Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Prediction: Tottenham Hotspur vs Swansea

Verdict: Harry Kane to score 1st and Tottenham to win

Best Odds: 9/4

Bookmakers: William Hill

Tottenham follow up their stunning win over Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League with a home clash against Swansea. Harry Kane has returned from his August hibernation and looks set to hand Mauricio Pochettino his first home league win of the season.

Spurs

Tottenham didn’t lose a league game at White Hart Lane last season, and much has been made of their struggles at Wembley. A defeat to London rivals Chelsea and a draw with Burnley are all that Spurs have managed at home thus far in the league, but does the tide looks set to change this weekend? It’s certainly possible to be pessimistic about the Champions League win over Dortmund, especially given that the German side had two goals incorrectly disallowed, as the short turnaround between games will give Swansea the edge on fitness levels.

However, there are two significant reasons to back Spurs this weekend, and one of those is Harry Kane. The star striker once again did his best to prove the existence of his August goal curse, but now September has arrived he is back in prolific form and scoring sensational goals with nonchalant elegance. He has five in three games for club and country this month. The second reason to be optimistic about Mauricio Pochettino’s side is precisely the fact that they did manage to beat Dortmund. It was widely acknowledged that Spurs were drawn in the Champions League ‘group of death’, facing Dortmund and reigning champions Real Madrid. The fact that they got off to a winning start against tough opposition will give them huge confidence going into this Swansea game, and will go a long way to dispelling the supposed Wembley curse.

Team News

Mauricio Pochettino will likely be without Danny Rose this weekend as the England international is still struggling with knee injury, though Ben Davies looks to have stepped into the role brilliantly.

Spurs will certainly miss Victor Wanyama whose training ground knee injury will keep him sidelined for some time. Erik Lamela is still out with a long-term hip injury.

Swansea

Paul Clement’s Swansea side are actually unbeaten away from home in the league this season with a 0-0 opening day draw at Southampton and a 0-2 win at Crystal Palace. That fact alone will give them some confidence, but when the Swans faced top six opposition in Manchester United they were demolished 4-0 at the Liberty Stadium, and Spurs have the firepower to replicate that result. Swansea also lost their last game at home to Newcastle, a side that Tottenham beat comfortably on the opening weekend.

That isn’t to say that Swansea don’t have a chance though. They do have some players that could hurt Spurs on the counter, especially given the frequency with which the Tottenham wingbacks get forward. Tammy Abraham and Jordan Ayew are always lively and if Wilfried Bony features he could be a threat from set pieces. It will be very interesting to see how Portuguese wonder kid Renato Sanches fares in a tough game like this as he adapts to the Premier League. The European Championship winning youngster was largely disappointing against Newcastle, but he did show flashes of what he is capable of.

Team News

Wilfried Bony is likely to be eased back into action for Swansea as he is lacking match fitness, but he should feature from the bench.

Nathan Dyer will miss out due to an Achilles injury, though he is expected back in the next few weeks. The same is true of Sung-Yeung Ki’s who is recovering from knee surgery. In the longer term, Kyle Bartley won’t return until the end of October due to a knee injury.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Tottenham haven’t lost any of their 12 Premier League games against Swansea.
  • Harry Kane has five goals in three games for club and country in September.
  • Kane has scored the same number of club goals (28) as Cristiano Ronaldo in 2017, but in three less appearances.
  • Spurs are the team who have taken the most shots in the Premier League this season (79), and Swansea have taken the least (26).
  • Renato Sanches gave away possession 14 times in the first 28 minutes of his Premier League debut.

Conclusion

A lot of people seem to be overthinking this game. Tottenham have a world-class team, one of the best strikers in the world, and bags of confidence following their Champions League win over Dortmund. With Kane back to his best, Spurs should cruise past this Swansea side that hasn’t turned too many heads this season, and Kane should find the back of the net.

Verdict: Harry Kane to score 1st and Tottenham to win

Best Odds: 9/4

Bookmakers: William Hill

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dan Steeden


Dan is a recent graduate of the University of Birmingham and an often frustrated Wigan Athletic fan. When not despairing at events unfolding at the DW Stadium he can be found fangirling over Antoine Griezmann or staying up into the early hours of the morning to cheer on the Seattle Seahawks.

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