Tottenham travel to the South Coast this lunchtime fresh from their Champions League exploits but also knowing that they missed a big opportunity to go top of the Premier League last Saturday after being held to a draw away at West Brom, they will hope that their second successive league match away from home brings a more positive result.
They have Ben Foster to thank for not sitting top of the table as his string of saves kept Tottenham at bay for nearly the duration of the game. But it’s not only Foster whose luck they will be cursing as who else but Nacer Chadli scored against his former employers to give The Baggies the lead last Saturday only for Dele Alli to finally get the better of Foster.
That game also saw Toby Alderweireld stretched off and he joins Harry Kane on the treatment table although neither are too far away from a return the trip to Bournemouth will come around too soon. After a draw in Leverkusen in midweek, Mauricio Pochettino will be hoping his side find their ruthlessness and return to winning ways at The Vitality Stadium.
They face a Bournemouth side who found their own ruthless streak last week as they hit Hull City for 6. Eddie Howe’s men are currently 11th in the table and come into this match off the back of a three game unbeaten streak. Such a comfortable win would have no doubt boosted Bournemouth’s confidence but the visit of Tottenham will certainly bring a different test.
When these two sides met last season it was a 5-1 win for Tottenham in a game that arguably kickstarted their very impressive campaign which eventually saw them finish 3rd in the league and secure Champions League football and it was European action in midweek where Tottenham had to settle for just a point.
After dominating the first half, it’s fair to say they were then dominated themselves in the second but Tottenham are made of stern stuff this season and once again kept another clean sheet although they do have Hugo Lloris to thank after he made three incredible saves to keep the game at a stalemate.
Once again Mauricio Pochettino will have the selection dilemma of deciding whether to go with Vincent Janssen up front or Heung-min Son. In midweek Janssen played up top and was somewhat unfortunate not to get his first Tottenham goal from open play and you get the feeling he may well have done enough to warrant starting this Lunchtime.
After a slow start to the season, Bournemouth are starting to find their groove and have only lost 1 in their last 6 league matches. He may not be actively touting for the job but Eddie Howe is very much in the shop window in terms of the England job so another impressive season in charge of The Cherries will do his hopes of being the next permanent England manager no harm at all.
His chances will be helped further if he can mastermind a win today over Spurs and got some revenge for the two heavy defeats that the North London side inflicted last season. Everton have already come here and failed this season and Bournemouth would love to add another scalp to their collection.
That said I still think Tottenham will possess enough quality in their squad to edge past this hurdle, even with key personnel missing in both defence and attack. I’m going for Spurs to win and to sit top of the table for a couple of hours at least. An away win for me.
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