Premier League Preview and Prediction: Tottenham vs Chelsea

Premier League: Tottenham Hotspur vs Chelsea FC

Wembley Stadium – Sunday, August 20 – 16:00 BST (11:00 ET)

Match Odds: Spurs 21/20 – Draw 5/2 – Chelsea 5/2

Tottenham vs Chelsea: Preview

Tottenham host Chelsea as they take to the field for their first Premier League game at Wembley this season. The home side will need to try and make the national stadium a fortress for the 2017/18 campaign, while work is finished on their new stadium.

Mauricio Pochettino’s men got off to a winning start at Newcastle last week. That 2-0 victory was fairly straightforward in the end, although it was certainly a closer game before Jonjo Shelvey’s red card.

The worry for Spurs is that they were so poor at Wembley last season, compared to White Hart Lane. They didn’t lose a single home game in the top flight last term. They only won one of five at Wembley in cup competitions.

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The fact is, if Spurs could have hand-picked an opponent for their home opener at the national stadium, it wouldn’t have been Chelsea. They’d have been a long way down the list. But this game also serves as the perfect chance for Tottenham to lay down a benchmark.

Chelsea will be desperate for a positive showing after last weekend’s shambolic defeat to Burnley. The Blues lost at home on the opening day for the first time in 24 years. They were a man down and three goals down at halftime before some parity was restored in the second half.

Although Cesc Fabregas was also sent off late on, leaving Antonio Conte with a selection dilemma ahead of their trip to Wembley. The Italian manager does not seem impressed with the club’s transfer business this summer. Things are not looking rosy for the reigning champions, but they still know how important a game this is.

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If the Blues can bounce back and defeat Spurs on Sunday, many will have forgotten about their horror start to the campaign. But a second successive defeat would leave Conte with a lot to think about, and very little time to make any transfers.

The two London rivals met three times in total last season. Chelsea came back to win 2-1 in the Premier League at Stamford Bridge in November. Before Spurs won 2-0 at White Hart Lane in January. The Blues then emerged as 4-2 winners in their FA Cup Semi-Final clash at Wembley in April, going on to face Arsenal in the final.

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Tottenham vs Chelsea: Team News

Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino has no fresh injury concerns ahead of their first home game of the season. Kyle Walker-Peters picked up man of the match on his Premier League debut last weekend. He should keep his place at right-back, with Kieran Trippier still injured. Moussa Sissoko might make way for Heung-Min Son in the starting lineup. Danny Rose, Erik Lamela and Georges-Kevin Nkoudou remain out injured.

Chelsea have a potential crisis on their hands for their second outing of the campaign. The Blues are without the suspended duo of Gary Cahill and Cesc Fabregas. Both picked up red cards in the 3-2 loss to Burnley and will miss out here. Diego Costa is still out in Brazil. Pedro should be fit enough to start. While Eden Hazard and Tiemoue Bakayoko both played in a secret friendly against QPR U20s on Thursday and might be in contention. Andreas Christensen might be called into start, if Antonio Conte remains with such a dilemma on his hands.

Tottenham vs Chelsea: Key Points

Spurs’ form: W

Chelsea’s form: L

Key Stat: Tottenham won one of just five home games at Wembley last season. While they failed to keep a single clean sheet at the national stadium in their five outings in 2016/17.

Key Player: Harry Kane – The Spurs star has still never scored a Premier League goal in the month of August. He hit the post against Newcastle last week and looked sharp, despite not finding the back of the net. The visit of Chelsea means he is in for a tough afternoon, but he has scored four goals in eight games against the Blues.

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Tottenham vs Chelsea: Prediction

Tottenham 2-0 Chelsea – Chelsea are unlikely to be as poor at the back as they were against Burnley last weekend. Bad ill discipline cost them and they can’t afford to make similar mistakes here. Spurs got off to a good start against Newcastle without really impressing. However, they will be desperate to get off to a winning start at Wembley. And given the current state of both teams coming into Sunday, it’s hard not to see the hosts winning.

