OPPONENTS Crystal Palace 
COMPETITION Premier League 
DATE Wednesday 26th April 2017
VENUE Selhurst Park
2.  Joel WARD
3.  Patrick van AANHOLT
4.  Mathieu FLAMINI
5.  James TOMKINS
6.  Scott DANN
7.  Yohan CABAYE
8.  Loic REMY
9.  Frazier CAMPBELL
10.  Andros TOWNSEND
11.  Wilfried ZAHA
12.  Mamadou SAKHO
13.  Wayne HENNESSEY
14.  LEE Chung-Yong
15.  Jonathan BENTEKE
16.  Joe LEDLEY
17. Christian BENTEKE
18.  James McARTHUR
19.  Zeki FRYERS
21.  Connor WICKHAM
23.  Papa SOUARE
25.  Sulay KAIKAI
26.  Bakary SAKO
27.  Damien DELANEY
30.  Steve MANDANDA
31.  Jeffrey SCHLUPP
34.  Martin KELLY
42.  Jason PUNCHEON
PREVIEW The second of four London derbies in our supposedly easy run-in to the end of the season sees a trip down to Kent to play Crystal Palace.  Having taken the scalps of Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool in recent weeks, the Eagles will be flying high and looking to take Tottenham's unbeaten league run to add to their notable wins.

Having thrived under Sam Allardyce, brought into salvage their season after Pardew's dismissal, the team have finally started to flourish after a stuttering start.  Players such as Wilfried Zaha and Christian Benteke are enjoying the best spells of the season, while the boss has got the defence organised and the midfield working hard to stop the opposition and to get up and support the front men.  There is a base of hard-workers, such as Puncheon, Ledley, McArthur and Cabaye, but some players have the ingredients to win a game themselves.

Being without Scott Dann and James Tomkins, the middle of the defence lacks options, but Mamadou Sakho couldn't play against his parent club on Sunday, so will be fully fit to face Spurs and Damien Delaney ahs been a regular there during this campaign.  The addition of Patrick van Aanholt from Sunderland has added some attacking intent from left back to go with that of Schlupp (formerly of Leicester) at right back.

Another new addition - Luka Milivojevic has been impressive since arriving from Olympiakos - with Zaha and Benteke offering a threat up top.

There are a number of ex-Spurs connected players in the Palace squad, who will want to do well.  Andros Townsend, Frazier Campbell and Zeki Fryers will all be facing their old club, so Spurs will have to match the effort they put in.

The big question is how much will Tottenham be affected by the FA Cup semi-final loss on Sunday ?  Allardyce has already said he will have to rest players for this match, as he cannot play some of those that won at Anfield.  Spurs will make changes, with a more familiar line-up, rather than the experimental one at Wembley.  Expect Davies and Walker to return, with the three at the back restored to give the team a more potent attacking verve.

I expect Palace to be big on confidence and with their manufactured noisy crowd behind them, they will make it a difficult evening, but I think Tottenham can succeed where others have failed.

PREDICTION Crystal Palace    1        Tottenham Hotspur    2
LAST SEASON'S MEETING For a look back at the match report, click here.
RESULTS HISTORY Click here for results, match reports and facts on meetings with Crystal Palace
Palace will be without Scott Dann (knee), James Tomkins (ankle), Connor Wickham (knee) and  Papa Souare (broken leg) for the visit of Tottenham on Wednesday. 
Danny Rose, Cameron Carter-Vickers and Michel Vorm (all knee) miss out on the trip to Selhurst Park, while Harry Winks (ankle) and Erik Lamela (hip) are out long term.

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Radio :  
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Commentary may be found on
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Sirius Satellite Radio  Live transmission: Saturday - 12.45, 15.00 (TWI) & 17.15 (BBC) Sunday - 14.00 & 16.05 (BBC) Mon, Tue, Wed - Various times (BBC)

Internet :   Live webcast  - subscribers only
BBC London - click on link to "Listen to Tottenham Hotspur live commentary" on top right hand menu.

Crystal Palace  0 (0)  

Premier League
Wednesday 26th April 2017
Selhurst Park
Tottenham Hotspur  1 (0)

Kick off 20:00
None Eriksen 77m 10s
Ward  (foul on Son)  66
Milijocevic  (foul on Dele)  79
Zaha  (kicking ball away)  90+7


Wanyama (foul on Milijocevic)  27
Walker  (foul on Zaha)  47
Kane  (foul on Puncheon)  60


Crowd :   25,596 Weather :  Chilly, dry
Referee :  Jon Moss (Leeds) Assistant Referees :  Mr. S. Bennett; Mr. A. Halliday
Fourth Official :  Stuart Attwell  
Spurs kicked off and played towards the Holmesdale Road end in the first half.
Game time : -  90 + 8 minutes.
Crystal Palace : kit Tottenham Hotspur : kit

