Tottenham vs Swansea: Match preview and predicted line-ups
Tottenham welcome Swansea City to White Hart Lane which will start a busy December for the north London side, with six games scheduled in all competitions. The Swans have equally as hectic Christmas schedule, again with six fixtures pencilled in for December. This period will go some way towards forming the respective end of season league positions for both of these sides, with Spurs looking to cement a top four finish (or maybe more) and the south Wales side wanting to stave off relegation for a sixth successive time.
Swansea City have not beaten Spurs in the league since 1981, and haven’t recorded a success in any competition against the Lilywhites since the League Cup in 1991. In recent history (the last five games) these fixtures have averaged 3.8 goals per game, with Spurs failing to keep a clean sheet against the Swans since August 2013. Swansea have not kept a clean sheet against Spurs in the league since 1950.
Home side Spurs will still be reeling from a London derby defeat to Chelsea last time out. However, there were encouraging signs for Mauricio Pochettino, as his side played very well in the first 45 minutes, and in the end only lost to the league leaders courtesy of a few moments of individual brilliance. Spurs’ fantastic 3-2 comeback win against West Ham earlier this month was their first league win in four games, as despite a blistering start to the season, winning their first five out of seven league matches, Pochettino’s men have somewhat slowed, and are currently losing ground to the chasing pack. A difficult European campaign sees Spurs on the brink of elimination with just a home tie against CSKA Moscow to save themselves. Domestically Spurs have not been all that bad, recently they have faced the Champions, Arsenal and Chelsea, and just about come through unscathed (bar the loss at the Bridge). Although after just 13 games, they are already four points behind the Gunners in fourth and seven off of leaders Chelsea. This fixture against Swansea is a must win.
Last weekend’s win against Palace was Swansea’s first since the opening day of the season. The Swans still lie second from bottom and are two points off of safety. Luckily for fans of the west Wales team, there are a fair few other clubs in equally dire straits, meaning if Swansea get their act together sooner rather than later, they will be able to stay up. In recent weeks Swansea have faced Manchester United, Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City, so with perhaps an ‘easier’ run of games going into the New Year representing an excellent opportunity for Coach Bradley to notch up some points. This so-called ‘easier’ fixtures in December are all against other struggling sides, and therefore are all ‘six pointers’ on offer to Swansea. Before 2017 the Swans play Sunderland, West Brom, Middlesbrough, West Ham and Bournemouth. That run of games could be critical come May.
Predicted line ups
Tottenham Hotspur predicted starting XI:
Swansea City predicted starting XI:
Injuries and suspensions
December 3rd is the stated return date for Ben Davies, Toby Alderweireld and Erik Lamela. However, Pochettino may not risk returning one (or all) of these players back too soon. However, due to a lack of left back options, and as it’s against his former team, Ben Davies may be given the nod to start – if fit.
Swansea have no fresh injury or suspension woes heading into this fixture.
This *should* be a fairly routine win for Spurs, and is exactly the sort of fixture they need to win, and win well if they are to continue pushing for the top four or higher. Swansea, and new coach Bob Bradley will still be on cloud nine after last weekend’s stand out win over Crystal Palace, but expect an away tie at the Lane to be too much of an ask for the Welsh side.
Our prediction: Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 Swansea City
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