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Premier League

  • 22 May 2011
  • • 16:00
  • • White Hart Lane, London
  • Referee: M. Clattenburg
  • • Attendance: 36119

Tottenham – Birmingham Preview: Visitors out to avoid becoming first Premier League club to be relegated in the same season as winning a trophy

Tottenham – Birmingham Preview: Visitors out to avoid becoming first Premier League club to be relegated in the same season as winning a trophy

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A crucial clash at both ends of the table takes place at White Hart Lane with Spurs gunning for fifth place and the Blues aiming simply to stay in the top flight

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Tottenham (4-4-1-1): Cudicini; Corluka, King, Dawson, Rose; Lennon, Modric, Sandro, Pienaar; Van der Vaart; Crouch.

Tottenham top scorer Rafael van der Vaart is a doubt with a calf problem although the Dutchman has insisted this week he will do his utmost to prove his fitness for the final game of the season. Steven Pienaar is also doubtful with a groin problem but could feature.

Yet there is good news for Spurs too as goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes, defenders Alan Hutton, Ledley King and Benoit Assou-Ekotto, as well as midfielders Jermaine Jenas, Tom Huddlestone and Wilson Palacios are all expected to be fit.

Birmingham City (4-5-1): Foster; Carr, Johnson, Davies, Ridgewell; Larsson, Gardner, Ferguson, Fahey, Beausejour; Jerome.

Alex McLeish is able to recall Craig Gardner and Liam Ridgewell from suspension but the Blues have a number of injury problems and could be without Stuart Parnaby, Martin Jiranek and Lee Bowyer.

A knee injury means Alex Hleb will definitely miss out as well as the on-loan David Bentley who is ineligible against his parent club.

  • A win for Tottenham will see them finish fifth and confirm Europa League football for next season. Yet if they were to lose,  Liverpool would only need a draw against Aston Villa to claim fifth spot due to their superior goal difference.
  • However, Spurs have a superb home record this season in the league: they have lost just once at White Hart Lane, to Wigan Athletic back in August.
  • Tottenham’s win over Liverpool last weekend brought an end to a poor run and was their first victory in seven games.
  • But Spurs have only beaten Birmingham once in their last five attempts, that victory coming back in August 2009, courtesy of a 90th minute Aaron Lennon winner.
  • Harry Redknapp’s men have drawn more games at home than any other team this season (nine) and their last three home games have all ended all square (against Blackpool, West Brom and Arsenal).
  • Birmingham are out to avoid becoming the first Premier League side ever to win a trophy and be relegated in the same season.
  • However, the Blues are on a rotten run and have won just two of their last 12 Premier League matches.
  • The bottom of the table is so tight with Birmingham level on points with Blackpool and Wigan (and only out of the bottom three by virtue of one goal) that they could lose to Spurs and stay up, or win and still go down.
  • Striker Cameron Jerome (pictured) has not scored in the Premier League for six months. His last goal came back on November 9 in the 3-2 defeat to Stoke City.
  • Birmingham have scored the fewest goals in the top flight, having netted just 36 goals in 37 games.

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Players to watch

L. Modrić

Position: Midfielder

Games: 0

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Luka Modric has, for many, been the star for Spurs this season, despite Rafael van der Vaart and Gareth Bale often grabbing the plaudits with their goalscoring exploits.

His performances have not gone unnoticed, however, and the Croatian has been widely linked with a move away from the club this summer. Therefore Spurs fans will be hoping this is not the last time they see the midfielder wearing the famous white shirt at White Hart Lane.

B. Foster

Position: Goalkeeper

Games: 0

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Goalkeeper Ben Foster hit the headlines, for all the wrong reasons, this week after it was reported that he stayed out late drinking on Monday after the club’s end-of-season awards, but even so there is little doubt he will be between the posts on Sunday.

The former Manchester United man has been crucial to the Blues this season and another headline-grabbing performance may well be required if Alex McLeish’s men are to cling on to their Premier League status.

Editor's Prediction

A win at White Hart Lane looks a tall order for a Birmingham side on a dreadful run of form and against a Spurs team buoyed by victory over Liverpool last weekend, and eyeing a fifth-place finish.

Only one team has beaten Harry Redknapp’s men on their own turf in the league this season, and whilst Birmingham seem to relish taking on north London opposition, as evidenced in their League Cup win, they may have to hope results elsewhere go in their favour if they are to retain their top-flight status.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head

Tottenham Hotspur

Birmingham City


Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

Tottenham Hotspur FC TOT
Tottenham Hotspur FC Tottenham Hotspur
Birmingham City FC BIR
Birmingham City FC Birmingham City

Top 3 Predictions

Tottenham Hotspur FC TOT
0 - 9
Birmingham City FC BIR
Tottenham Hotspur FC TOT
2 - 0
Birmingham City FC BIR
Tottenham Hotspur FC TOT
1 - 2
Birmingham City FC BIR