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Premier League Predictions: Chelsea set to win title before Spurs play final game at White Hart Lane

The penultimate weekend of the 2016/17 Premier League season is upon us but there are still a number of vital outcomes yet to be decided. Chelsea have one hand on the league title but need to win at West Brom on Friday night to win a fifth PL title with two games to spare, while Everton play their final home game of the year on Friday night too, as they welcome Watford to Goodison Park.

Manchester City will look to keep their top four chances intact when they host Leicester in Saturday’s early kickoff before Arsenal travel to Stoke in the late game, hoping to keep the pressure on Liverpool and City in the race for Champions League football next term. Swansea travel to Sunderland on Saturday as they look to stay ahead of Hull in the race for survival, who face a tricky test at Crystal Palace in a crucial clash on Sunday.

Also on Sunday, Liverpool travel to West Ham before Spurs battle Manchester United in the final game ever to be played at White Hart Lane before Tottenham’s new stadium is completed over the next 12 months. Read on for all our predictions this weekend…

Everton 2-0 Watford

Everton already have their place in next season’s Europa League confirmed and can’t finish any lower than seventh place. That said, they’ll still be expecting to end the season on a high and will want to win their final home game of the campaign. Watford have lost three on the spin without scoring a goal. They only need a point to be mathematically safe from the drop, although relegation doesn’t look likely now anyway. Everton should have enough to win this one.

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West Brom 0-2 Chelsea

Chelsea to win their 5th Premier League title on Friday evening. On the basis of their performances this season it will be deserved. West Brom look like a side who know they’ve achieved their maximum this season and they have been good value for their place in the top half of the table. Antonio Conte will want his side to get the job done early in this one so they can enjoy some celebrations before their attentions can turn to the FA Cup final at the end of the season.

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Man City 3-1 Leicester

Manchester City need to do what they did to Crystal Palace last week and blow Leicester away to all but guarantee their place in next season’s Champions League. City can pile the pressure on Arsenal and Liverpool with a win in Saturday’s early kickoff, and even though Leicester would love to complete the double of Guardiola’s men, they are unlikely to beat them given the fact they’ve only won one of their last four away games in the league.

Bournemouth 2-2 Burnley

A score draw looks a likely result for this one. Bournemouth. The Cherries are unbeaten in three, scoring seven goals along the way. Burnley have surely now done enough to avoid a late scare of relegation, but with one win in five it seems unlikely they will pick up three points this weekend.

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Middlesbrough 1-1 Southampton

Middlesbrough are already relegated but will want to reward their fans for their support by winning their last home game of the season now the pressure has eased on them. Southampton have been coasting for weeks, winning none of their last five and are unlikely to spring into life now. With little to play for, this has draw written all over it.

Sunderland 1-1 Swansea

Sunderland fans must have been in further despair last weekend as they saw their side pick up an unlikely 2-0 win away at Hull City, leaving many wondering why they hadn’t been able to do that before their relegation was confirmed. Swansea are still right in the middle of the relegation dogfight and this is going to be a huge game. They cannot afford to lose and the nerves will surely set in.

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Stoke 1-3 Arsenal

Arsenal have found their traditional late-season form at last. They have won back-to-back games over the past week and are still in with a chance of securing a top four place, depending on Liverpool and Man City’s results over the final week of the campaign. Stoke would love to win their home finale, but Arsenal need this more.

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Crystal Palace 1-1 Hull

Another huge game in the battle to avoid the drop. Crystal Palace were on the receiving end of a classy City performance last weekend, losing 5-0 and that result has left them in trouble. It’s three losses on the spin for Big Sam’s Palace and they cannot afford to lose this weekend. Hull will be even more desperate to get a positive result after that defeat to Sunderland. A draw doesn’t do either side many favours but still keeps their fight alive.

