Friday, May 26, 2017

Prediction: Crystal Palace vs Tottenham

Verdict: Draw

Best Odds: 16/5

Bookmaker: Bet365

Crystal Palace will be holding out for another upset result as they prepare to play host to Premier League title challengers at Selhurst Park. Having beaten the likes of Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool, Eagles head into the Wednesday’s clash with hugely improved confidence as well as form.

Crystal Palace

Sam Allardyce has once again proved his masterclass when it comes to handling the fire. Not only did the experienced tactician guide his team as far from relegation as possible, but he also made Crystal Palace an exciting team to watch and a force to be reckoned with. Shrewd January transfer dealings are paying dividends as the likes of Mamadou Sakho and Luka Milivojevic are proving to be perfect additions to the squad at Selhurst Park. Allardyce’s charges have lost only one of their eight Premier League matches, whereas it was the wins over Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool last time out that have done wonders for the team’s morale. Previously goal-shy side, Crystal Palace have enjoyed stretches of fine form recently and the turnaround against the Reds was the perfect proof. Christian Benteke used the occasion to send a clear message to his former employers at Anfield as the Belgian singlehandedly defeated the Reds with his brace at the weekend. The players have been empowered by their sudden rise in form and will have been feeling like they can’t be beaten ahead of the highly-anticipated clash against Tottneham. Crystal Palace are unbeaten in their last four home matches and the much-improved confidence gives Eagles optimism ahead of Spurs’ visit.

Team News

James Tomkins is ruled out through injury, while Sam Allardyce will have a couple of more selection issues ahead of the game.

Scott Dan, Connor Wickham and Pape Souare are all unavailable, whereas Mamadou Sakho is expected to be back in the squad after missing the Liverpool game due to the loan agreement between two sides.  

Tottenham

Mauricio Pochettino’s side did well to win seven Premier League matches on the trot which helped them close the gap on leaders Chelsea to just four points. Premier League title is within the touching distance, yet Saturday’s FA Cup semifinal defeat to the team Spurs are trying to catch in the league must have been a devastating blow for the team’s morale. Spurs were denied a chance to fight for their first piece of silverware in more than a decade now and hopes of getting their hands on a trophy this season are now resting on an unlikely Premier League title challenge. Tottenham have this season become one of the most exciting teams to watch in the Premiership and their fine results can hardly come as a surprise given the studious approach from their boss who is blessed with a talented squad, that is a perfect blend of youth, quality and experience. The exciting brand of football resulted in 15 goals scored in last 5 Premier League matches, during which time Spurs only conceded two. Harry Kane is back to his best whereas it has been England international Dele Ally who has been earning rave reviews for his performances. Pochettino will most certainly hope for more to come from the 21-year-old as Spurs face a proper challenge at Selhurst Park.

Team News

Spurs have certain doubts over the availability of Danny Rose who continues to recover from a knee ligament injury.

Michael Worm, Harry Winks and Erik Lamela remain unavailable due to their respective injuries.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Crystal Palace lost only 1 of their last 8 Premier League outings
  • Spurs are on 7-match winning run in the Premier League
  • Tottenham scored 15 goals in last 5 EPL matches, conceding only two
  • Pochettino’s men are four points behind Premier League leaders Chelsea
  • Palace sit comfortably in 12th place in the standings

Conclusion

Tottenham grabbed a 1-0 win in reverse match earlier this season and will be keen to make it a double against Crystal Palace in a match that is of crucial importance as far as Spurs’ title hopes are concerned. Pochettino’s men are under pressure as any possible slip-up could effectively throw them out of the race and that is a mental aspect of the forthcoming duel Crystal Palace will be hoping to exploit.

Verdict: Draw

Best Odds: 16/5

Bookmaker: Bet365

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