Tottenham at Bolton: 10 Bold Predictions as Spurs Visit Reebok Stadium
Tottenham is in fourth place again—you can sleep easy, Spurs fans.
The final three matches of the season will make or break this season, give direction to the summer and show us the first step of next season, whether it be in Europa play again or Champions League prominence.
I believe Spurs will earn their way into Champions League play for the 2012-2013 season, but that will almost certainly mean victories in each of their final three contests.
Their first obstacle? Bolton.
The Wanderers have struggled mightily this season, losing their best defender Gary Cahill to Chelsea in the January transfer window and winning just one of their last six fixtures. But anything can happen in the Premier League—just ask Manchester United and Newcastle United about supposedly "lowly" Wigan Athletic.
Harry Redknapp needs a win to make it through the week in fourth place. Will Tottenham get it? Will they even score a goal? Spurs has been anything but efficient on the road lately, having not won a match away from White Hart Lane since December 27th against Norwich City.
Join me as I predict all that and more with the boldest of bold predictions for when Tottenham visits Queens Park Rangers this Wednesday.
Louis Saha Will Again Come off the Bench
I'm just going to assume you know that Louis Saha has been a disappointment coming out of the January transfer window.
The former Everton man has yet to play a full 90 minutes in a Spurs uniform and has scored in just two of his nine appearances for his new club.
Saha has started just one match—a heartbreaking 2-1 loss to Norwich City—since March 22. Look for it to stay business as usual for the rarely used bench-warmer.
Aaron Lennon Will Get Another Start at Wing
As I wrote after Tottenham's dominating 2-0 win over Blackburn, I love seeing Aaron Lennon on the pitch. With each appearance the youngster makes, the more I think he could fit into a starting role for Spurs.
You know what? I think Redknapp thinks the same thing.
With rumors of Gareth Bale leaving White Hart Lane heating up, Spurs will be keen to continue see if Lennon can start on the wing.
Van Der Vaart and Adebayor Will Pair at Forward
There's absolutely no way Redknapp dismisses how effective the VDV-Adebayor partnership was at the top of the formation for Sunday's match against Blackburn—not just for these two players but for everyone, creating chances and opportunities to score.
Besides, Saha, apparently, isn't earning any playing time on the pitch and Jermain Defoe is best used as a late-match sub.
...and Adebayor Ends Dry Spell
Sadly, a prediction that Emmanuel Adebayor scores is now considered a "bold" one.
The Togolese striker had an amazing beginning to his first season with Tottenham, scoring nine goals and collecting six assists in the first half of the season. However, his form has dipped recently, with his last goal coming on April 1st against Swansea City.
Adebayor had several chances in Tottenham's 2-0 win over Blackburn, but he was inconsistent most of the match and at times possessed the ball cheaply. If he can settle down and play technically sound football, he'll easily get a goal against Bolton's porous defense.
...Before the 20th Minute Elapses
Yes, that quickly.
In their last six matches, Bolton has let in an astounding three goals in the first 33 minutes. They're vulnerable to the quick strike, and there's nobody hungrier for a goal—or who wants to take advantage of a defeated back line—than Adebayor.
He'll collect his 14th goal of the season before the 20th minute elapses.
Bolton Ties It Up Before Halftime
Tottenham is flying high with its latest 2-0 win over Blackburn and subsequently slotting itself into the fourth-place spot. The team fired on all cylinders last weekend, so Bolton should be a breeze, right?
Owen Coyle is a fantastic manager who has been dealt a raw hand in terms of his roster. The former striker has taken a terrible roster and gone unbeaten in six of his last eight matches, collecting 14 points out of a possible 24.
This won't be a blow out for relegation-threatened Bolton, not in the first half anyway.
...and It'll Be Kevin Davies!
Coyle will almost certainly give Davies the full 90 minutes again and see what he can do against visiting Spurs.
Aaron Lennon Scores a Double in Second Half
Aaron Lennon is an incredibly quick player who's been given a lot of chances from Harry Redknapp to succeed. He almost scored against Blackburn, but his shot went inches wide.
Against Bolton, Lennon slots it home.
It's time for the speedy English winger to show he's ready for a full season's worth of starts in the Premier League. Bolton, with 69 goals conceded so far this season, has a defensive back line that is tired, frustrated and ripe for the exploiting.
...With Both Goals Coming in Final 15 Minutes!
Remember what I said about Bolton being vulnerable in the first few minutes of matches? That same vulnerability exists in the last few minutes.
In the past six contests, Bolton has given up three goals during the last 15 minutes of the game. The Wanderers get tired and clubs like Newcastle United and Fulham have taken advantage.
Tottenham, and more specifically Aaron Lennon, will do the same in very, very convincing fashion.
Tottenham Wins 3-1
Sure, a 3-1 win by Tottenham isn't the boldest of predictions, but if you factor in that Spurs have had just two multi-goal games since March 4th, it gets a little bit more daring.
Will Tottenham get something out of Wednesday's match against Bolton? Yes.
Will it be three points? Again, yes.
Will they win a match by two goals for just the second time since the January transfer window closed? That's my bold prediction.
But these are what I think will happen when Tottenham travels to Bolton's Reebok Stadium. Comment below and let me know yours!