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West Ham 1-3 Liverpool

Liverpool visit West Ham as they continue to battle to keep their place in the top four. If results go against them they could find themselves back in 5th which would be a disastrous end to the season. Jurgen Klopp will not let his side make any mistakes this weekend but considering how West Ham performed against Spurs in a game that had little meaning to their season this could be another difficult visit for the away side.

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Spurs 2-0 Manchester United

Chelsea might have secured the Premier League title way before Spurs kick off against Man Utd on Sunday but it’s a massive occasion for Tottenham as they play their final game at White Hart Lane in what will be an emotional afternoon. Manchester United would love to spoil the party but they had a tough game on Thursday night, in which they secured their place in the Europa League Final. That might have left them tired and so Spurs should be able to break them down and get a win in their final game at the Lane.

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Spurs can win first Premier League title if Mauricio Pochettino signs these players

Mauricio Pochettino has been impressive since taking over at Tottenham Hotspur but they are still the nearly men at the moment. They’re challenging for the Premier League title again this season but look more likely to finish in either second or third place with Chelsea ten points clear. Squad depth is a small issue that Spurs are still battling and if they were to sign these three players, they could put themselves in a really strong position to win a first Premier League title next season…

Alejandro Gomez

The Atalanta forward has made a real statement with his performances in Serie A this season. He is an extremely versatile player who is capable of causing trouble as a centre-attacking midfielder, a winger or even as a striker. The Argentinian wouldn’t cost Spurs the earth and a move would be favourable as it would allow him to play in the Champions League next season. He has netted 11 goals in 31 appearances and would be a hugely reliable back-up to take some of the pressure off Harry Kane.

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Ross Barkley

There isn’t a huge amount to say about this exciting young Englishman that hasn’t already been said. He is built for the fast-paced attacking style of football that Spurs play. While he might be a more expensive option than some other attacking midfielders he has plenty of Premier League experience already. At just 23 he could form a formidable partnership with Dele Alli for both club and country and the appeal of competing at the highest level makes a move possible. Whether or not Barkley would accept not starting every game is a different question but if he wants a move to a Champions League club he will have to embrace the competition for places and Spurs would be a great place for him to develop.

Christian Pulisic

The 18-year-old American is one of the hottest prospects in the Bundesliga. Despite being little-known to many across Europe he is showing signs of working his way to the very top. He has impressed for Borussia Dortmund this season and hasn’t looked out of place against anyone in the Bundesliga or Champions League. He would provide Spurs with even more unpredictability and would certainly be an ideal replacement for Erik Lamela, whose future looks uncertain as a result of injury struggles as well as time out due to personal reasons this season.

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Spurs are not far off landing some silverware soon, but they need to win something to silence some of their doubters, including fans of their own. Pochettino looks set to stay at the club and it’s an exciting time to be a Tottenham fan. They’re building for the long run and increasing their squad size would only give them a greater chance at success across all fronts in the 2017/18 campaign.

Will Spurs try to sign any of these players this summer? How far off winning the Premier League are they?

Analysis: How Tottenham’s goal output will be affected following Kane’s injury

Tottenham eased into the FA Cup semi-finals with a 6-o win over Millwall on Sunday but they may have lost Harry Kane for the next few weeks, if not the rest of the season.

The England striker limped off after rolling his ankle in the sixth minute on Sunday and Mauricio Pochettino revealed after the game that it was the same injury as the one that ruled him out for seven weeks back in September.

Kane has been in incredible form in 2017, scoring 14 goals in 13 games in all competitions and picking up February’s Premier League Player of the Month award. He has scored three hat-tricks in that time and is tied with Romelu Lukaku as the league’s top goalscorer on 22.

 

Just last week, we wrote about his incredible form and how he is on track to break Alan Shearer’s incredible Premier League goalscoring record. But that looks to have been put on hold, perhaps for the rest of the season.

Spurs made light work of Millwall after Kane’s departure, with Heung-Min Son scoring his first Spurs hat-trick after filling in for Kane as the lone striker. But that was Millwall who are miles off Spurs, proven by the fact they sit 48 places below them in English football.

