So, here we go. The phony stuff is over and it’s time for the real thing starting with a trip to Palace.
We don’t exactly go into Sunday’s game firing on all cylinders. The mixed bag of draws and defeats sprinkled with the occasional win has probably been the worst set of pre-season results I can remember. There were mitigating circumstances in most games, with injuries; internationals and the number of comings and goings all not helping but the lack of convincing performances can’t have done much for confidence.
The aforementioned squad changes plus the recovery of a couple of key players from injury mean that we should see a very different eleven take the field to that which finished the end of last season with Rose, Sandro, Kaboul, Paulinho, Chadli and Soldado (7/2 first goalscorer) all probably coming in and maybe Capoue (if only it was pronounced Kapowee!) as well. Even though this is more than half a team and Villas-Boas will see all the changes as positive we can only say that the revolution is underway rather than complete. Injuries to Vertonghen and Holtby plus the impression one gets that AVB is still only halfway down his shopping list mean that there are probably many changes still to come.
I suspect our starting line-up will be something along the lines of Hugo, Walker, Rose, Dawson, Kaboul, Lennon, Sandro, Dembele, Paulinho, Chadli/Sigurdsson and Soldado. Chadli to score and a Spurs win at 7/2.
Ian Holloway has a reputation for attacking football so we should get an entertaining game. Marouane Chamakh has been brought in to help an attack shorn of the services of Glenn Murray through injury. Other threats are likely to come from new boy Dwight Gayle whilst Jonathan Williams is highly spoken of.
Trips to Selhurst Park have been few and far between of late. Our last visit was in 2005 when we got a deserved thumping. A lot has happened since then of course and we should hope to reverse the result even if we don’t emulate the 3-0 scoreline – Spurs win 3-0 at 12/1, get your free £10 bet (no deposit required) at Betfred
The referee is, …..oh no, it’s Clattenburg.
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