Last weekend’s victory over Brighton was questionable in many ways, but Tottenham Hotspur has been on the wrong side of countless VAR decisions before and three points are three points. The goals came off the feet of the (once) usual suspects, and for a moment it actually felt like everything might be coming back to normal.
That reality will be tested shortly with three-straight contests against the other three threats to finish in the top four. First, though, is a visit from Bournemouth who — stop me if you have heard this before — sits in the massive relegation lump that takes up nearly the entire bottom half of the table.
We are well beyond the concept of an easy win for Spurs, and the Cherries will not roll over, even as underdogs. With the crucial fixtures ahead, there is no room for anything other than a victory, and another episode of dropped points could seize what little morale remains. Everyone loves a match with little upside and tons of potential for disappointment!
Tottenham Hotspur (5th, 53pts) vs. Bournemouth (t-14th, 30pts)
Date: Saturday, April 15
Time: 10:00 am ET, 3:00 pm UK
Location: Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London, England
TV: USA Network (USA)
For Bournemouth the story is all about defense, which ranks dead last in goals allowed in the league this season. Spurs scored three in the reverse fixture, and multi-goal defeats are not exactly an uncommon occurrence. The Cherries do have a pair of 1-0 wins during the past five matches, but also have some lopsided losses, so perhaps either outcome is possible this weekend.
Tottenham’s win in October was far from comprehensive, but the attack put up numbers after falling behind 2-0. This was the match that featured nearly endless corners, and Rodrigo Bentancur (remember him?) finished off one in stoppage time to save the day. It was an imperfect effort from the squad, but few things have come easily this season.
Isolate the highlights from the weekend and things do not seem so grim. A quintessential world-class strike from Heung-Min Son and a clinical finish from Harry Kane make up a story that has been told plenty of times about successful afternoons in North London, but most of this year has not quite played out that way.
Son is a big part of how this season ultimately finishes, and he will seemingly get the chance to see it through as a starter, regardless of form. Cristian Stellini’s tinkering is nothing too dramatic, and in fact it is possibly Ryan Mason who was the one to actually pull the trigger on substitutions against Brighton.
Tottenham should be motivated enough at home against a lesser opponent, and here is another fixture that calls for the talent to perform regardless of managerial intervention or instruction. An attack led by Kane, Son, and Dejan Kulusevski must be able to produce, regardless of what lies behind them. That statement has been trust all season long, however, and unfortunately we have seen it struggle to materialize. A complete team win would be awesome on Saturday, but history suggests that is a big ask.