Spurs have an FA Cup semi-final to prepare for as well as 11 more crucial Premier League games as they look to secure a Champions League spot for the second-straight season.

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There is no current timescale on Kane’s injury, although he left White Hart Lane on crutches on Sunday evening and some reports suggest his season could be over if the injury is as bad as feared.

Spurs struggled during their ten games without Kane earlier this season, scoring just 13 goals while he was on the sidelines – almost half of which came in a 5-0 EFL Cup win over Gillingham. The evidence below proves just how important his goalscoring is to the side.

2016/17
Games
Win Rate
Goals
Goals Per Game
With Kane
29
59%
63
2.2
Without Kane
12
66%
19
1.6

On top of the ten games he missed through injury, Kane also sat out of two FA Cup games in January as he was rested. Tottenham have actually registered a better win percentage without Kane than with their star attacker this campaign. But it’s worth noting that three of their eight wins without Kane came against Gillingham, Aston Villa and Wycombe.

The more obvious concern is just how much Spurs struggle to score goals without the frontman, averaging 0.6 goals less per game without him.

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Below is a list of games Kane would miss over the next seven weeks, assuming he has picked up the exact same injury as earlier this term:

March 19 – Southampton (H)

April 1 – Burnley (A)

April 5 – Swansea (A)

April 8 – Watford (H)

April 15 – Bournemouth (H)

April 22/23 – Chelsea (N) – FA Cup semi-final

April 30 – Arsenal (H)

The standout fixtures are the two at the end of April – the FA Cup semi-final against Chelsea at Wembley and the final North London Derby at White Hart Lane. The promising thing for Spurs is that those two games are six weeks away, so there is still a chance Kane could recover in time, depending on the severity of his injury.

Heung-Min Son is likely to be the man to fill in for Kane over the next few weeks, although Vincent Janssen offers an alternative option for Pochettino. The Dutchman’s struggles have been well documented over the course of this season but he scored his first goal from open play in a Spurs shirt during the win over Millwall and could now be poised for a regular run in the side.

But regardless of who fills in for Harry Kane, they won’t be able to replicate his tremendous goalscoring form of late. Spurs just have to hope that his absence doesn’t lead to their season unravelling at the most vital stage.

How do you think Tottenham will fare without Harry Kane following his latest injury? 

FA Cup Quarter-Final Predictions: Big guns to deliver, another tough Chelsea return for Jose’s United

The FA Cup quarter-finals take place over the weekend with six Premier League clubs battling for a spot in the semis. Middlesbrough host Manchester City on Saturday lunchtime, while Arsenal face a non-league side once again in Lincoln City later on in the day. The remaining two games are spread over the following two days as Tottenham host League One side Millwall on Sunday and it’s another Chelsea return for Jose Mourinho with Manchester United heading to Stamford Bridge on Monday night.

Read on for all four of our FA Cup quarter-final predictions…

Middlesbrough 1-3 Manchester City

Middlesbrough had to wait to find out who their opponents were in the quarter-final due to City’s replay against Huddersfield. It’s fair to say Pep Guardiola’s side made light work of reaching the quarters at the second attempt with their 5-1 win. Boro will have to work extremely hard to progress here considering they have won just three games in 2017 but City will be aware all of those wins have come in the FA Cup. However, the depth of Guardiola’s squad should see them through comfortably this weekend.

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Arsenal 4-1 Lincoln City

Arsenal face their second non-league side in a row in the competition with the visit of Lincoln after the away side stunned Premier League outfit Burnley with an astonishing late winner in the previous round. Arsene Wenger simply cannot lose this game, the pressure has continually mounted on him this season and if he is to depart at the end of the campaign he will wish to do so with silverware. This is Arsenal’s last chance of a trophy this season and they should progress into the semi-final without too much difficulty.

