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Tottenham must pass tough counter-attacking test against Crystal Palace

18 Sep | BY Betway | MIN READ TIME |
Tottenham must pass tough counter-attacking test against Crystal Palace

Spurs return from Europa League duty looking for their first home league win of the season - it will not be easy against Alan Pardew's side

Tottenham have made a slow start to the season, but they will hope that Ryan Mason’s late winner against Sunderland last weekend can kick-start their efforts to secure a top-four finish.

The North London club will have to cope with the additional demands of the Europa League, though, having begun their European campaign against Azerbaijani champions Qarabag this week.

Mauricio Pochettino made several changes to his starting eleven for that game, and will be well aware of the difficulties that the gruelling cycle of Thursday and Sunday games can bring.

Spurs played eight Europa League fixtures in his first season at the club, but they only picked up three wins in the games immediately afterwards.

This time out, Pochettino’s side face Crystal Palace at home on Sunday.

A quick recovery from their midweek exertions is needed if they are to come out on top and they are evens to pick up three points.

Palace secured a 2-1 win the last time the two sides met, but the Eagles have only recorded one victory at White Hart Lane during the Premier League era.

Their poor away record against Spurs may not mean a thing this weekend, however, as Palace will head into the game full of confidence, having won both of their away games so far this term.

The Eagles have already beaten Chelsea on the road and were desperately unlucky to concede an injury-time winner at home to top-of-the-table Manchester City last weekend.

Palace comfortably avoided relegation following Alan Pardew’s appointment last term and the upwardly-mobile side now have ambitions of securing a European place themselves.

Pardew inherited a relatively solid defence and the addition of Yohan Cabaye has added guile in midfield, while Yannick Bolasie, Wilfried Zaha and Bakary Sako have the skill and speed to stretch any opposition.

Tottenham will look to control possession, but Palace pose a real threat on the break with their lightning-fast counter-attacking football and are 6/4 to score the first goal.

Only three sides have scored more league goals than Palace so far and it is 3/4 for both sides to hit the target.

Tottenham’s star striker Harry Kane has yet to hit the back of the net in league action this season, but he will be key to his team’s chances.

The England international demonstrated his finishing ability in the recent international break and it is surely only a matter of time before the goals start to flow again at club level.

The 22-year-old enjoyed a remarkable rise last term, becoming the first Tottenham player to hit 30 goals in a single season since Gary Lineker way back in 1991/92, and is 7/2 to open the scoring.

Summer signing Son Heung-Min, meanwhile, was brought in to share the goal-scoring burden with Kane and the South Korea international is 2/1 to score at any time.

Spurs have only scored four league goals so far, though, and conceded late goals against Leicester and Stoke to squander winning positions.

Palace’s ability to counter at speed could prove decisive in the final stages if Tottenham begin to tire after their travels and it is 9/4 for a draw at half-time and either side to then win.

With both sides potentially competing for a European spot, three points on Sunday could prove to be very useful at the end of the season.

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