Tottenham will look to keep pace with the top clubs in the English Premier League in a favorable home matchup against Crystal Palace.
Although the Spurs were just knocked out of the FA Cup in a third-round loss to Arsenal, they have been playing well recently in league matches. In their last four matches, they have three wins and a draw to keep them only two points out of a top-four spot in the table.
Meanwhile, Crystal Palace are simply trying to avoid relegation with 17 points in 20 matches. However, they have won two of their last three road games in all competitions, which could make things difficult for Tottenham in this one.
You truly cannot take anything for granted in this competitive league, which means that both sides will be fighting hard throughout all 90 minutes of the match.
Who will win?
When: Saturday, Jan. 11
Where: White Hart Lane, London
Time (U.S.): 10 a.m. ET
Time (U.K.): 3 p.m. GMT
TV (U.S.): NBC Sports
TV (U.K.): BBC One
Live Stream: NBC Sports Live Extra
Odds (via SkyBet): Tottenham (1-3), Crystal Palace (9-1), Draw (18-5)
Top Storyline: Will Lack of Depth Be a Problem for Tottenham?
Tottenham have dealt with a number of injuries at this point of the year, and it is severely limiting the attack. Players like Paulinho, Andros Townsend, Roberto Soldado and others have missed time with various ailments.
Peter Thompson of Goal.com quoted Tim Sherwood after the recent loss in saying, "It's been six games in 17 days, and we've probably the smallest squad in the league because of injuries."
Fortunately, good news appears to be on the way. According to Paul Gorst of Mirror Football, Townsend should be able to return against Crystal Palace, along with Lewis Holtby and Gylfi Sigurdsson. Still, the squad is clearly less than full strength.
The question is if the club can maintain consistency with a seemingly different line-up every match. It is certainly tough to score if there is no comfort level with a supporting cast.
Still, Tottenham have done a good job of weathering the storm until now. As players start to get fit, they should be able to once again have a strong unit throughout the pitch.
Prediction: Tottenham 2, Crystal Palace 0
For the most part, Tottenham have done a good job of taking care of business against weaker opponents. While there were some embarrassing performances against Liverpool and Manchester City, lower-level clubs have not been able to score much against this defense.
That should be a warning for Crystal Palace, a club that has scored the fewest goals in the EPL this season with 13. They only have five goals in 10 road matches.
Marouane Chamakh has the ability to get free and beat a defense on his own, but he will not have enough help in this match. The solid Spurs defense should contain him and limit the opportunities on that end of the pitch.
On offense, look for Emmanuel Adebayor to step up along with some others who might not necessarily get much playing time. These players have enough talent to beat Crystal Palace, and it will lead to an important home win.
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