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Tottenham Hotspur 3-0 Millwall

Spurs face off against League One side Millwall on Sunday afternoon in a game that is expected to be hotly contested both on the field and in the stands. Harry Kane comes up against another of his former clubs at which he spent time on loan and with the incredible form the Spurs striker is in it is difficult not to see him finding the back of the net once again. Dare we say there could be another Kane hat-trick at White Hart Lane?

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Chelsea 2-1 Manchester United (A.E.T)

This is clearly the standout fixture of the quarter-finals. Jose Mourinho endured an incredibly tough return to Stamford Bridge earlier in the season in that 4-0 loss and he will make sure his side are not humiliated again. This looks a tie likely to reach extra-time, since there are no longer replays in this round of the competition. The game is going to be a battle, United are without their talisman Zlatan Ibrahimovic, while Antonio Conte will be expecting his side to do what they’ve been doing all season and get the job done. Chelsea to edge it.

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Premier League Predictions: Chelsea to extend lead at the top, Bournemouth’s woes to continue

The Premier League returns this weekend after a two-week break for European and FA Cup commitments for a number of top flight clubs. Others have had two full weeks to recover and will hope some warm-weather training will help inspire them to three points this weekend.

Sunday will also see Manchester United and Southampton go head-to-head at Wembley in the EFL Cup Final. Arsenal and Manchester City will not be in action, as a result of Sunday’s final, but read on for all of our Gameweek 26 predictions…

Chelsea 3-1 Swansea

Chelsea face a Swansea side who have dramatically improved since the appointment of Paul Clement. The reverse fixture was filled with controversy as Chelsea felt hard-done by to not come away with all three points. They’ll be looking to make amends here and extend their lead at the top with both Manchester United and Arsenal not playing in the league this weekend.

Crystal Palace 1-1 Middlesbrough

Crystal Palace in are in trouble. They need to get a positive result out of this one otherwise Middlesbrough will open the gap between themselves and the bottom three. A win for Sam Allardyce’s side could potentially take them up to 16th and could help to inspire them to get on a run. Middlesbrough know they have to avoid defeat to risk potentially being dragged into the relegation zone, so a draw looks likely.

Everton 3-1 Sunderland

Everton are on an eight game unbeaten run in the Premier League. They’re still in the mix for a European placed finish so have to fight hard to cause the sides above them problems. Sunderland’s so-called revival looks more like a one-game wonder as they were thumped 4-0 having dished out their own four-goal haul the game week before. This looks like a foregone conclusion but you can’t rule Sunderland out of scoring with Jermain Defoe leading the line.

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Hull 2-2 Burnley

Hull City look capable of staying up this season but they have to make their home form count. Burnley cannot buy a win on their travels and despite their commanding position over their opponents here it looks like that unwanted run will continue. Hull have managed to pick up seven points from the last 15 on offer, so a draw here wouldn’t be the worst result.

West Brom 2-0 Bournemouth

West Brom are unbeaten in four and looking as solid as usual ahead of what looks a very winnable fixture against a Bournemouth team that are seemingly in freefall. The Cherries have lost three in a row and conceded six in their most recent away game at Everton. Eddie Howe’s men are out of form but will hope they are clear enough of the bottom three to be fully dragged into a relegation scrap.

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Watford 2-2 West Ham

Both these sides have had two full weeks to prepare for what is a big game for both sets of players. Watford have only lost two of their last 11 at home and are a tough unit to break down, but West Ham have been playing with more belief of late and goals are to be expected in what should be an entertaining game.

Spurs 2-1 Stoke

This is a massive game for Tottenham after their disappointing midweek Europa League exit to Gent at Wembley. Mauricio Pochettino knows his players need to bounce back straightaway, but the fact that his first-team played on Thursday night could play a major role in the outcome of the game. Stoke have been inconsistent all season but will fancy their chances after an extended break. They don’t do well in London though, having only won one of their last 20 trips to the capital…

EFL Cup Final – Manchester United 2-0 Southampton

Jose Mourinho loves playing cup finals at Wembley. He’s only lost one of 11 finals during his managerial career and has his United team firing on all cylinders ahead of Sunday’s clash. It’s a huge game for the Saints, who have never won the League Cup in their history, but they are up against it and it’s tough to see any other outcome than a United win.

