Swansea’s decision to appoint Carlos Carvalhal looks like a shrewd one at least in the immediate term as the former Sheffield Wednesday boss got off to the perfect start on Saturday when he masterminded a dramatic late turnaround away at Watford.
With just four minutes remaining it looked as if the Swans were once again dead and buried and in danger of being cast adrift at the foot of the table, but late goals from Jordan Ayew and Luciano Narsingh meant that it was to be a debut win for the new man at the Liberty Stadium helm.
Tonight he will look to continue that perfect start when the South Wales outfit play host to a Tottenham side who now face two matches in four days after no closing fixture in the final weekend of 2017, while also being bottom of the table once again after West Brom’s draw with Arsenal on New Year’s Eve.
A win for Swansea could well leave them level on points with Crystal Palace who are currently 17th and further contract the bottom even more in what is proving to be more and more of a cut throat battle to beat the drop with every week that passes.
Not only was the win most welcomed last Saturday but also the fact that the club managed the rare feat of scoring two goals in a single game, they still are the Premier League’s lowest scorers this season with just 13 goals to their name but the way they managed to pick up maximum points at Vicarage Road will certainly give them cause for optimism.
Last time they faced Tottenham at the Liberty Stadium they were themselves just minutes from an all important win but then Mauricio Pochettino’s men scored three unanswered goals late on to continue their chase of Chelsea in the race for the title.
The two clubs have already met earlier in the season, September saw Tottenham incredibly frustrated by what was then Paul Clement’s Swansea at Wembley as the runners up of the 2016/17 campaign had to make do with just a point at their new home. A result that did little to quell the talk of the Wembley curse.
Thankfully though that no longer seems to be an issue as Spurs have turned in two five goal hauls in the month of December with Stoke and Southampton being the victims and it was Boxing Day which led to a whole of late celebrations for fans and one player in particular.
That player of course being Harry Kane who not only broke Alan Shearer’s long standing record of Premier League goals in a calendar year but also ended as the top 2017 goalscorer for club and country in each of the major European leagues, topping a list that includes the likes of Lionel Messi and Robert Lewandowski.
There was some doubt that Kane was suffering from illness in between Christmas and New Year but in all honesty, I think that is a ploy to give the forward a couple of days off after all his efforts in what has been nothing short of a phenomenal 2017.
He was listed as doubtful for this fixture but the prognosis now seems a lot more positive and he is set to once again lead the line for Tottenham this evening. There is also some more positive news with the fact that Kenyan international Victor Wanyama has resumed training and is also in line for a place in the squad this evening.
A first team berth from the start may well just come around too soon but his inclusion on the bench will certainly give Tottenham optimism that they will get stronger in the second half of the campaign and find their way back in the top four of the table after a blip of results in November.
Tottenham have taken 13 points from their last 18 available and had they beaten Manchester City last month then they would be in the in form team in the division, which does suggest that the thrashing at the Etihad was nothing more than an a aberration.
To further compound this point they will need to beat Swansea especially as Liverpool snatched a dramatic win against Burnley yesterday afternoon to further extend the gap between the two sides. Thankfully though I think Tottenham will exact revenge for their early season Wembley woe and pick up all three points. An away win for me.