Tottenham Hotspur Vs. Reading.
Firstly a very happy new year to everyone! I will play safe and wish you exactly what you wish me, whatever that may be…
If we look at results and league position, this is an easy three points for Tottenham, though of course we have said that before, and in truth despite what appears to be a more robust and defensively solid Reading, I don't see too much to stop Tottenham win and win comfortably, just as long as they themselves show up and produce football of their recent games. Seven wins in the last nine, is form that might not yet replicate Harry's golden run early last season, but you get the feeling that this is built on sound development under AVB and though we might not be looking to win the title, unlike the ever optimistic Sandro, this is a team and squad that is hopefully going to get better and better over the remainder of the season, whether we spend or not this month.
Reading are suddenly being talked about as being rock solid defensively, in only conceding one controversial goal in their last three games, and certainly an unfortunate defeat against Man City where Gareth Barry climbed all over Nicky Shorey/Nicky Shorey defended like a girl (depending on your point of view), a home draw against Swansea and a 1-0 win over West Ham have brought both hope, improvement and much needed points, but with seven defeats and a draw in their previous eight games, is hardly survival form and it will take more than these last three games and long overdue team resilience to convince me that Reading are going to stay in the Premiership. Perhaps as long as Tottenham don't make any James Collins style cock ups, we should again be looking at a clean sheet, and an early goal will surely force Reading into more offensive tactics.
Spurs are of course robbed of the services of Gareth Bale, whilst Clint Dempsey is the logical replacement, is he deemed fit enough to play a full 90 minutes, therefore could Gylfi Sigurdsson get a deserved start against his former club? Beniot Assou-Ekotto is potentially available, though I feel that we will not see him until we face Coventry at the weekend in a game that will be a perfect reintroduction after so long out with no competitive games since the start of September. I can see Villas-Boas, saving radical change for the FA Cup, which will probably mean that Scott Parker remains on the bench and we stick to pretty much the side that won and played so well at Sunderland. Whether AVB again rotates his centre backs, perhaps bringing back Gallas and Vertonghen and using Caulker and Dawson on Saturday seems like a good bet. Otherwise I expect to see: Lloris, Walker, Gallas, Vertonghen, Naughton; Sandro, Dembele; Lennon, Dempsey (Sigurdsson) Adebayor and Defoe start today, which is surely is a side good enough to win well, and then AVB has the opportunity to rest tired legs for Coventry and in effect give some two weeks rest before we travel to QPR and a Redknapp reunion on the 14th...
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