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Premier League Preview and Prediction: Liverpool vs Tottenham

Competition: Premier League – Liverpool vs. Spurs

Venue: Anfield – Saturday, February 11 – 17:30 GMT (12:30 ET) 

Match Odds: Liverpool 5/4 – Draw 23/10 – Spurs 5/2

Match Preview

Liverpool host Spurs in this weekend’s standout Premier League fixture at Anfield on Saturday evening as the race for the top four is set to take another important twist.

The Reds have had an awful start to 2017, winning just one of their 10 fixtures in all competitions – and that came at League Two side Plymouth.

Jurgen Klopp is under pressure to get his side firing on all cylinders again, and the visit of Spurs offers the perfect opportunity to pump some belief back into the home supporters.

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Liverpool tend to perform well against the league’s biggest sides, but Spurs offer a similar style and that should lead to a really entertaining clash.

Spurs know that a win here would put them in a really strong position ahead of a two-week break from league football. Mauricio Pochettino’s side can move six points behind Chelsea with a win, who don’t play until Sunday afternoon.

Tottenham haven’t lost a league game in nine, winning seven of those, and have the league’s best defence ahead of Saturday’s game.

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Spurs have already lost at Anfield this season, with the Reds knocking them out of the EFL Cup earlier this term. The two sides drew 1-1 at White Hart Lane in the reverse league fixture back in August and this is expected to be another close game.

Team News

Liverpool have doubts hanging over Dejan Lovren, Adam Lallana and Ragnar Klavan, while Danny Ings and Marko Grujic remain out. Loris Karius could be recalled ahead of Simon Mignolet as Klopp continues to rotate his goalkeepers.

Spurs will be without defensive duo Jan Vertonghen and Danny Rose for the trip to Anfield, while Erik Lamela and Georges-Kevin Nkoudou are also sidelined. Kieran Trippier is a doubt but should make the bench. Pochettino could name an unchanged side to the one that beat Middlesbrough last week.

Key Points

Liverpool’s last five: D/D/L/D/L

Tottenham’s last five: W/D/W/D/W

Key Stat: Mauricio Pochettino has never beaten Liverpool as Spurs manager. He’s drawn three and lost three of the previous six meetings with the Reds.

Key Player: Harry Kane – The Spurs striker has scored as many league goals in 2017 (6) as the entire Liverpool team. If the Reds defence fail to keep him quiet, they will be in for a long evening.

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Score Prediction

Liverpool 1-1 Spurs – This is an enormous game for both sides and a loss for either would leave them in a bit of trouble, especially as there are going to be two weeks before the next round of Premier League matches after this weekend. Spurs need to avoid defeat to have any hope of staying on Chelsea’s tail, while Liverpool need to prove they are still ready to fight for a top four finish against a fellow rival.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Tottenham vs Middlesbrough

Competition: Premier League – Tottenham Hotspur vs. Middlesbrough

Venue: White Hart Lane – Saturday, February 4 – 17:30 GMT (12:30 ET) 

Match Odds: Spurs 1/4 – Draw 9/2 – Middlesbrough 11/1

Match Preview

Tottenham welcome Middlesbrough to White Hart Lane for Saturday’s late Premier League game with the hosts looking for three more vital points to keep their faint title hopes alive.

Spurs enter the weekend in second place, although the result of the early kickoff between Chelsea and Arsenal will have major implications on this contest and Tottenham know they must be prepared to take advantage of dropped points from at least one of their two London rivals.

Mauricio Pochettino’s side had to settle for a frustrating 0-0 draw at Sunderland during the midweek round of fixtures, but Spurs haven’t failed to score in back-to-back Premier League games for almost two years, so they will expect to rediscover their goalscoring form here.

