Tottenham Hotspur will look to begin a new winning streak on Boxing Day when they play host to a struggling West Bromwich Albion squad at White Hart Lane.
Spurs and newly-appointed head coach Tim Sherwood are coming off a much-needed win over Southampton in Week 17 while the Baggies are in search of their first win since Week 10. In addition to not having won a Premier League match since Nov. 2, West Brom haven't won on the road since Sept. 28 when they upset Manchester United.
As a result, Spurs will be heavy favourites at home on Matchday 18.
Here we'll get you set with everything you need to know ahead of kick-off.
Date: Thursday, December 26, 2013
Start Time: 10 a.m. ET, 3 p.m. GMT
Where: White Hart Lane, London
Watch: Premier League Extra Time
Live Stream: NBC Sports Live Extra
Tottenham Hotspur: 54.6 percent
West Bromwich Albion: 21.0 percent
Draw: 24.3 percent
*Odds according to Bloomberg Sports.
Top Storyline: Tim Sherwood Makes Spurs Permanent Head Coach Debut
Sherwood has coached Tottenham in their two previous matches in a caretaker role, but will make his debut as the official head coach on Boxing Day after the club announced they had signed him through the end of next season on Monday, Dec. 23:
The Club can announce that Tim Sherwood has been appointed Head Coach with a contract to the end of the 2014/15 season— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) December 23, 2013
Spurs chairman Daniel Levy had the following response to the club's announcement, per TottenhamHotspur.com:
We have a great squad and we owe them a head coach who will bring out the best in them and allow them to flourish and enjoy a strong, exciting finish to the season. We are in the fortunate position of having within our club a talented coach in Tim Sherwood. We believe Tim has both the knowledge and the drive to take the squad forward.
Former head coach Andre Villas-Boas was fired on Dec. 16; just one day after Spurs lost 5-0 to Liverpool at White Hart Lane.
Sherwood is off to a solid start in his new role. Tottenham were bounced from the Capital One Cup in his first match at the helm, but rebounded nicely to beat Southampton 3-2 in Week 17.
The 44-year-old will look to keep the momentum going on Boxing Day when Spurs host the underdog Baggies in a match that could potentially pull them within three points of Premier League leaders Liverpool and Arsenal.
Which side will prevail?
While West Brom have performed decently on the road, earning four draws this year, they lack the offensive firepower to truly threaten for three points against a top-tier squad like Spurs.
Meanwhile, Tottenham appear to be rejuvenated under Sherwood. Dec. 22's 3-2 win at Southampton marked the first time this season that Spurs scored at least three goals in a Premier League match and suggests that Sherwood may be onto something heading into the New Year.
On top of that, Spurs have been by far the more efficient of the two clubs, per football writer James Maw via Twitter:
Spurs have scored and conceded the same number of PL goals as West Brom (F:18 A:23), but have won 14 more points. Efficient, that...— James Maw (@JamesMawFFT) December 23, 2013
With it having been nearly two months since the Baggies last won a Premier League match, you've got to like Tottenham's chances of pulling out another win at home.
Tottenham Hotspur 2, West Bromwich Albion 1
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