Tottenham Hotspur travel to Goldsands Stadium in a must-win match
Tottenham Hotspur still have an outside, punchers chance at playing in some European competition next year, whereas Bournemouth just wants to stay in the topflight and avoid relegation. While Spurs form has been mixed, Bournemouth’s has been plain awful. So, what might we expect in Thursday night’s match-up?
Expect Spurs to Score
Out of nine Premier League matches against Bournemouth, Spurs have scored 3 or more goals in six of those games and only been held scoreless once, a 0-0 drawback in October 2016. Also, consider that since the new year in 15 matches Bournemouth has conceded more than 1 goal in 13 of those 15 matches and lost those other two 1-0. Having conceded 59 goals on the season, against 32 going in, Bournemouth comes in with a terrible -27 goal difference, with only Norwich’s -27 worse.
On the other side, we have Tottenham Hotspur, who have not been great since the restart, but have managed to win two games and are showing signs of life. While the counter-attacks have been faltering in the final third and the key to unlocking a packed-in defense has not been uncovered, there are some positive signs.
Spurs have managed 46 shots across the four matches with 11 of them on target. Sure, they only have 5 goals, but you can ask Manchester City, it often only takes one shot on target. Add in the fact, that several players have been getting the ball in dangerous positions and Tottenham may just be a team looking to break out offensively. If ever there was a defense to break out against, this Bournemouth side is it.
Tottenham Fixing Road Form
Beyond scoring some goals, Tottenham Hotspur needs to continue to improve on the defensive end. The shutout against Everton is a nice start, but Spurs only have 1 shutout on the road this season, which helps explain their overall poor road form.
At the height of the Mauricio Pochettino era, Spurs were a force to be reckoned with on the road, often displaying some killer form. However, much like everything for Tottenham this season, the road form has not been up to standards.
Through 16 road matches have 3 wins and 6 draws against 7 defeats. This means even if Spurs win out on the road, they will finish with a losing record away from home.
Do not think Jose Mourinho overlooks these kinds of facts and figures, just as the clean sheet was important to him versus Everton, we are likely to see a more conservative line-up than many may want so that the defensive integrity is maintained.
Then again, an early lead with one eye on Arsenal at the weekend would not be bad either. Regardless, Spurs need to find a way to start winning away from Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and facing a side who has already lost seven matches at home is a good place to do it.
Spurs Outlook for the Match
This should be a cakewalk for Spurs, but Tottenham Hotspur have not made things just look easy in a long time. Of course, we likely felt the same way about last place, Norwich, in the FA Cup 5th round and Spurs went out on penalties. The bottom line is a loss here means everything Tottenham have worked for all season is gone. With so much on the line, expect Spurs to finally get back on track and roll 3-0.
What do you think is going to happen?