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The Lilywhites are unbeaten at home this season and have won six in a row at White Hart Lane so Middlesbrough know they are right up against it ahead of what looks to be a one-sided tie.

Aitor Karanka’s men have struggled for goals all season. They have scored just 19 times in the league so far, the lowest tally of anyone and that is proving to be their biggest problem.

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They are a tight unit at the other end of the field and have the best defensive record in the bottom half of the table. But they are only two points above the drop heading into the weekend and need to start picking up more wins if they are to retain their Premier League status.

Middlesbrough haven’t won away from home since August but would happily settle for a point here in what should be a hard-fought battle.

Team News

Spurs remain without Jan Vertonghen and Erik Lamela, while Georges-Kevin Nkoudou is also ruled out. Danny Rose is likely to miss out after limping off against Sunderland on Tuesday, while the same applies to Heung-Min Son and Kieran Trippier, who are both struggling with knocks.

Middlesbrough will be without George Friend and Calum Chambers for the trip to London, while Gaston Ramirez is looking unlikely to be passed fit in time to feature. Aitor Karanka could name an unchanged side to the team that drew 1-1 with West Brom on Tuesday evening.

Key Points

Tottenham’s last five: W/W/W/D/D

Middlesbrough’s last five: L/D/D/L/D

Key Stat: Spurs have won their last six Premier League home games, conceding just three goals in that time. They are looking to win seven in a row at White Hart Lane for the first time in 11 years.

Key Player: Harry Kane – The Tottenham frontman has yet to play against Middlesbrough in the Premier League but he will be relishing the prospect after netting a hat-trick in Spurs’ last home league game against West Brom three weeks ago. He has 13 goals for the season – more than Boro have managed in total in their last 16 league outings.

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Score Prediction

Tottenham 1-0 Middlesbrough – Middlesbrough have the third best defensive record away from home in the Premier League and will set up to make it very difficult for Spurs to break them down. However, the home side are desperate for three points to stay in the title race and should have enough quality to edge past a resilient but low-scoring Boro team.

Three reasons why Tottenham can win the Premier League under Pochettino

Tottenham Hotspur are on track for their best domestic finish in the Premier League era. They have played some scintillating football, attacking with flare and defending with power. So why can they win the Premier League under Mauricio Pochettino? Lewis Addley explores…

The race to win the Premier League title is more intense with each passing week. There are ten points separating top spot and sixth place. Tottenham Hotspur are sitting in second place, seven points behind leaders Chelsea. Pochettino has shown exactly why Spurs deserve to be regarded as capable of winning the league and his continual improvement of the side since taking over points to glory in the future.

While we aren’t suggesting Spurs are going to win the title this season, albeit possible with plenty of games to play, Pochettino has them on the right track to provide the ultimate domestic silverware. Tottenham have lost just two games in the league this season, the joint lowest, while there is a bit of work to be done to turn draws into wins, Pochettino has his side close to where they need to be.

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So what are three key reasons why Pochettino’s Spurs can win the Premier League?

Respect – The players have shown they respect and trust their manager.

The unity of the Spurs squad is apparent for all to see, there doesn’t appear to be an ego in any player to suggest they’re more important than the team. In the wake of the appeal of moving to China, key figures in the Spurs camp have openly said there is no interest for them. Pochettino questioned players’ willingness to move, while talisman Harry Kane believes his teammates are not interested in big money moves, only achieving success at White Hart Lane.

Contracts – Spurs are tying down their players, not selling them.

The importance of not being seen as a ‘stepping-stone’ undoubtedly helps to keep players long-term. Spurs have given out bumper new contracts to their key players and are continuing to negotiate to get those remaining new deals. Rather than attracting world-class signings who see joining Spurs as a way to advertise themselves in the Premier League, they are able to sign players who want to make it to the highest level at the club.

