Jose Mourinho has admitted that his Tottenham side are likely to be in for a tough test when they travel to Selhurst Park tomorrow.
Tottenham have managed to win seven points from their last possible nine against Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal, ensuring that they came into the weekend sitting at the top of the Premier League table.
Gareth Bale was an unused substitute in all three matches but Mourinho remained coy when asked whether the Welshman can be expected to start tomorrow afternoon.
When asked about Bale potentially coming into the side against the Eagles, the Spurs boss said after Tottenham’s 2-0 win over Antwerp on Thursday (via Football.London): I’m not going to tell you the team. I haven’t analysed Palace yet so give me two days to make my decisions.”
When asked about the threat that Wilfried Zaha can potentially pose, Mourinho was complimentary of the winger and insisted that he is under no illusions about the difficulty of his side’s task on Sunday.
He said: “To be honest I haven’t spend yet one single minute on Crystal Palace.
“Of course, I know many things about them and one of the things, of course, is the quality of Zaha but I do match per match.
“Now Antwerp is over, tomorrow morning we will start Crystal Palace. Of course, the players, manager and coaching staff is basically the same as the previous season.
“We know them very well. We know how difficult it was for us to get a point there to qualify for the Europa League in the last match of the season and for sure Sunday they are going to try to win as they always do.”
The Tottenham boss admitted that Roy Hodgson’s side are not only well-drilled in defence but also have goal-threats all over the park and that his side will have to be at their best to get all three points.
When it was put to Mourinho that his side may have to be more proactive against Palace, rather than sitting back and waiting for the opportunity to counter-attack, he responded: “Palace defend but Palace attack.
“I haven’t analysed them yet with detail, but I can say that yes they defend, yes they defend with lots of people and experienced people but they have quality in attack, organised attack, counter-attack, and set-pieces so they are a team that can threaten in lots of different situations.
“So the game is going to be globally difficult, but without comparing opponents because of course Palace is in another dimension, but West Brom, Burnley were very difficult matches for us but we managed to win these matches.”
Spurs Web Opinion
As much as Spurs fans would love to see a midfield three of Hojbjerg, Ndombele and Lo Celso to start against Palace so that there is a bit more creativity on the ball, I do not expect Jose to change a tried and tested formula. Palace will be difficult to break down and another 1-0 win could potentially be on the cards.
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