Tottenham v West Bromwich: Preview, Kick-Off, Team News


Tottenham play West Bromwich Albion at White Hart Lane this afternoon, looking to get back to winning ways. After four wins in all competitions to start the season, Spurs have now gone three games without a win.

Tottenham have found West Bromwich Albion difficult opponents at White Hart Lane in recent seasons. The last two games have ended 1 – 1 and the previous season, it took a goal from Jermain Defoe to break the deadlock. Prior to that, the game in April, 2011 ended 2 – 2 with Roman Pavlyuchenko and Defoe scoring while in May, 2009, Jermaine Jenas scored the only goal of the game. West Brom’s last win at White Hart Lane was in November, 1984, a 3 – 2 defeat for Spurs when Micky Hazard and John Chiedozie scored.

Sunday, 21st September, 2014
Tottenham Hotspur v West Bromwich Albion
Kick-off: 1.30pm (UK time)

Last Season

Last season’s game was Tim Sherwood’s first home Premier League match as Spurs manager. After winning 3 – 2 at Southampton, the Boxing Day fixture ended in a 1 – 1 draw. Christian Eriksen put Spurs ahead late in the first half direct from a free-kick, his first league goal for the club, but within a couple of minutes Albion had levelled the score. Eriksen turned from hero to sinner, giving away a free-kick and when the ball ran loose in the area Albion scored through central defender Olsson.

The previous year it was a similar scenario against Albion in Andre Villas-Boas’ first home league game as manager. Benoit Assou-Ekotto put Spurs ahead with a great strike late in the second half but Albion fought back to equalise in the final minute.

West Bromwich Albion

Albion, like Tottenham, are under new management this season with Alan Irvine in charge. He was assistant to Davis Moyes at Everton until 2007. He then managed Preston and Sheffield Wednesday before returning to Goodison Park as the Academy manager in 2011.

Last season Albion just avoided relegation, finishing in 17th place, three points ahead of relegated Norwich. They signed 11 players during the summer transfer window and are currently in bottom place in the early Premier League table with 2 points.

Albion opened the season with two draws, 2 – 2 at home to Sunderland and 0 – 0 at Southampton. At the end of August they lost 0 – 3 at Swansea and last weekend suffered another defeat, 0 – 2 at home to Everton. They were a goal down to Everton inside 2 minutes at the Hawthorns – a mistake by Olsson gifting Everton the lead and then a mistake by goalkeeper Ben Foster in the second half enabled the visitors to secure their win.

Saido Berahino is Albion’s top scorer with 2 goals – having scored twice on the opening day against Sunderland.

Tottenham Hotspur

Albion have shown Spurs that they can be difficult opponents in their recent matches at the Lane. Mauricio Pochettino will be hoping that his team will be as creative as last weekend against Sunderland but more clinical with their finishing in front of goal. He will also want the defence to be tighter – giving the opposing attacking players less room and fewer sights at goal.

He will want to improve the unfortunate sequence of results following European games which has seen seven of Spurs last twelve league defeats coming after a Thursday night Europa League match.

Pochettino, having made 10 changes for the midweek Europa League game, will probably select a team similar to last weekend with Jan Vertonhghen who played in Belgrade likely to return ahead of Vlad Chiriches.

Team News

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For Spurs, only Kyle Walker is unavailable as he recovers from surgery although there is a doubt over Andros Townsend who suffered a dead leg in the game in Serbia.

Albion have a full strength squad and new signings, defender Joleon Lescott and winger Silvestre Varela, signed on loan from Porto, could make their debut. Youssouf Mulumbu and Victor Anichebe could return from injury.

Tottenham know from recent experience that Albion can be difficult and dangerous opponents who will battle and fight for everything, Spurs will have to match that endeavour to win the right to play their football and will be looking for a win which would take them into the top 4 in the league table – an opportunity that mustn’t be missed.