West Bromwhich Albion will travel to White Hart Lane on Saturday in search of another win as they attempt to consolidate their impressive 3-0 dismissal of Liverpool last weekend. Meanwhile, home-side Tottenham Hotspur will be looking for their first win under new manager Andres Villas-Boas.
Despite their disappointing opener to the season with a loss to Newcastle last weekend, Tottenham will take heart from the knowledge that they have lost just three of their last 36 home games in the league.
Spurs will need to recreate some of last season’s early form if they are to challenge the title contenders following an impressive start to last season’s campaign, which saw them positioned nicely in third place ahead of Chelsea and Arsenal.
The London based club eventually finished fourth in the table following a run of form that saw them win only once in a series of nine games, a disheartening statistic which Villas-Boas will be hoping to erase from his side’s memory.
Spurs face a side under Steve Clarke who will fancy their chances following the 3-0 drubbing of Liverpool last weekend.
The encouraging start to this season is especially promising as Clarke looks to build on his side’s impressive last two campaigns, which saw them finish eleventh and tenth position on the league table respectively.
The head to head statistics do not sit in West Brom’s favour however, with the Baggies having won only two of 12 Premier League matches against Tottenham and enduring losses in both Premier League meetings between the sides last season.
However, with Villas Boas still finding his feet at the lane, Clarke will be hoping to lead his charges to another impressive victory and get one over on his old comrade with both managers having worked together under Jose Mourinho at Chelsea.
Andres Villas Boas faces his first home game at the Spurs helm without several key players as Scott Parker (Achilles) and Younes Kaboul (knee) remain side-lined.
The transfer saga regarding Luka Modric’s potential move to Real Madrid continues and so he will not feature in Villa-Boas’ side, while the uncertain futures of Tom Huddlestone and Michael Dawson, both of whom have pending moves away from the club, mean that they are also out of contention.
Villas-Boas must also do without Danny Rose who will serve the final game in his three-match suspension carried over from last season.
On a positive note, Spurs fans will welcome the availability of Emmanuel Adebayor, who’s transfer from Manchester City was made permanent this week, while Tottenham defender Jan Vertonghen is expected to make his debut for the club.
Steve Clarke on the other hand, will go into Saturday’s clash with no injury worries and he is not expected to make many changes to the team that defeated Liverpool and Graham Dorrans is the only expected absentee from the side.
Tottenham: Friedel, Walker, Gallas, Vertonghen, Assou-Ekotto, Livermore, Sandro, Lennon, Sigurdsson, Bale, Adebayor
West Brom: Foster, Reid, McAuley, Olsson, Ridgewell, Mulumbu, Yacob, Gera, Morrison, Odemwingie, Long.
Ones to watch:
For Spurs, much will be expected of Emmanuel Adebayor following news of his permanent transfer from Manchester City this week, particularly in light of the extensive Tottenham injury list, which features many key players.
After finally finalising his £5 million move from Manchester City this week, the 28-year-old will be hoping to surpass his record of 18 goals he achieved whilst on loan at White Hart Lane last season.
West Brom will be looking to their own front man in the form of Ireland’s Shane Long who is expected to get the nod from boss Steve Clarke and lead Albion’s forward line at White Hart Lane on Saturday.
Doubts were cast regarding Long’s future long-term future at the club following an injury interrupted first season at the Baggies and the recent signings of Sweden international Markus Rosenberg and Chelsea teenager Romelu Lukaku.
However, the Irishman started last weekend’s 3-0 victory over Liverpool despite the new arrivals and Clarke was clearly impressed, praising the 25-year-old on last Saturday’s performance, thereby handing him a major vote of confidence.