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Tactics – Pochettino seems to have his tactics spot on.

From front to back the current Tottenham side is incredibly strong and they all appear to understand their role and what’s expected of them. This is an incredibly important feature to create a successful side. Failing to get tactics and player roles right leads to underperforming stars and a team lacking unity, something that can arguably be seen at Manchester City during their transitional period. Pochettino has built a team on the foundations of strength in every position. This makes them a powerful outfit and their run of results is proof continual progression.

Spurs are clearly a club on the rise. Their new stadium is well underway and it is an exciting time to be a part of the club for all involved. So long as they continue to improve, their chance of winning the title will increase. While it is difficult to predict whether they will win the title in the current campaign, given the performance levels of the teams around them, Pochettino has to get his players hungry for success. If Spurs can lift a trophy this season it will give the squad the taste of silverware and it could be the start of golden patch.

Do you think Tottenham can win the Premier League under Mauricio Pochettino?

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Manchester City vs Tottenham

Competition: Premier League – Manchester City FC vs. Tottenham Hotspur FC

Venue: Etihad Stadium – Saturday, January 21 – 17:30 GMT (12:30 ET) 

Match Odds: Man City 21/20 – Draw 5/2 – Spurs 13/5

Match Preview

Manchester City welcome Spurs to the Etihad on Saturday evening in what is the biggest game of the weekend in the Premier League.

All eyes will be on Pep Guardiola and his City team after their embarrassing 4-0 loss at Everton last Sunday. The Spanish coach has never lost six league games in one season, but he is one defeat away from doing so and knows this is a real test.

Manchester City have proven they can perform incredibly well, but have also proven to be as vulnerable as anyone else at the back. That cost them again last weekend and they will be wary of facing the likes of Harry Kane and Dele Alli, who are in fine goalscoring form with Spurs.

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City come into the weekend in fifth place, three points behind second-placed Tottenham so this is a real six-pointer at the top of the table. A win for either side would send out another important statement as the title race looks set to heat up once again over the next couple of weeks.

Mauricio Pochettino’s men are looking to break a club record if they can make it seven league wins on the bounce at the Etihad on Saturday. They enter the game off the back of a stunning 4-0 win over West Brom last week, in which they put in one of the most dominating performances seen this season.

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City should offer a much stiffer test though, and Pochettino will know not to underestimate them despite their poor run of form.

Spurs came out on top in the reverse fixture at White Hart Lane back in October, winning 2-0. That means they’ve now won three in a row against the Citizens and will be looking to make it four on the spin for the first time since May 2010 here.

Team News

Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany is close to making a return but is not yet deemed fit enough to start a match of this magnitude. Ilkay Gundogan and Fernando remain sidelined through injury, while Fernandinho is still suspended and will miss out once again. Pablo Zabaleta may start in midfield again, with Guardiola short of options.

Tottenham have been dealt a blow in defence as Jan Vertonghen looks set to miss up to 10 weeks of action after rolling his ankle in last weekend’s win over West Brom. Erik Lamela is close to making his long-awaited return but is unlikely to be fit enough to even make the bench here.

Key Points

Man City’s last five: W/W/L/W/L

Tottenham’s last five: W/W/W/W/W

Key Stat: Pep Guardiola has lost five league games already this season. He’s never lost more than five in a single season during his career.

Key Player: Christian Eriksen – The Spurs playmaker is in incredible form, having picked up four assists in his last four Premier League outings. He has scored on both of his previous two trips to the Etihad Stadium and will be looking to prove the difference once again here.

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Score Prediction

Man City 1-1 Spurs – This is an extremely difficult game to predict, given how important it is for both sides. City need to ensure they avoid defeat against their top six rivals, but last weekend’s thumping at Everton will have left supporters very anxious for the visit of an in-form Spurs team. Tottenham also need to avoid defeat to keep their title hopes alive, but they know this isn’t an easy place to visit and may struggle without Vertonghen at the back. A score draw looks the most likely outcome.