Tottenham Hotspur travel to Selhurst Park for a pivotal match against London rivals Crystal Palace. A win for Tottenham can put Spurs back in the top four. A loss for Palace could see them drop into the relegation zone.
Palace find themselves 15th in the Premier League table; only 4 points behind 10th place Bournmouth, but just 1 point above the relegation zone. Tottenham are 5th in the Premier League table, 4 points behind 2nd place Manchester United.
The match at Selhurst is a must win for both clubs and could go a long way in defining each club’s future. If Spurs again fail to pick up three points against lower table competition they could see their Champions League hopes vanish. Every point is vital for Crystal Palace’s safety; they cannot afford to drop points at home.
The previous meeting between the two clubs saw Spurs claim a narrow 1-0 victory over Palace at Wembley Stadium. Paulo Gazzaniga kept a clean sheet on his debut in goal for Spurs as they were without their first and second choice keepers through injury.
Tottenham dominated possession with 68.4%, but Palace had one more shot on target. Heung-Min Son scored the game winner in the 64th minute for Spurs. Though Spurs were victorious Palace created two excellent scoring chances prior to Son’s goal.
Scott Dann missed a header from close range in the 35th minute and Wilfried Zaha caught Gazzaniga out of his goal only to push the shot wide.
Crystal Palace come into the match on a four game win-less run and have not played a match since the 10th of February. Palace seem to have improved since Roy Hodgson took over early in the season and have had some good results against top six clubs. Palace’s first victory was a shock 2-1 result over Chelsea at Selhurst. They later drew 0-0 with Manchester City in a match they could have won had Luka Milivjevic converted a late penalty.
Palace have been hit hard by injuries; they could be without Wilfried Zaha arguably their best player. Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Jeffrey Schlupp, and Connor Wickham will all miss out on the match. Injured center-back Mamadou Sakho has returned to training and has an outside chance of featuring.
Tottenham Hotspur enter the match on a 14 game unbeaten run; their last defeat coming on December 16th against Manchester City. The game against Palace marks the beginning of a busy fixture period for Spurs. Tottenham will face Rochdale, Huddersfield Town, and Juventus in the 10 days following the Palace match.
This season Spurs have struggled to break down mid to lower table opposition in draws against Swansea, West Brom, Watford, and Southampton. The only notable omission from the squad will be Toby Alderweireld as the defender picked up an injury in training.
Crystal Palce XI: Hennessey, Ward, Fosu-Mensah, Sakho, van Aanholt, Townsend, Cabaye, Milivojevic, McArthur, Zaha, Benteke
Tottenham XI: Lloris, Trippier, Sanchez, Vertonghen, Davies, Dier, Eriksen, Dembele, Son, Alli, Kane
This match will be closer than expected; Sakho and Zaha will return to the line-up for Palace and give them some life. Spurs will struggle early to break down Palace but will bring on Erik Lamela and Lucas Moura in the second half. Spurs will eventually wear Palace down and leave Selhurst Park with all three points.