Tottenham vs Crystal Palace preview, betting tips and prediction: Spurs to prevail with or without Kane
Tottenham to win 2-0 @ 11/2 with Coral
Tottenham to win to nil @ 11/10 with Coral
Draw HT/Tottenham FT @ 19/10 with Coral
Roy Hodgson’s impact at Crystal Palace has been slow but he is starting to improve matters at Selhurst Park. Losing their first seven games, four of them under Frank de Boer, and scoring no goals officially meant the Eagles had officially made the worst start in Premier League history. Heading to Wembley on Saturday, where Hodgson spent four years in the home dugout as England manager, Palace are still rooted to the bottom of the Premier League, but having beaten Chelsea and drawn with West Ham at home, they will be hoping they can take that form on the road in another London derby.
The situation for Mauricio Pochettino and Spurs says a lot for how quickly things can change in football. Having drawn with Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu in the Champions League and thrashed Liverpool 4-1 in the Premier League, they were lavishing in praise, but losing 3-2 from 2-0 down at home to West Ham in the Carabao Cup and 1-0 at Manchester United have raised questions over their mentality once again.
We are expecting a home win, but it could be a nervy affair for most of the Wembley crowd.
When news broke of Totttenham moving to Wembley for the season while White Hart Lane was getting developed, doubts were cast over how they could sustain a third successive title challenge given their record at the national stadium.
Pochettino’s men have struggled at times, most worryingly in games against teams of a similar stature to Crystal Palace on paper. Draws with Burnley and Swansea show they still have shortcomings, but Spurs are still third in the league. The talk after the win over Liverpool was of how they had cracked playing at their borrowed home, but Palace will cause different problems that they must be up for solving.
Even though things have improved recently, both the form table and overall Premier League standings still make tough reading for Palace fans. But having gone back to basics in terms of defensive organisation, they have improved. That win over Chelsea and draw with West Ham sandwiched a narrow loss at Newcastle, and even another shock win here won’t be enough to get them off the bottom.
The one major piece of news everyone is waiting for is on the fitness of Spurs taliasman Harry Kane. The England striker picked up a knock against Liverpool and hasn’t played since. It is unknown at the time of writing whether he will be fit enough to feature, let alone start the match.
Pochettino has an otherwise mostly fit squad to call upon. First team regulars Mousa Dembele and Danny Rose are continuing slow reintegrations into the side after recently recovering from serious injuries.
After a tough start to his Spurs career, Moussa Sissoko is beginning to show his worth and should continue in midfield.
Like Spurs, Palace are struggling for fit strikers. They currently have none available as Christian Benteke continues to struggle with a knee problem; Wilfred Zaha and Andros Townsend will continue to deputise down the middle in the Belgium international’s absence.