  2  Joel WARD     
34  Martin KELLY
  Mamaduo SAKHO  (27  Damien DELANEY 57)
31  Jeffrey SCHLUPP

10  Andros TOWNSEND
42  Jason PUNCHEON (c)
  James McARTHUR  (  7  Yohan CABAYE 64)
28  Luka MILIVOJEVIC     

11  Wilfried ZAHA     

17  Christian BENTEKE  (  9  Frazier CAMPBELL 81)

Unused subs: 
  1  Julian SPERONI
  3  Patrick van AANHOLT
  4  Mathieu FLAMINI
26  Bakary SAKO

    1  Hugo LLORIS  (c)

15  Eric DIER

12  Victor WANYAMA       (17  Moussa SISSOKO  46)
19  Mousa DEMBELE  (  7  Heung-Min SON  46)

  2  Kyle WALKER     
20  DELE Alli  (16  Kieran TRIPPIER 90+6)
Christian ERIKSEN 
33  Ben DAVIES

10  Harry KANE     

Unused subs: 
30  Pau LOPEZ

27  Kevin WIMMER
  Georges-Kevin N'KOUDOU
  7  Heung-Min SON
  9  Vincent JANSSEN

Manager :  Sam Allardyce Manager :  Mauricio Pochettino
Sponsor :   Mansion Shirt sponsor :  AIA
Kit Supplier :  Macron Kit Supplier :   Under Armour
Match report

What looked like being a wretched night in South London (can you think of anything worse ?) turned in a moment of inspiration into a joyous occasion that sees Spurs keep up their chase until the end of the season.

Having come into the game off the back of the FA Cup semi-final defeat, questions were asked about how it would affect Tottenham's mentality as they returned to league action.  While not as polished as previous performances, the grit in this unearthed a diamond in the shape of Christian Eriksen, whose clean strike left Palace feeling like they had been robbed of the Crown Jewels.  In this case a  three points that crowned a good response from Spurs and left the Eagles, still hawking around for the points to make them mathematically safe.

Pochettino put Son and Trippier back on the bench, while Walker and Ben Davies were reinstalled as wing-backs.  Allardyce's much announced changes were kept to a minimum, but with a centre-half injury crisis, his options were a little limited. As he team showed, as they failed to take a fourth top six victim at Selhurst Park.

An early stamp on Dembele by Puncheon made Palace's intent clear, as they swarmed all over him at every opportunity. There was a nervy moment when Ward got free on the right and put a low ball into the near post that Dier left and the ball went invitingly across the face of goal without a Palace player there to stick it away. Thirteen minutes in, Townsend laid a shot on for Benteke, but his week effort failed to stretch Hugo, who flopped down to get everything behind the ball.

Spurs build up was being hampered by a lot of red and blue shirts in the way, so, when Alderweireld fired in a shot from 25 yards, it flew way too high. Walker was having a rough time, putting two low crosses straight off before they reached the goal and then firing a shot high into the crowd, when the ball wouldn't come down for him.

Walker made inroads on the right and then missed the ball with a air shot, but it ran to Eriksen, whose first shot was blocked and then his follow-up was straight at Hennessey at his near post.

The game got a bit ragged, as Palace won cheap free-kicks and the referee and their crowd urged Moss to send off Wanyama for a foul on Townsend just after he got booked. The former Spurs winger went over him quite easily and perhaps that was why the ref spoke to him and Kane rather than booking him again, although he made it clear it was his last chance. It was an unnecessary taking to for Victor when some Palace shirt-pulling was just as much a foul. The official's inability to spot a foul was quite concerning.

The half-time whistle was greeted as luke-warmly as the first half had been. Pochettino had run off down to the dressing room and had a lot of talking to do, including bringing on Sissoko for Dembele, who picked up a knock just before the break and Son replacing Wanyama. The changes made Spurs look a bit more purposeful, with Davies firing in a low cross to the near post that had to be well defended for a corner. From it, the ineffectual man with the whistle failed to spot Milijocevic throwing Dele to the floor well away from where the ball landed. He spotted fouls on Zaha all night long, with Walker being booked for an early nudge on the winger taking him into the advertising hoarding. Shame he didn't spot Milijocevic producing another late tackle on Kane, but Sakho looked to have jarred his knee when trying to foul Harry.

The Liverpool loanee departed on a stretcher and Spurs turned up the heat with Son setting up Christian for a low drive that was blocked and then a Walker right wing cross to the far post saw Dele ghost in and only a touch by Kelly put him off his volley that crept across Hennessey and wide of the far post. Shortly after normal service was resumed, with Kane receiving a yellow card from Moss, who seemed oblivious to anything the home players did.

