Tottenham meet Swansea City in the Premier League at White Hart Lane for the only the fourth time in top flight football. It will be the second Premier League meeting and there were two games in the old 1st Division in the 1980s. The clubs have met on fourteen previous occasions in the League with eleven of the matches being in the old 2nd Division.
Swansea have never won in the League at White Hart Lane – Spurs have won their last ten home matches against Swansea and will be hoping to maintain that record as they endeavour to achieve a top four finish. Swansea were difficult opponents last season, their first in the Premier League which saw them finish in eleventh position with 47 points.
This season Swansea are in 8th position with 23 points, three behind Spurs. A win for Swansea would take them ahead of Tottenham, on goal difference. They have won three and drawn one of their seven away League games this season. They are undefeated in their last three away matches with a 2 – 0 win at Arsenal a fortnight ago, courtesy of two late goals from Michu. They won at Newcastle (2 – 1) and appear to enjoy visiting London as they opened the season with a 5 – 0 success at Queen’s Park Rangers. The drawn game was at Southampton (1 – 1). The three away League defeats have been at Manchester City (1 – 0), Stoke City (2 – 0) and Aston Villa (2 – 0).
Swansea’s main threat comes from Michu who is their leading scorer with 13 goals (12 in the Premier League). He is an attacking midfield player/striker who they signed for £2 million from Rayo Vallecano in Spain. He is very much in form and has scored six goals in his last five Premier League matches. Nathan Dyer and former Tottenham winger, Wayne Routledge are next with 4 goals each.
Last Saturday, Swansea lost 3 – 4 at home to Norwich City, Michu scoring twice but during the week, they qualified for the semi-finals of the Capital One Cup for the first time in their history with a 1 – 0 home win over Middlesbrough.
Home Record Against Swansea
P 14 W 12 D 2 L 0 For 45 Ag 11
Last Season’s Match
March, 2012 PL (h) Won 3 – 1 Van der Vaart, Adebayor (2)
In an entertaining game, Rafael Van der Vaart gave Spurs a first half lead after twenty minutes. Gylfi Sigurdsson equalised in the second half, his sixth goal in the visitor’s last five away games. Gareth Bale caused Swansea numerous problems and inspired Spurs as Emmanuel Adebayor headed two goals in the last seventeen minutes to earn Spurs the points.
Previous League Games (Division 1) at White Hart Lane
Feb. 1983 Won 1 – 0 Crooks
Swansea were relegated after only two seasons in the 1st Division while Spurs were to finish fourth behind Liverpool, Watford and Manchester United. Having lost in Swansea earlier in the season Spurs were grateful to the Garth Crooks goal which gave them the three points, heading in from a cross by Terry Gibson.
May, 1982 Won 2 – 1 Brooke (2) (1 pen)
In their first season in the 1st Division Swansea, after winning promotion in three successive seasons, had a very credible year, finishing in 6th position. Spurs were fourth behind Liverpool, Ipswich and Manchester United with Arsenal fifth. Spurs had lost at Swansea in late September but two Garry Brooke goals won them the points at White Hart Lane.
League Division 2 Matches
Dec. 1949 Won 3 – 1 Bennett, Duquemin (2)
Spurs won promotion at the end of the season as Arthur Rowe’s ‘Push and Run’ side with Bill Nicholson, Ron Burgess, Eddie Baily and Alf Ramsey, started on their way to two successive championships. Spurs fans were hard to please even in those days as they felt the team had an ‘off-day’. Spurs hit the woodwork and had two near misses before Len Duquemin headed them into the lead after 15 minutes. Swansea drew level after an hour but two rather fortunate goals, resulting from goalkeeping errors, scored by Les Bennett and Duquemin sealed the victory.
Jan. 1947 Won 3 – 1 Bennett, Dix, Whitchurch
Swansea were relegated at the end of the season. Charlie Whitchurch was a winger who made eight League appearances for Spurs, scoring twice and his goal against Swansea was the second of these. He played in the next match which was to be his last for Spurs, being released at the end of the season.
Nov. 1931 Won 6 – 2 Davies (2), Hunt, O’Callaghan, W. Evans (2)
Spurs and Swansea first met in season 1928-29 and on two of their first three visits to White Hart Lane, Swansea took a point. That changed, however, in 1931-32, when they suffered a heavy defeat to a Spurs side which scored 87 League goals that year. It was a memorable day for Willie Evans who made his debut at outside-left (left wing), scoring twice. George Hunt, ‘Taffy’ O’Callaghan and Willie Davis (2) scored the other goals. It could have been worse for Swansea, Port Vale were the next visitors and they lost 9 – 3.
Dec. 1932 Won 7 – 0 O’Callaghan, Hunt (2), Greenfield (2), W. Evans (2) (1 pen)
Swansea’s next visit was even worse as Spurs headed towards promotion, finishing second behind Stoke City. George Greenfield who scored twice was a young player but having become established in the team, he broke his leg in the next match against Fulham and never fully recovered. Willie Davies scored 28 goals in the League, eleven from the penalty spot.
Nov. 1935 Won 7 – 2 Fulwood (pen), Morrison (2), G.W.Hall (3), W.Evans
Swansea didn’t find White Hart Lane a welcoming ground in the 1930s and suffered their third successive heavy defeat. Although the personnel had changed from the earlier matches, Spurs remained dominant and were 3 – 1 ahead at the interval. Willie Davies who had scored twice for Spurs in 1931 was now with Swansea and played on their right wing. This wasn’t Spurs biggest home win of the season as they defeated Southampton 8 – 0 the following March.
Spurs will be looking for a win tomorrow to recover from last week’s disappointment at Everton. Gareth Bale is unlikely to play but Michael Dawson may be available so it might give the manager a chance to rotate in central defence in order to give Steven Caulker a rest. Two other players who are returning to fitness, Scott Parker and Benoit Assou-Ekotto, may make an appearance on the bench.
Tottenham will be looking for a win to build on their improving home form. They will want to avoid any late dramas and ensure that no late goals are conceded. A win similar to the 1930s results would be very acceptable and give a boost to their goal difference. Here’s hoping.