West Brom visit White Hart Lane in the Saturday midday kick off with a 4 game unbeaten record in Tottenham’s home.
With five 1-1 draws in the last 7 meetings, Spurs will have to overcome the side that are gradually becoming their bogey team. The task will be all the much more difficult with West Brom sitting comfortably in 8th position, demonstrating resistant and unbroken form. The Baggies’ have found a way under Pulis and are a persistent threat from set pieces with Gareth McAuley and Salomon Rondon.
Pochettino’s men will enter the game on red-hot form winning their last five in the Premier League, most recently league leaders Chelsea. Their only stumbling block is Pulis’ West Brom who almost gained all three points against Spurs in October before Dele Alli salvaged a point at the death. In April last year, it was West Brom who virtually ended Spurs’ title dreams in, yes, you guessed it, another 1-1 draw at the Lane.
Revenge probably isn’t the word, but Tottenham will be looking to put an end to a tenacious nuisance. West Brom are more than that now, a force to genuinely be reckoned with. Pulis may antagonise football purists but his football is effective. Spurs will need to find a way through that.
In terms of the teams, Erik Lamela is still sidelined for Spurs as he continues his rehabilitation in Rome while the visitors are missing Jonny Evans with a calf injury.
Dele Alli, who was banned for ‘punching’ Claudio Yacob in this fixture last season, comes into the game in scintillating form. His three braces in as many recent Premier League matches means he has already surpassed last season’s tally of 10 which saw him rise to fame. Harry Kane will start up front for Tottenham in a side that will most likely see the return of the players rested in the FA Cup.
West Brom will be hoping that Matt Phillips can continue his run of form that has seen him involved in 11 goals in the last 10. The newly prolific Gareth McAuley will make his 200th club appearance.
Tony Pulis’ intentions are clear. He said ‘When you play against a top team like Spurs, anything you get is a bonus’. Enter the fray, Pulis-ball. Tottenham’s saving grace is West Brom’s form against the top six. Bar themselves, West Brom have lost the other five games including an out-of-character 0-4 loss at the hands of Manchester City. To be successful, Kane, Alli and Eriksen will have to be on song.
Stuart Fagg, Pundit Arena