Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Prediction: Swansea vs Tottenham

Verdict: Tottenham -1 Goal

Best Odds: 17/20

Bookmakers: William Hill

Bottom of the table Swansea host Tottenham at the Liberty Stadium for the first of Spurs’ two games this week. The Swans need a positive result in this game to haul themselves out of the relegation zone, but they have struggled for goals all season. Mauricio Pochettino’s side meanwhile currently sit in sixth, but could leapfrog their North London rivals Arsenal with a win here. Whether or not Harry Kane misses this fixture could have a significant impact on the outcome.

Swansea

The Swans have had a change of management recently, and Carlos Carvalhal managed to inspire a shock win in his first game in charge. It took two incredibly late goals for Swansea to come away with the three points, but the result will give the players a lot of confidence. While beating Watford on the road is certainly impressive, a clash with Tottenham is a different kettle of fish. Spurs have conceded 17 fewer goals than the Hornets, and offer far more going forward. One of the Swans’ strengths this season had been their above average defence, but even that has collapsed of late, and they have conceded three or more goals in three of their last five games.

While they have been able to grind out draws and narrow wins over the teams around them, Swansea have really struggled against the conventional big sides this season. A 5-0 loss at Anfield, as well as a 0-4 dismantling by both Manchester clubs, have displayed the inadequacies within this Swans squad. Tottenham should be considered in the same vein as the other top teams, even if Harry Kane doesn’t play, and for that reason it is difficult to see Swansea picking up a positive result here.

Team News

Tammy Abraham picked up an injury in the weekend game against Watford and will likely face a late fitness test. With Wilfried Bony also a doubt due to a hamstring injury, Swansea’s attacking options are looking scarce.

Certain absentees include Kyle Naughton, who will be serving the first of his three-game ban after a violent misconduct charge, as well as Kyle Bartley and Leon Britton who are out injured.

Tottenham

Before their 0-3 win at Burnley, Mauricio Pochettino’s men had failed to win in five consecutive away games, which is part of the reason for their slide down to sixth place in the table. Their recent form however has been hugely impressive, and with Harry Kane in red hot form the North London side have unsurprisingly been scoring bags of goals. That Burnley win also looks to have ended their road struggles, and that trend should continue upwards as they head to the Liberty to take on a poor Swansea team. Even without Kane this is an incredibly talented squad, and they have the firepower to tear the Swans apart.

Tottenham have hit the five-goal mark in two of their last five games, including the weekend’s clash with Southampton. Dele Alli got on the scoresheet in that game, as did Heung-min Son, and the pair will be invaluable if Kane sits out this fixture. Spurs are still missing Toby Alderweireld, whose absence explains their defensive struggles by comparison to last season’s lofty standards, but they should neutralise a fairly toothless Swansea attack.

Team News

Harry Kane is the man on everyone’s mind when talking about Tottenham’s injuries. The striker is reportedly ill, but it is still unclear whether or not he will play in this game, or be rested by Mauricio Pochettino.

Moussa Dembele and Victor Wanyama are also doubts, while Toby Alderweireld remains out for the long-term.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Swansea actually won their last Premier League game, but have only managed to score 13 times all season.
  • The Swans have conceded 14 times in their last five games, including shipping five to Liverpool.
  • Tottenham have won four of their last five league games, scoring 16 times in the process.
  • Harry Kane has scored 18 Premier League goals this season.
  • Swansea have conceded 16 goals in six games against the current top six.

Conclusion

A lot hinges on whether or not Harry Kane will start this game, but even if he doesn’t Tottenham should have enough to ease past this struggling Swansea side. The likes of Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen still possess bags of talent, and if Kane does indeed start then this should be a fairly safe bet. Swansea have shipped lots of goals to the conventional top sides this season, so Spurs will feel fairly confident of getting a win here.

Verdict: Tottenham -1 Goal

Best Odds: 17/20

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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