The Premier League returns to action this weekend after a cup hiatus and our first port of call is White Hart Lane as high flying Tottenham play host to West Brom, with the home side able to move up to 2nd for 24 hours at least should they manage to earn a victory this lunchtime.
Harry Kane had some celebrating off the pitch at the weekend as he became a father for the first time and the perfect way to wrap up a memorable week would be to be among the goals as Mauricio Pochettino’s side will look to exact some revenge for last season.
Last April Tottenham dropped two crucial points in the title race as they were held at home by The Baggies, a draw that all but ended Spurs hopes of winning the Premier League. It was also a game where Dele Alli gave Claudio Yacob a well executed uppercut in the midriff.
A punch that would eventually see Alli banned for the rest of the season as the wheels fell of Tottenham’s campaign with the North London side eventually limping to a third place finish. But with Alli in red hot form as of late the hope will be that he does not have to use his fists during his encounter.
A run of form that has seen the England international score 6 goals in his last 3 Premier League outings, it’s been Dele at the double as of late with a brace in everyone of those three matches. He was not among the goals in Tottenham’s F.A. Cup win but it was arguably his appearance as a substitute which changed the game.
With Vincent Janssen starting last Sunday it is fair to say that Spurs lacked sparkle and the longer the game went on they were more and more frustrated by Aston Villa. Thankfully though Alli’s inclusion half way through the second half gave his side an extra impetus as they finally ran out 2-0 winners to move into the 4th Round of The F.A. Cup.
As for their opponents West Brom they did not have the same good fortune in the cup as they were knocked out by Championship side Derby County. A game which for the main part they were on top but Derby’s two goals after the break were enough to see Steve McClaren’s side pull off one of the few upsets of the weekend.
Obviously there will have been disappointment at not progressing in the cup but you can’t say there has been all that much disappointment at The Hawthorns with West Brom exceeding many peoples expectation and perhaps even their own.
With West Brom now comfortably in 8th as we move into the second half of the season the objective will be to secure a top half finish come the end of the campaign and with the way they have been playing you would have to say that it’s a realistic target.
They travel to North London off the back of two straight league wins as victories over Southampton and Hull sees them just behind Everton in the race to finish the best of the rest, that is if we take the teams in the top 6 as an absolute given.
In their two previous trips to London when facing Chelsea and Arsenal they have been accused of perhaps not having a go until going behind and traveling West Brom fans will hope that is not the case later on, while Tottenham fans will obviously think the opposite.
The last three times these two sides have met in the Premier League it has ended in a draw so that is where the smart money would go but with Tottenham still buoyed by that win over Chelsea 10 days ago you would have to believe that the momentum is with them.
Lunchtimes games have a habit of not quite living up to the hype but Spurs supporters will not care too much as long as they get three points needed to take up to 2nd for at least a day. Even without my usual Tottenham bias I still think they will have enough in which to do so and also close the gap to Diego Costa-less Chelsea to 4 points. A home win for me.