Tottenham Hotspur kick off their their season with a trip to newly promoted Crystal Palace. AVB added great depth to this Tottenham squad by signing ready made talents like Paulinho and Roberto Soldado. Nacer Chadli and recently signed Etienne Capoue added much needed versatility to the squad. Fans’ expectation are high as always. They believe this year, they will finally overshadow their North London rivals Arsenal in the league.
Their opponents Crystal Palace are not short of expectation either. Many pundits are already tipping them to be a genuine relegation contenders. Ian Holloway would want his team to reverse these odds and stay in the premier league.
Tottenham are without their top star Gareth Bale who is sidelined with an injury. AVB will hope players like Soldado and Nacer Chadli to take the goal scoring burden instead. But the question is whether the new signings will start the game or be in bench for the game? Soldado’s goal scoring pedigree will earn him a starting place mostly. Chadli is expected to start from the bench. With Parker’s apparent imminent departure and Sandro’s questionable fitness, Paulinho and Dembele will take the defensive pivot. In defense, Kaboul will partner Dawson while Rose and Walker will held the fort down the wings.
Tottenham expected lineup: Lloris, Rose, Kaboul, Dawson, Walker, Dembele, Sigurddson, Paulinho, Townsend, Lennon, Soldado. Subs: Friedel, Naughton, Fryers, Capoue, Carroll, Chadli, Defeo
For palace, their new signing Marouane Chamakh is expected to start. Glenn Murray is still out along with Jerome Thomas and Yannick Bolasie. Highly rated Dwight Gayle and Jonathan Williams are expected to start the game.
Spurs will go with their usual 4-2-3-1 with Soldado playing as a target man and Sigurddson just playing behind him in his beloved no 10 role.
Last season, spurs finished the league with highest number of longs shots from outside of penalty box. Only Liverpool had more number of overall shots than spurs. This was mainly because they lacked an intelligence striker to make clever runs and finish off moves inside the 10 yards zone. Both Defeo and Adebayor was not good enough. But with the arrival of Soldado, the whole setup may change. Soldado’s goal poaching and positioning skills are second to none. To use his abilities fully, Spurs will have to find a balance between wing play and playing through middle. With Bale’s absence, one can expect more cut backs and short+long crosses from the wingers instead of longs shots.
Ian Holloway loves to play beautiful passing game play but this time he would be aware not to make the same mistake that he made with Blackpool. Palace will try to execute a counter attacking game play with low lined defense to neutralize Tottenham’s directness and pace. They will go with the same formation as spurs 4-2-3-1 with Jose Campana playing in a deep playmaker role and will try to orchestrate all the counter attacks with his pinpoint long balls. Jonathan Williams playing as an inverted winger is probably the main threat for spurs wing backs. When not in possession, Palace will stick to a compact and narrow setup to stop Spurs midfielders from feeding Soldado.
Last Six League results:-
Crystal Palace – DDWDWW
Even without Bale, Tottenham have enough steel and attacking depth to take all three points in their first game of the season. Spurs to win the game with a two goals margin and Soldado to bag atleast one goal on his premier league debut.
Palace 1 Spurs 3