Crystal Palace come to White Hart Lane on Saturday afternoon for our opening home game of the season.
There were plenty of plus points to be drawn from our visit to Goodison Park last weekend but unfortunately the three that would’ve come our way with victory weren’t amongst them. Balanced against the goalscoring start from Lamela and the promising displays by Wanyama and Janssen was the loss for several weeks of Hugo to a damaged hamstring. Michel Vorm may have been anticipating an autumn of kicking back staring at the rear of Pochettino’s head from the subs bench instead though he looks set for a fundamental role as we attempt to get some momentum going in the Premier and Champions Leagues. There have been rumours for a while that a replacement number two keeper may be on his way in, Vorm knows that he must seize his opportunity whilst he can.
Palace began their campaign with a bad loss at home to West Brom, a team predicted by most to be nearer the bottom than the top of the table come May. In fact their league form has been poor for a while but it does follow a general pattern. Put Pardew in charge and you get one good season before the wheels start coming off – see Southampton, West Ham and Newcastle. He’ll be head butting people in no time. This doesn’t mean that Palace will be pushovers of course. They were on a very bad run when we met them in the cup in February and they won then.
Benteke has signed, but I’m not sure soon enough to play. Bolasie has gone but familiar face Andros Townsend will start. He should get a good reception.
Apart from the introduction of Vorm instead of Lloris we’ll probably field the same side as last week though a small part of Pochettino’s thinking may be leaning towards seeing how Janssen and Kane fit together from the beginning of a game. If that is the case then it might be Eriksen that finds himself sitting things out given his relatively lacklustre display last weekend.
Heung-Min Son’s South Korean side were dumped out of the Olympic football competition by minnows Honduras last weekend, clearly the lure of potentially avoiding national service if they took gold wasn’t quite enough. Son contributed with a couple of goals during the group stages, hopefully he’ll bring that form with him if he ends up being involved on Saturday.
So here we go, another home season gets underway, this one will though will be a little bit different of course given the big hole in one corner of the ground. The weather forecasters are promising strong winds, a gale blowing through the gap between the East and North stands could make things interesting, especially for the keepers.
Michael Oliver is the referee.
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