West Bromwich Albion vs. Tottenham Hotspur.
WBA have won only two of their last 11 Premier League games. Spurs have gathered just 3 points from their last 3 games. Lewis Holtby is the 28th player Tottenham have used this season, only Newcastle have used more players than us.
At Norwich mid week we were not at the races in the first half. It was almost the same performance as the one at Leeds last weekend. We didn`t play to the conditions and the wind strength had a bearing all the way through the game. We did not play a direct game we were moving the ball sideways too many times. Norwich played the ball long and followed it up showing pace and aggression and closing us down. The pace and power of Norwich in the first half was all down to desire, Norwich wanted it more than us. The Spurs defence just lived on their nerves.
It took Spurs 42 minutes to get the first attack in behind the Norwich defence. Walker got tied up in knots and we were giving the ball away whilst in possession. We just didn`t compete in the right areas and we were second to every 50/50 ball.
We can expect a similar approach against us by the Baggies but they may be without Peter Odemwingie who has been released from training with his West Bromwich Albion team-mates after saying that it is only "a matter of time" before he leaves the Hawthorns following his transfer deadline day farce.
In the corresponding fixture on the 25th August at WHL James Morrison snatched a late equaliser for West Brom. It was a painful end to a frustrating afternoon for Spurs, who created more chances but just wasted them. Steve Clarke's side started to take over the game and once again, just like the home against Norwich, we let 3 points slip. Villas-Boas can be forgiven for being sick of the sight of West Brom, because they have played a significant - and largely antagonistic - role in the story of his time in England. West Brom was AVB`s first win as Chelsea boss but it was a defeat by the Baggies just over six months later that proved to be the last act of his Stamford Bridge 'project'.
We go into this match with not many options up front. Daniel Levy "failed" in a deadline day bid to sign their long-time target Leandro Damião, André Villas-Boas has been clear since the beginning of January that, if he could choose one high-profile addition, it would be Damião, and Daniel Levy apparently told AVB, after Wednesday night's 1-1 draw at Norwich City, that he would do everything to get the 23-year-old.
Spurs have a sporting partnership with Inter - they signed Sandro from them in 2010 - and talks took place over Damião. Sources in Brazil put the bid at £13m, which was some way short of what Internacional would demand for a player whose official release clause is £42m and who has third-party ownership issues. However, that is scant consolation to the fans who had hoped Levy would put club before finances.
So what kind of performance can we expect on Sunday? Many thought that we would rise above the Leeds result, show some character and get a good result at Norwich. AVB changed the formation during the second half and put Bale in as a Striker with Dempsey on the wing which gave Bale more work. Holtby looked good for his 20 minutes and picked up his first yellow card as a memento.
The fact that Chleski and Scum drew let us off the hook with regard to the points difference between us but Everton are breathing close behind us and you can only think that another draw against the Baggies will leave Everton Scum and Liverpool all closing the gaps on us so we really can`t afford to make it 4 points out of 12 or worse.
Given the options up front how will AVB approach this game and are we going to have to rely on a another Bale wonder goal to get us a result.
Written by OyVeh Maria