Sky Sports football pundit Paul Merson has given his thoughts on how Tottenham Hotspur will fare in their Premier League clash against Crystal Palace.
Mauricio Pochettino’s side go into the fixture at their new stadium desperate for a win or risk losing the opportunity of another season in the Champions League.
Tottenham will be playing their first match in N17 for nearly a season and a half – they were unbeaten in their last 19 league games at the old White Hart Lane (W17 D2), winning the last 14 in a row.
Crystal Palace’s only away London derby win this season was at Fulham on the opening weekend – the last top-flight campaign that saw them win two away London derbies was 1997-98 (vs Wimbledon and Spurs).
After a run of seven consecutive wins in Premier League London derby matches, Spurs have won just one of their last four such matches (D1 L2).
Merson believes that despite the recent run of poor form, Spurs will finally get back to winning ways.
He told Sky Sports: “It’s the first game at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and what a big game it is. If the scores go as I’ve predicted then Manchester United will win, Chelsea will win and Arsenal won on Monday Night.
“From a side who were looking to win the Premier League, they are now in a big fight to finish in the top four. They’ve still got to go to Manchester City so you can more than likely take another game off so this is a must-win game.
“I can’t think of a worse game to play as the first at your new stadium. Crystal Palace are one of the best counter-attacking sides about on their day. They are a big threat on the counter away from home.
“This is another hard game for Spurs. They will be kicking themselves about the result at Anfield. There only looked like one winner as the game went on and, in the end, they lost the game. How many times have we said that about Spurs in the last year? I’m just going to go with Tottenham but I would not be surprised if they didn’t win this game.
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