Spurs set to spend £58m on Premier League trio after slow start

Tottenham Hotspur are closing in on moves for three Premier League stars in deals that will cost an estimated total of £58 million.

Spurs have started the new Premier League campaign poorly. Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Leicester means they have picked up just two points from their opening three games and are already four points worse off than at the same stage last year.

But the club are acting to improve the squad before the transfer window closes in seven days, as Victor Wanyama, Yannick Bolasie and Saido Berahino all appear likely to join the Lilywhites.

Berahino was left out of the West Brom squad that lost 3-2 at home to Chelsea on Sunday and Spurs are believed to have offered £20 million to secure his services after an initial £15 million bid was rejected.

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The young English striker would offer some much needed support for Harry Kane and would bolster Mauricio Pochettino’s forward options – something everyone knows needs addressing before the window shuts.

Another attacking player could follow the Baggies star as Crystal Palace winger Bolasie appears to be closing in on a move to White Hart Lane.

Reports coming out of the Croydon Advertiser on Monday afternoon suggest the clubs may have agreed a £20 million deal, with talks now underway to see a move for the 26-year-old trickster completed.

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Bolasie netted an impressive 11-minute hat-trick at Sunderland in April and has seemed to improve with each season in the top flight.

As well as needing attacking reinforcements, Spurs have also been crying out for a powerful holding midfielder to join the ranks.

Eric Dier has been used in midfield so far this season, with Ryan Mason and Nabil Bentaleb both partnering him.

But a move for Victor Wanyama could be set to take place before next Monday’s deadline after the Kenyan reportedly told Southampton that he wants to leave the club, despite then playing against Watford on Sunday.

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The Saints value Wanyama at £18 million and are reluctant to sell. But his desire to be reunited with Pochettino could force a move through in the coming days.

Spurs have already signed Kieran Trippier, Kevin Wimmer, Toby Alderweireld and Clinton N’Jie this summer but three more faces could be set to arrive in the next week.

Tottenham have only made one deadline day signing in the summer over the past two seasons in the shape of Benjamin Stambouli, who has already been moved on.

Although the club did sign Rafael Van Der Vaart, Scott Parker, Moussa Dembele and Hugo Lloris on the summer deadline day’s between 2010 and 2012, proving that late deals can be highly effective.

Should Spurs sign Bolasie, Berahino and Wanyama before Monday’s deadline? Is £58 million too much for the trio?

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Premier League Preview and Prediction: Crystal Palace vs Swansea City

Competition: Premier League – Crystal Palace vs. Swansea City 

Venue: Selhurst Park – Sunday, May 24 – 15:00 BST (11:00 ET)

Match Odds: Crystal Palace 6/5 – Draw 5/2 – Swansea City 21/10

Match Preview 

Crystal Palace round off their Premier League 2014/15 season with a home tie against Swansea City. A match that could see plenty of goals and both sides can play with a sense of freedom.

Crystal Palace’s season has seen a managerial change as Neil Warnock was replaced by former Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew, who returned to the club where he has so many good memories.

Last weekend they spoiled Liverpool’s Anfield farewell for departing captain Steven Gerrard. The 3-1 win was well deserved and fantastically executed by Palace. Goals from Jason Puncheon, Wilfred Zaha and Glenn Murray deciding it.

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The Eagles could still potentially finish in the top half of the table, which would be a tremendous achievement for the South London club but they would need other results to go their way.

Yannick Bolasie has been in great form since Pardew was appointed and became the first Crystal Palace player to score a Premier League hat-trick.

Swansea City have had a solid season, giving a good account of themselves and have taken points off of some of the bigger clubs.

The January transfer window saw the departure of Wilfried Bony to Manchester City. Bafatembi Gomis has filled the hole perfectly and his goals have helped the Swans to a respectable eighth place.

Before last week’s 4-2 defeat at home to Manchester City, the Swans were on a three game win-streak, which they haven’t done since the first three games of the season.

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Garry Monk also brought Gylfi Sigurdsson back to the club after his time at Tottenham Hotspur and his performances have been brilliant, bagging seven goals and ten assists.

The reverse fixture at the Liberty Stadium finished 1-1 with Wilfried Bony opening the scoring only to be pegged back by a Mile Jedinak penalty.

Team News

Crystal Palace will be continue to be without Jerome Thomas and he has no return date as he is suffering from foot and ankle injuries.

Swansea City will be without Jordi Amat (metatarsal), Wayne Routledge (ankle), Kyle Naughton (ankle), Tom Carroll (ankle), Ki Sung Yeung (knee) plus Nelson Oliveira (foot) is a doubt. Angel Rangel could be welcomed back after his groin and pelvic injury.

Key Points

Crystal Palace Last Five: L/L/L/L/W

Swansea City Last Five: L/W/W/W/L

Key Stat: Swansea City haven’t conceded a goal and won on their last three visits to Selhurst Park.

Key Player: Glenn Murray – The Palace striker has netted seven goals and three assists in his last eleven matches.

