Premier League title contenders continue to impress on all fronts and having edged closer to the Europa League last 16 stage, they now aim to secure progress to the FA Cup quarter-finals. Standing between Spurs and that objective will be Crystal Palace, a side that struggle in the Premiership, but have so far enjoyed a successful Cup campaign.
Tottenham Hotspur were in danger of earning the perennial underachievers tag having repeatedly failed to realise pre-season ambitions after the club had invested considerable amounts of money into the playing squad. There was nothing to suggest that this season would be any different, but things slowly fell into place and Spurs went on to exceed expectations for the first time in quite a while. Up until few weeks ago, they were not even mentioned in the same breath with the title contenders, but five Premier League wins later and Tottenham sit in second, mere two points behind leaders Leicester City. It was the 2-1 triumph over Man City at Etihad Stadium that proved team’s title ambitions, while the 1-1 draw at Fiorentina in Europe League, achieved with an under-strength side, suggested Spurs could challenge for other trophies as well. With Mauricio Pochettino now widely expected to revert to his strongest side and his key men brimming with confidence, struggling Crystal Palace clearly have nothing to hope for ahead of the trip to White Hart Lane.
The likes of Harry Kane, Eric Dier, Moussa Dembele and Kyle Walker will all be recalled to the side after they were rested in midweek.
Key defender Jan Vertonghen has moved to reveal that he expects to return in six weeks, while Hugo Lloris and Clinton N’Jie miss out as well.
The FA Cup clash against Tottenham will mark the return of controversial striker Emmanuel Adebayor to White Hart Lane, with the Togolese forward making it clear he would celebrate a goal if he scored on Sunday afternoon. However, Crystal Palace are in no position to threaten anyone as they are going through a very rough patch at the moment. The Eagles are on the verge of slipping into the danger zone having failed to win any of their last nine Premier League fixtures (D3 L6), taking just one point from last seven. And while they did well to record narrow wins over Southampton and Stoke in the FA Cup, it is highly unlikely they will extend the run at White Hart Lane. With next week’s clash against relegation rivals West Bromwich of great importance, manager Alan Pardew could decide to rest some of his star players in North London, and it is no as if he has such a big squad, especially now that quite a few first team regulars are on the sidelines.
Alan Pardew has moved to confirm that Yannick Bolasie and Bakary Sako are unlikely to be risked in the Tottenham clash, and they are expected to return next weekend.
Meanwhile, Jason Puncheon, Joe Ledley, Kwesi Appiah and James McArthur all remain in the treatment room, whilst Pape Souare is banned.
Key Factors to Consider
- Spurs have won four of last six matches vs Crystal Palace (D1 L1)
- Palace scored just once on their last four visits to the Lane (D1 L3)
- Tottenham won both Premier League fixtures against Eagles this term
- Crystal Palace suffered six defeats in last seven EPL matches
- Tottenham have seven wins in last eight games on all fronts
Tottenham Hotspur have been in tremendous form of late and with several key men set to return, they can be trusted to extend the impressive run. Meanwhile, Crystal Palace are completely out of confidence after losing six of last seven Premier League fixtures and taking also into account that a host of first team regulars are out of contention, a comfortable home win appears on the cards.
Verdict: Home win
Best Odds: 7/10
Bookmaker: William Hill