Dele tried a shot from the edge of the box, but Hennessey got right behind it and Allardyce brought on Cabaye for McArthur, probably to deal with the runs that Dele had been making. It didn't help, when Spurs dodgily played the ball out from the back, but worked the ball all the way to the left, where Son and Dele produced a shooting chance for Walker, but his curling effort around a defender went wide. The ref once again showed he didn't know the meaning of the word consistency, when Zaha tricked his way towards the dead ball line and got a nudge from Walker the same as that which had earned him a yellow card earlier. It was a really embarrassing performance by the match official.

When Spurs got into good positions in and around the box, they found a mass of red and blue shirts and it was difficult to get through, as there were too many legs in the way. It led to play being scruffy and the ball changing hands too quickly for any pattern to develop. Tottenham were working harder and Eriksen slipped the ball right to Kane and his low ball in was blocked for a corner, which Dier headed wide at the near post.

Both teams were giving possession away and the game looked destined to end in a draw. Too often Tottenham's passing was not as crisp as it has been previously this season and the touch on the ball was loose. Walker's cross came to the far side of the box and Son had a shot blocked, with Davies picking up the loose ball and his cross finding Kane, but he couldn't get power on his header, allowing Hennessey to make an easy stop on the line.

It wasn't so easy for the keeper when Spurs own the ball in midfield and Kane played it to Eriksen. The Dane strode forward with the ball before drilling a low shot from 25 yards past Hennessey's right hand and the ball bounced just before it got to him to hit the bottom corner of the net. It was a goal out of nothing and Spurs were probably a little more deserving of a goal than Palace.

Kane almost worked a second, when he ran into the box from the left, but was crowded out. There was so much buffetting in the box that Eriksen had to wait about a minute to take it as the referee tried to sort it out. It came to nothing, but a run of three successive corners ended with a Davies header on the edge of the box landing for Alderweireld to turn and sweep a shot narrowly wide.

Palace were going aggressively into challenges, but Spurs were managing the ball reasonably well. A threatened break by Zaha was foiled by Walker and then Spurs won a corner and kept the ball in the corner for about three minutes of the seven added for Sakho's injury. The final stages showed great control by Spurs.

Eriksen's goal was out of keeping with a lot that went on tonight. The first half was poor, but some of that was Palace's insistence in getting ten men back behind the ball. They found, as other teams have this season, that is not enough to prevent Spurs getting scoring chances during the full length of the game.

Not a great performance by Spurs, but one which ground out three points and Lloris didn't really have a save to make. For the majority of the match, Tottenham struggled, but one moment of brilliance by Eriksen, who was criticised earlier in the season, won it against a side who had beaten Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea in recent weeks.

Pochettino might not have got it right on Saturday at Wembley, but his half-time changes added width and pace to push Palace back. Zaha was their main threat, but he had the sort of game which might cast doubts on signing him during the summer. Plenty of tricks and flicks, but end product ? That was missing from his game today.

But a clean sheet away from home against a form side, saw Tottenham hit their 100th goal of the season and it was one that was as important as all the previous 99.

Stanford Rivers




Crystal Palace were named after the local Chinese restaurant, which coincidentally, was the very first to open in Norwood.


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What you thought
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Other scores during this week :
Chelsea 4 Southampton 2 Tuesday
Arsenal 1 Leicester City 0 Wednesday
Middlesbrough 1 Sunderland 0 Wednesday
Manchester City 0 Manchester United 0 Thursday



League Table  2016-17
  P W D L F A Pts GD
1 Chelsea 33 25 3 5 69 29 78 +40
2 TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 33 22 8 3 69 22 74 +47
3 Liverpool 34 19 9 6 70 42 66 +28
4 Manchester City 33 19 8 6 63 35 65 +28
5 Manchester United 33 17 13 3 50 24 64 +26
6 Arsenal 32 18 6 7 64 40 60 +24
7 Everton 34 16 10 8 60 37 58 +23
8 West Bromwich Albion 33 12 8 13 39 42 44 -3
9 Southampton 32 11 7 14 39 44 40 -5
10 Watford 33 11 7 15 37 54 40 -17
11 Stoke City 34 10 9 15 37 54 39 -13
12 Crystal Palace 34 11 5 18 46 54 38 -8
13 Bournemouth 34 10 8 16 49 63 38 -14
14 West Ham United London 34 10 8 16 44 59 38 -15
15 Leicester City 33 10 7 16 41 54 37 -13
16 Burnley 34 10 6 18 33 49 36 -16
17 Hull City 34 9 6 19 36 67 33 -31
18 Swansea City 34 9 4 21 39 68 31 -29
19 Middlesbrough 34 5 12 17 24 43 27 -19
20 Sunderland 33 5 6 22 26 59 21 -33


Position before match :  2nd
Position after match :  2nd
Position after the mid-week :  2nd


* Pub facts may not actually be true, but after a few pints everyone might think so.


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