Spurs Chasing Top Three Spot

Image courtesy of talksport.co.uk
Jermaine Defoe will be pivotal up front if Spurs are to beat Swansea. Image courtesy of talksport.co.uk
Two of the Premier League’s most entertaining teams clash on Monday morning (AEDT) as Tottenham Hotspur hosts Swansea City at White Hart Lane. Both teams had streaks ended last weekend, and even at this mid-season stage, this match could be crucial to the European ambitions of both outfits.

Spurs should have joined Chelsea on 29 points but two late Everton goals meant Andre Villas-Boas’s side left Goodison Park empty-handed. A win there would have made it four on the trot, but Spurs are getting in to a bad habit of falling away in the second half of matches. They’ve scored the opening goal in 75 per cent of league games so far, but have won just eight of sixteen games. Significantly, 80 per cent of the goals they’ve conceded have come in the second half of games.

There are doubts over whether Gareth Bale will be right for a return while Michael Dawson and Younes Kaboul are also expected to miss the match, but Benoit Assou-Ekotto could return after a three-month layoff, while there is a chance Scott Parker could return in the midfield. Spurs beat the Swans 3-1 in east London last season, and the chances of a high-scoring encounter seem strong; four of the last six matches at White Hart Lane have featured four goals or more. Tottenham has won its last four at home.

Michael Laudrup’s men have proved a number of times this season they won’t die wondering. Michu leads the Premier League with 12 goals, and Swansea’s Spaniard-heavy team has won its past two away games, taking down Arsenal 2-0 at the Emirates after scoring a 2-1 win over Newcastle. Those victories were part of a six-game unbeaten run before a shock 4-3 defeat by Norwich City at the Liberty Stadium last weekend. A 1-0 midweek shutout of Middlesborough has put the Jacks in to the League Cup semi-finals and given the Welsh side a chance to collect its biggest piece of silverware.

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