Tottenham Hotspur will be eager to keep up with Aston Villa in the top-four race when they host Crystal Palace on Saturday.

Gameweek 27 of the 2023/24 Premier League season kicks off with six simultaneous fixtures instead of the early match-up. One of those games will have Tottenham Hotspur welcoming Crystal Palace to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Ange Postecoglou has restored the good feeling at Tottenham Hotspur, even though his team has suffered from bouts of inconsistency. The Australian tactician’s gung-ho style of play has resonated with the squad, with the North London club playing an eye-catching brand of football. But they have dropped five points behind Aston Villa in the top-four race after not playing last weekend.

As for Crystal Palace, they are the latest club to showcase the “new manager bounce” after easing to a 3-0 win over Burnley. The Eagles are now on a two-match unbeaten run and will hope to pull away from the dreaded relegation zone in the coming weeks. But Saturday’s London Derby is a tricky fixture for them.

The reverse fixture saw Tottenham eke out a narrow 2-1 win over Crystal Palace, with Jordan Ayew scoring a late consolation goal. The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at the encounter ahead of the latest meeting between the two sides.

Team News & Tactics

Tottenham Hotspur

Ange Postecoglou has greeted a positive update on the team news front ahead of his side’s latest fixture. Against Crystal Palace on Saturday, the Tottenham Hotspur manager will be bereft of the services of five first-team players.

Destiny Udogie will likely return after missing the game against Wolverhampton Wanderers with a knee injury. But the game might have come too soon for Pedro Porro, who has a strain that might not have cleared up in time for Saturday’s fixture.

In addition, Fraser Forster (foot), Ryan Sessegnon (hamstring), Richarlison (knee), and Manor Solomon (knee) remain in the treatment room. Richarlison’s absence means Timo Werner will get a start, joining Son Heung-min, James Maddison, and Dejan Kulusevski in the final third.

As for the midfield unit, Yves Bissouma and Pape Matar Sarr should pair up in the double pivot. The backline should feature Emerson Royal, Gerard Romero, Micky van de Ven, and Udogie, with Guglielmo Vicario taking his spot between the sticks.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Vicario; Royal, Romero, van de Ven, Udogie; Bissouma, Sarr; Kulusevski, Maddison, Werner; Son

Crystal Palace

Like his counterpart in the Tottenham Hotspur dugout, Oliver Glasner has greeted positive updates on the team news front ahead of his side’s latest fixture. The Crystal Palace manager will be without five first-team players on Saturday.

The good news is Joachim Andersen (thigh), Will Hughes (ankle), and Eberechi Eze (hamstring) are fit and available. But Marc Guehi (knee), Rob Holding (ankle), Cheick Doucoure (Achilles), Jesurun Rak-Sakyi (thigh), and Michael Olise (hamstring) remain on the sidelines.

Sam Johnstone will take his spot between the sticks, with Crystal Palace lining up in a 3-4-2-1 formation in front of him against Tottenham. The central defensive unit should feature Joel Ward, Chris Richards, and Joachim Andersen. Daniel Munoz and Tyrick Mitchell will likely start as the wing-backs.

As for the midfield unit, there is no looking past Adam Wharton and Jefferson Lerma. The duo will look to keep things tight in the middle of the park. Jean-Philippe Mateta, Jordan Ayew, and the Tottenham-linked Eberechi Eze should be the three attackers.

Probable Lineup (3-4-2-1): Johnstone; Ward, Richards, Andersen; Munoz, Wharton, Lerma, Mitchell; Ayew, Eze; Mateta

Key Stats

  • Crystal Palace have won only one of their last 17 Premier League games against Tottenham Hotspur: a 3-0 win at Selhurst Park in September 2021. Spurs have emerged victorious in eight consecutive Premier League meetings since a goalless draw at White Hart Lane in December 2014. That is their longest Premier League home winning streak versus a single opponent.
  • Crystal Palace have scored only one goal in their last ten Premier League away fixtures versus Spurs, which Christian Benteke netted in a 4-1 defeat in March 2021.
  • Tottenham are on a club-league-record run of scoring in 37 consecutive matches since a 1-0 defeat at Wolves on March 4 2023 (their 26th league fixture of last season). That is the second-longest Premier League scoring streak after 55 by Arsenal between 2001 and 2002. But they have kept only one clean sheet in their most recent 16 Premier League games, a 2-0 victory at Nottingham Forest on 15 December.
  • Oliver Glasner can become the first manager to win his first two Premier League matches since fellow Austrian Ralf Rangnick did so for Manchester United in December 2021. He can also emulate Alan Pardew, who did so against Tottenham and Burnley in January 2015, as the only manager to have won his first two Premier League fixtures in charge of Crystal Palace.
  • With eight goals and two assists, Son Heung-min has been involved in 10 goals in 15 Premier League appearances against Crystal Palace.

Player to Watch

Son Heung-min

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When Harry Kane left Tottenham last summer and Ange Postecoglou exiled Hugo Lloris, Son Heung-min inherited the captain’s armband. But he has embraced the additional responsibility well, taking to the captaincy role like a fish to water.

No longer is the South Korean international producing frustrating performances, as he did last season. In addition, Son is happy and content at Tottenham and wants to commit his future to the North London club. He will now want to rediscover his early season productivity heading into the business end of the 2023/24 season.


Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace will hope to create momentum after the convincing win over Burnley last week. But beating Tottenham at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium might be a tall order for the Eagles, considering their poor recent record against their fellow London outfit.

However, their drought might end, with Jordan Ayew continuing his fine run of form. That might only be a consolation goal, with Son Heung-min and Richarlison delivering the goods for the home side. The Hard Tackle predicts a 2-1 win for Ange Postecoglou and his charges.

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