Crystal Palace v Leicester City – Premier League
James Tomkins by Sebastian Frej/MB Media
Crystal Palace v Norwich City – Premier League
Wilfried Zaha by Sebastian Frej/MB Media
After the shambles of the Newcastle defeat, there was cautious optimism about facing a difficult fixture against a Crystal Palace side riding high in the Premier League, following a good start to the season.
Spurs had been rightly accused of sluggish performances at home against Aston Villa and Newcastle and right from kick-off, it was clear that the team was not going to make those mistakes again.
The players were quick of thought and foot, swarmed the Palace defence with renewed intensity and provided the clinical finishing that was clearly missing before.
By the 30th minute, Spurs were three goals to the good with a brace from the effervescent Son Heung-Min and an own goal brought about through a Serge Aurier cross.
In fact, Aurier provided the spark along that right flank that was sorely absent when Kyle Walker-Peters or Davinson Sanchez (!) filled the role. With two assists, Aurier staked his claim to be #1 right-back choice and his defensive work was solid as well.
Just before half-time, Spurs secured the victory when Erik Lamela finished a brilliant Harry Kane cross with aplomb. Definitely the best first half performance from Spurs this season and certainly since the demolition of Bournemouth at Wembley at the tail end of 2018.
The second half found the teams somewhat going through the motions, Spurs dropped the intensity as expected and Palace had their moments to get at least a consolation goal but Hugo Lloris kept his first clean sheet of the season.
A great result to start a run of seven games in three weeks. Much needed boost to team morale ahead of the Champions League tie in Greece against Olympiacos.
COME ON YOU SPURS!!!
If recent match-ups have been any indication, then this London derby is going to be one-way traffic for Spurs but with very little end product.
Crystal Palace have proven themselves experts at parking the bus on our home patch in hopes of sneaking a smash-and-grab on our sometimes wayward defence.
That strategy worked well for Newcastle and almost did for Aston Villa recently and for Spurs fans, this fixture is certainly stress-inducing. Much will depend on how Mauricio Pochettino and the team he selects deal with this tricky challenge.
Selection-wise, the bad news is that Giovanni Lo Celso is out till end October at least due to a hip injury picked up on international duty and that is a huge blow to the Argentine’s settling into the Premier League.
Spurs are also without Juan Foyth and possibly Davinson Sanchez but at least the likes of Kyle Walker-Peters, Ryan Sessegnon, Tanguy Dembele, Serge Aurier, Dele Alli and Eric Dier are available to either start or be on the bench.
Which somewhat lessens Pochettino’s headaches BUT he will need to get his tactics spot-on, if we are to avoid a poor result like the last time out at home. However, based on past matches, Spurs should just about edge it!
Possible lineup : Lloris, Aurier, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Davies, Winks, Sissoko, Eriksen, Lamela, Son, Kane.
COME ON YOU SPURS!!!