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Score Prediction

Crystal Palace 2-2 Swansea City – both sides have goals in them and can look forward to another season of Premier League football.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Crystal Palace vs Manchester United

CompetitionPremier League – Crystal Palace vs. Manchester United 

VenueSelhurst Park – Saturday, May 9 – 17:30 BST (12:30 ET)

Match OddsCrystal Palace 16/5 – Draw 5/2 – Manchester United 17/20

Match Preview

Crystal Palace host Manchester United on Saturday evening as the Premier League season is drawing to a close. Palace have the chance of making United’s chase for Champions League football come under pressure if they can take something from this tie.

Alan Pardew‘s side have hit a sticky patch after losing three on the bounce. They had been on a four game winning streak but have been bought back down to earth and look likely to finish mid-table.

Last weekends loss didn’t come as too much of a surprise as they couldn’t halt Chelsea’s bid to become champions but their performance was spirited and they made it very difficult for their London rivals.

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Back at Selhurst Park it is a totally different type of game. Palace have made it difficult for sides to come away with all three points all season and have beaten some of the top sides in the league.

United won the reverse fixture and haven’t lost to Palace since 2011. Louis Van Gaal‘s side need to ensure they avoid defeat here with Liverpool chasing them down for the all important fourth place.

United come into the game off the back of last weekend’s loss at home to West Bromwich Albion. It was a difficult one for the Old Trafford faithful to swallow but things are looking up for next season despite the fact they have lost their last three on the bounce.

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Van Gaal has already started the summer rejig of his squad with the signing of Memphis Depay and he must make sure they finish in the top four to ensure he can attract the biggest names for next season.

This should be an interesting tie packed with action and it could play a pivotal role into how the Premier League table ends up.

Team News

Crystal Palace have three injury concerns. Former Manchester United player Frazier Campbell, Marouane Chamakh and Jerome Thomas are sidelined. Pardew will be relying on his speedsters, Dwight Gayle and Yannick Bolasie, to provide and entertain as usual.

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Manchester United’s injury woes continue as six could be set to miss out. Van Gaal is facing the prospect of playing this one five of his defenders absent. Marcos Rojo, Rafael, Luke Shaw, Chris Smalling and Jonny Evans and Michael Carrick are all unavailable.

Key Points

Crystal Palace’s last five: W/W/L/L/L

Manchester United’s last five: W/W/L/L/L

Key Stat: Defensive woes – Louis Van Gaal only has one fully fit defender ahead of this tie in the shape of Phil Jones and his side could be easily exposed given Palace’s attacking talent.

Key Player: Yannick Bolasie – The Congolese winger will be looking to continue to impress and finish his great season on a high.
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Score Prediction

Crystal Palace 2-2 Manchester United – A real end-to-end affair with Palace to upset United and pile the pressure on the Red Devils in their final two games.

Michael Owen claims Crystal Palace duo are two of the best in the league – is he right?

Whilst commentating on the lunchtime kickoff between Crystal Palace and Queens Park Rangers, BT Sport commentator and pundit, Michael Owen made a bold statement regarding two of the Palace players.

During commentary, Owen stated that, in his opinion, Yannick Bolasie and Wilfried Zaha are “two of the better wingers in the Premier League”.

Regarding this comment, we take a look at stats and see whether the former England strikers is right.

Bolasie and Zaha have been important for Crystal Palace in recent weeks as they fight off relegation. Both were instrumental in the 3-1 win at home to QPR on Saturday, and are huge part of Alan Pardew’s plans going forward.

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But despite their solid form, there may be more effective wingers in the Premier League. Especially when you consider Palace are in the bottom half of the table.

The comment was made at a time when Palace were 3-0 up during the game and were dominating a defensively weak QPR side who are in the relegation zone. So are his comments justified?

From the statistics table we have created below (using the Squawka comparison matrix) you can see for yourself how the Palace duo compare to selected other star wide men.

Statistic Yannick Bolasie Wilfried Zaha Alexis Sanchez Eden Hazard Nacer Chadli Christian Eriksen Raheem Sterling Stewart Downing
Matches Played

25

22

25

27

25

28

26

27

Minutes Played

2005

1263

2089

2386

1637

2297

2239

2412

Goals 

2

1

13

10

8

9

6

5

Assists

6

2

7

6

5

2

7

8

Successful take ons (per game)

2.40

2.14

3.79

4.6

1.32

1.37

3.22

0.75

Chances Created (per game)

1.44

0.41

2.71

2.79

1.81

2.63

2.33

2.65

Key Passes (per game)

1.20

0.32

2.41

2.56

1.54

2.55

2.05

2.35

The table above can be misleading however. As a ‘winger’, Zaha and Bolasie do hold their width and rarely drift infield. Whereas, others like Christian Eriksen and Raheem Sterling do drift infield.

The main statistic that aids Owen’s argument is the successful take ons completed by the Palace duo. Both Zaha (2.14 successful take ons per game) and Bolasie (2.40 successful take ons per game) match up quite well with the elite wingers of the league.

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However, using the statistics, we can safely say that are better wingers in the Premier League than Yannick Bolasie and Wilfried Zaha in terms of productivity.

What do you make of Michael Owen’s comments? Who do you think is the best winger in the Premier League?