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Preview: Tottenham Hotspur vs Bournemouth – prediction, team news, line-ups

Tottenham Hotspur are braced for another quick turnaround following a disastrous midweek trip to the Amex Stadium as they welcome in-form Bournemouth to north London on Sunday. 

Injuries to numerous first-team stars and a lack of options from the bench took their toll on Thursday as Spurs slipped to a 4-2 defeat at Brighton & Hove Albion, relinquishing a three-match winning streak in the top flight. 

Ange Postecoglou’s side netted two late consolation goals to soften the blow after falling four goals behind but missed a decent chance to leapfrog Manchester City into fourth. 

Maybe the impending return to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium could be what the doctor ordered for the home team, as they’ve won their last two league outings at this venue after leading 2-0 at half-time. 

High-flying Bournemouth are well-positioned to disrupt Tottenham’s bid to close out 2023 on a winning note, with Andoni Iraola’s side hitting a purple patch following a dreadful start. 

Despite taking ten rounds into 2023/24 to get into the win column for the first time, the Cherries are a win away from registering their best 19-game start to a top-flight season. 

Iraola was on the verge of being sacked not long ago. But after inspiring the Boscombe outfit to six wins in the last seven Premier League matches (D1), he’s earned a hero status at the Vitality Stadium.

Bournemouth demolished Fulham 3-0 on Boxing Day to make it four league wins on the trot and whittle down the gap on seventh-placed Manchester United to only six points.

Match Preview

Tired legs could’ve been a reason behind Tottenham’s embarrassing defensive performance in Sussex, although it’s fair to say leaking goals has been their thing this term.

Except for a 2-0 victory at Nottingham Forest in mid-December, Spurs haven’t kept a clean sheet in nine of their last ten league games, but they’ve been exceptional at the other end of the pitch.

As the only Premier League side to have found the net in every top-flight match this season, Tottenham should be confident of living up to their three-goals-per-game average in home clashes against Bournemouth.

Despite performing slightly below that scoring ratio in the reverse fixture, Postecoglou’s team eased past the Cherries 2-0 in the reverse fixture in August. 

Revenge is a dish best served cold, or at least that’s what Iraola will have been telling himself ahead of Bournemouth’s trip to London, where they’re unbeaten this season (W1, D1).

While it’s hard not to feel enthusiastic from the Spaniard’s point of view, especially given Dominic Solanke’s incredible form, there’s a valid reason for cautious optimism.

The Cherries had lost three successive away league games against sides commencing this round in the upper half of the table before humbling Man Utd 3-0 in their last such fixture. 

Defensive solidity showcased at Old Trafford has become Bournemouth’s trademark in recent matches. They’ve hauled four clean sheets during their seven-game unbeaten run and conceded just one first-half goal.

Team News

Posecoglou has affirmed his managerial credentials this season, yet he finds himself in an awkward spot heading into this clash.

In addition to long-term absentees Micky van de Ven, Rodrigo Bentancur, Ryan Sessegnon, Ivan Perisic, Manor Solomon, Cristian Romero and James Maddison, he’s facing further problems. 

Yves Bissouma is still out after picking up a red card at the City Ground, while Dejan Kulusevski accumulated yellow cards against Brighton. 

As for Bournemouth, Lloyd Kelly, Tyler Adams, Ryan Fredericks and Hamed Traore are unfit for this trip. Milos Kerkez and Lewis Cook are fighting the clock to make themselves available for selection.

Tottenham Hotspur potential starting line-up:

(4-2-3-1): Guglielmo Vicario; Pedro Porro, Emerson Royal, Ben Davies, Destiny Udogie; Pape Matar Sarr, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg; Son Heung-min, Giovani Lo Celso, Brennan Johnson; Richarlison. 

Bournemouth potential starting line-up:

(4-2-3-1): Neto; Adam Smith, Illya Zabarnyi, Marcos Senesi, Dango Ouattara; Alex Scott, Ryan Christie; Justin Kluivert, Marcus Tavernier, Antoine Semenyo; Dominic Solanke. 

We Say: Tottenham Hotspur 2-2 Bournemouth

This game has a high-scoring theme written all over it. 

We believe Bournemouth are capable of upsetting the odds, but Spurs’ free-flowing attack has the quality to undo any potential damage at the back.

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