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Tottenham Hotspur vs West Bromwich Albion: 07/02/2021 – match preview and predicted starting XIs

Tottenham Hotspur vs West Bromwich Albion

Date: 07/02/2021

K/O: 12:00

Venue: Tottenham Hotspur Stadium

Referee: Stuart Attwell

TV: BT Sport 1

Tottenham host West Brom this Sunday lunchtime, with both teams in a precarious position with respect to their league hopes.

Before Thursday night, the last time Tottenham suffered three league losses in a row was way back in 2012. Chelsea renewed this record with a 1-0 victory over the Lilywhites at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium. Brighton and Liverpool were the other two teams contributing to the trio of defeats, and the result is that Spurs continue their landslide down the table into eighth position before a ball was kicked this weekend and within four points of being in the bottom half of the table.

Spurs’ performances over the last few games have been pretty dismal, and it’s not an exaggeration to say there are no positives for Mourinho to take from any of them. It was all very well Tottenham saving their energy when they didn’t have the ball, but they gave the ball cheaply back to Chelsea whenever there was a glimpse of a chance of a counter-attack, which was unacceptable from an effort point of view.

A beacon of hope on the horizon for Tottenham is that Harry Kane’s injury may not be as long-term as feared. The entire front line has struggled with distribution in the final third without the English striker and, although he won’t be ready to play on Sunday, Mourinho has said next week represents a possibility for a return.

It must be a dismal prospect for West Bromwich fans that they are potentially one game away from being bottom of the table. Considering Sheffield United had picked up two points in their first seventeen games, it would be fairly horrifying if West Brom were to somehow claim the bottom spot from the Yorkshire outfit. The Baggies’ goal difference is considerably worse than United’s, so a point for the latter this weekend could be enough to lift them off the bottom.

Sam Allardyce was brought in to fend off relegation on behalf of the Baggies, but their sharp decrease in goal difference is enough to give the impression that the Big Sam magic may be failing for once. It doesn’t bode well for this weekend that the manager has never beaten a Jose Mourinho lineup and lost on nine out of twelve of such occasions.

It’s clear then where West Brom’s problems lie. A sense of incoherence and panic ripples across West Brom’s backline whenever the ball enters their penalty area, and most attackers don’t hesitate to capitalize on this. Looking ahead to Sunday then, perhaps the West Brom defenders can hope for more of the play to be up the other side of the pitch, with Tottenham likely to either sit back in their own half or play on the counter.

Team News

Tottenham Hotspur

Spurs will be without the prolific Harry Kane and Sunday but, as mentioned earlier, the Englishman could be back in action in a week or so. The other player Mourinho has been missing greatly is Sergio Reguilon, who has been absent since late January. The Spanish full-back is set to be out for a few weeks.

A timestamp for Giovani Lo Celso’s return remains unavailable. Meanwhile, although unlikely to play anyway, Dele Alli is out with a tendon problem.

West Bromwich Albion

As for West Brom, the injury list is non-existent – perhaps one of the few positives for Sam Allardyce at this moment in time. Ainsley Maitland-Niles, on loan from Arsenal, could make a debut for the Baggies in midfield.

Predicted Starting XIs

Tottenham Hotspur (4-2-3-1): Lloris; Davies, Rodon, Alderweireld, Aurier; Winks, Hojbjerg; Son, Lamela, Bergwijn; Vinicius

West Bromwich Albion (4-2-3-1): Johnstone; Townsend, Bartley, Ajayi, Furlong; Livermore, Maitland-Niles; Snodgrass, Pereira, Phillips; Diagne

Score Prediction: Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 West Bromwich Albion 

If Spurs can’t get a result against West Brom then there is tremendous cause for concern for Jose Mourinho. Having said that, Spurs’ usual style of play indicates that it is unlikely to be a wash over, and the Baggies may bag a goal or two for themselves.

Harry Mahon

90maat's team correspondent for Tottenham Hotspur, graduate of Loughborough University and current student at the University of Surrey.

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