 because it’s always darkest before the dawn.
Salmon Chase: TBD
Joe Patrick: TBD
Nathan Giannini: The players are mad and Bournemouth are the sacrificial lambs. Lamela does at least one murder and Spurs win 3-0.
Bryan A: TBD