We have some work to do at Wembley.
I don’t personally believe in the ‘Wembley hoodoo’, I think in our last few outings at the national stadium we’ve put in good enough shifts to win matches. Why haven’t we? Little errors. Errors that high quality teams punish. In the Champions League, when we faced that quality, we were exposed. Twice more against Chelsea and exactly the same, despite arguably dominating both clashes in the last season’s FA Cup Semi-Final and last week’s Premier League derby.
Now we have Burnley. Not Champions League material, not a top 4 rival, Burnley. In normal circumstances, most would expect this to be a routine win for Spurs. But play it at Wembley, where we’ve experienced absolutely no luck for literal years, and all of a sudden it’s do or die. Admittedly, I’ll be very concerned if we don’t come away from this one with 3 points. Last week was a blip. If it happens twice in a row, then its a real issue.
You should see some of the stats circulating about ‘Spurs at Wembley’. I wonder if anyone can guess our all-time top scorer at Wembley? You won’t get it right unless you already know the answer. It’s ‘own goal’ with 5 strikes, the latest of which coming off Michy Batshuayi’s head. Of our last 10 appearances at the national stadium, how many turned out to be defeats? This one’s a little easier. It’s 7, the latest of which coming off Marcos Alonso’s left boot, though if we’re all honest, that shot really should have come off Hugo Lloris’ gloves.
We have to put last week’s result right. We have to put all those defeats right. We have to use the pain of once again seeing Chelsea celebrating at our expense to guide us to victory. Pain, most of the time, is necessary. It teaches you lessons and the players aren’t stupid. They’ll be sick and tired of all the Wembley talk and it’s not like they have to drastically improve their form. Some may not agree, but I think we did enough to win last week. We just need to tidy one or two things up.
Losing to Chelsea at Wembley doesn’t raise too many eyebrows, but losing to Burnley would be disastrous. The team know that, so I struggle to envision Spurs losing this one. Burnley will be extremely motivated, I know. It’s not often that a team lower down the pecking order gets to play at the national stadium. I’m sure they’d like to taste success there too, but of all the fans in England, no one could rival Tottenham’s hunger for triumph at Wembley.
Hunger, that’s they key word here. Kane must be gagging for a goal too. He hit the post last week against Chelsea and he pit the post at St James’ Park the week before. He’s never scored a Premier League goal in August. Never. If he scored tomorrow, it could be a real lift-off. There’s nothing like the first goal to really get you going. Especially if we go on to win the game. In a season, you often get defining moments that change the course of your campaign, for the good or for the bad. Regardless of the result, I’m certain that tomorrow will be one of those moments. We’ve got to make sure it works in our favour.
I’m actually very nervous. We’ve brought a couple of players through the door and we can expect another few to follow soon, so that’s a little boost going into the game. Sanchez will be available to play, which is good too. Imagine making your club debut at Wembley? I’m sure that thought’s been floating through his mind. N’Koudou, Rose and Lamela still unfortunately miss out, so aside from Sanchez’s potential inclusion, I don’t think we’ll see much of a difference in line-ups since last week.
Burnley have very few concerns in the way of injuries. Recent signing Jonathan Walters won’t play due to the ankle injury sustained in Burnley’s 2-0 Carabao Cup win over Blackburn, while 25 year old midfielder Jeff Hendrick is also a doubt. £15 million man Chris Wood, who signed for the Clarets from Leeds earlier in the week, could also make his debut at the 90,000 capacity arena.
Both sides are very motivated. You could easily say that Spurs need the win more than Burnley, but after what they did at Stamford Bridge on the opening weekend, we all know what they have in their locker when the pressure’s not on them. I know I probably shouldn’t let that cloud my judgement, but I’m with Poch on this one. This is going to be tough, and perhaps even very difficult to watch.
I think we may end up waiting a long, long time for the breakthrough in this game. Spurs don’t dare fall behind early on. I’ll be watching from behind the couch if that happens. I’m going to place my faith in Tottenham again and say 1-0 Spurs. Narrow, but a win nonetheless. Although, as much as it disheartens me to say it, I wouldn’t be too surprised if Burnley hung on for a draw either, but if West Brom can do it, then surely so can we.
What’s your prediction? Have I got it all wrong, or do you agree? Leave your predictions below, I’d be very interested to hear your thoughts.
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