Tottenham V Crystal Palace Preview
What Price Success? The Bar has just been set higher, again!
If newspaper reports are to be believed Danny Levy has his work cut out now to keep his Manager and his best players, such is the price we have to pay for beating Real Madrid.
If we keep performing like this, and getting these kind of results, Contracts will have to be visited again before next summer. Whilst we sit back and listen to all the "hype" now being spoken about our club, our players and our Manager, we have a job to do on Sunday and that is to get 3 more points.
We can`t afford to let City get too far ahead.
We fell too far behind once before letting both Leicester and Chelsea get too far ahead and then playing catch up for half the season.
City are bossing it and for most are odds on favorites [to win the title] which leaves everyone else hoping they will hit a sticky patch that might trip them up on their seemingly inexorable march toward the Premiership title.
The goal difference between us and City is 17 and the points difference is already 9.
If Poch honestly believes we have a chance in the Premiership Title Race, we have to take all 3 points from the clubs below us and we have to win our away games; or at least get a result when we go to the likes of the Library [Emirates] - Stamford Bridge - The Etihad and Anfield.
The Real Madrid results should have given us the confidence that we have the ability to beat our peers in the Premier League at Wembley and that in the worst case we are capable of drawing on their home turf.
That is where the bar is now, anything less this season and we will be seen to being back to "Spursy"!
The most annoying thing about the Real result was the fact that, having seen how Sanchez played against Real, we should have and could have avoided defeat at United if we had played Sanchez in that game.
Sanchez is going to play an even more vital role for us whilst Toby is out.
Dier will end up in a back three for a while whilst we assume Winks will take the lion`s share of Defensive Mid over Moussa.
Moussa looks like he is going to be increasingly used as an impact player rather than a starter, however, of course Winks may be rested for this one and Moussa chosen instead, but I'd be surprised if Poch started rotating Winks so soon in the season; such are the permutations at Poch`s disposal nowadays.
Hopefully, Poch won`t play Kane up to the 88th minute and will give Llorente a chance to get some valuable match time that amount to more than just a few token minutes, he strikes me as still being short of fitness and needs to start upping his game to show that he could be an adequate Kane replacement for a few games if need be.
Davies may be rested giving Danny Rose a rare recent start and although Trippier played a blinder against Real he will probably be rotated with Aurier. (I have to say I am still waiting to see Aurier turn on the after burners and beat his opposition to the bye line and get in some decent crosses).
Son should get the nod over Sissoko so with Rose, Son and Aurier we should have some pace to get in, and behind the flakey Palace defence.
Whether the International break will be enough for Lloris and Davies we will see; it`s not looking good for Toby so we had better hope we don`t pick up anymore niggles before the Arsenal game on the 18th November. Our injury/niggle list is now giving genuine cause for concern.
Palace have a total of four points from 10 games which, along with their goal difference of minus 17, leaving Roy Hodgson's men with the sixth-worst record ever seen at this stage of a Premier League season.
You would have thought that their early season form marks Palace out as a basket-case and certainties for a season-long relegation battle; but before you do; Remember the 14th October: Palace 2 Chelsea 1.
That result alone should be enough to concentrate the minds in the Spurs dressing room, Roy has changed the way they play and most of all instilled in them a never say die attitude as they showed against West Ham, scoring in the dying seconds to grab a well deserved draw.
Zaha will have acres more space to play in than he does at Selhurst Park and he will want to turn it on. Zaha may want to raise his stock even higher in time for the January Transfer Window, assuming that is, if he is looking for a move then. One sideshow to all this is that there are some who seem to believe that Zaha to Spurs is all but a done deal!
A certain Andros Townsend will also be trying to make a statement or two so Vorm had better be prepared for some long-range shots coming his way. If Rose starts, he will know exactly how to handle him.
Other than these two speed merchants Palace are playing like a team that has just arrived from the Championship rather than a Premiership side and what we don`t want is to get in front and then take our foot off the pedal as we did against West Ham…. twice!
Palace look set to have Mamadou Sakho and James McArthur back on Sunday, while Patrick Van Aanholt faces a late fitness test. Benteke, Chung-Yong Lee and Sullay Kaikai are out injured.
I fully expect the majority of the game to be spent in their half moving the ball around whilst we look for cracks in their defence to get Harry in on goal.
We really should be capable of some goals here and should have no need to give the ever-increasing Wembley home crowd, [ticket sales have gone up since Wednesday`s result] one of those "the morning after the night before games"!
I'm going 3 or 4-1; what's your score?