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Premier League

  • 25 August 2012
  • • 15:00
  • • White Hart Lane, London
  • Referee: M. Dean
  • • Attendance: 36166
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Tottenham - West Brom Preview: Villas-Boas targets first Premier League win as Spurs manager

Tottenham - West Brom Preview: Villas-Boas targets first Premier League win as Spurs manager

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The Portuguese is searching for a maiden victory as manager at White Hart Lane, while Steve Clarke will be hoping his West Brom side can replicate their 3-0 win over Liverpool

  PROBABLE LINEUPS

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


Andre Villas-Boas is missing several key players in his first home game in charge of Tottenham. Scott Parker (Achilles) is still two weeks away from resuming training and Younes Kaboul has aggravated the knee injury that kept him out of France’s Euro 2012 squad.

Luka Modric remains in limbo over a potential move to Real Madrid, while Tom Huddlestone and Michael Dawson are pending moves to Stoke and QPR respectively so will not feature. Danny Rose serves the final game of a three-match ban that was carried over from last season.

Emmanuel Adebayor has finally rejoined Spurs permanently from Manchester City, and could find himself immediately in the starting line up.

West Brom are unlikely to make many changes from the side that beat Liverpool 3-0 last weekend, and manager Steve Clarke has no injury worries going into the clash at White Hart Lane.

Despite Romelu Lukaku's impressive showing from the bench, Shane Long is likely to continue in attack, supported by the trio of Peter Odemwingie, Zoltan Gera and James Morrison.

Graham Dorrans has been granted permission to miss the game, however, as his daughter has contracted meningitis.

  DID YOU KNOW?
  • Tottenham have lost just three of their last 36 home games in the league.
  • Spurs haven’t lost to West Brom since the west Midlands outfit won promotion back to the Premier League in 2010.
  • Andre Villas-Boas’ last league game in charge of Chelsea was a 1-0 defeat to the Baggies.
  • Emmanuel Adebayor (right) has scored on his debut for Arsenal, Manchester City, Real Madrid and Spurs, and will be hoping that trend continues having re-joined Tottenham on a permanent deal earlier this week.
  • Just one of Jermain Defoe’s 11 Premier League goals last season came in the first half, but the diminutive forward has scored three goals in his last three games against the Baggies.
  • West Brom haven’t won at White Hart Lane since November 1984.
  • Baggies boss Steve Clarke and Spurs manager Andre Villas-Boas worked together at Chelsea under Jose Mourinho.
  • West Brom have scored at least two goals in their last three Premier League matches (against Bolton, Arsenal and Liverpool).
  • Baggies loanee Romelu Lukaku endured a frustrating time at Chelsea under then manager Villas-Boas, vowing never to forgive the Portuguese manager for freezing him out.
  • West Brom have kept just one clean sheet in their last 17 Premier League away games.

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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
24Brad FriedelGoalkeeper
5Jan VertonghenDefender
13William GallasDefender
2Kyle WalkerDefender
32Benoit Assou-EkottoDefender
7Aaron LennonMidfielder
23Rafael van der VaartMidfielder
11Gareth BaleMidfielder
14Jake LivermoreMidfielder
15SandroMidfielder
18Jermain DefoeStriker
23Carlo CudiciniGoalkeeper
16Kyle NaughtonDefender
45Steven CaulkerDefender
8Jermaine JenasMidfielder
-Gylfi SigurdssonMidfielder
17Andros TownsendMidfielder
10Emmanuel AdebayorStriker
1Ben FosterGoalkeeper
12Steven ReidDefender
3Jonas OlssonDefender
6Liam RidgewellDefender
23Gareth McAuleyDefender
5Claudio YacobMidfielder
7James MorrisonMidfielder
17Graham DorransMidfielder
21Youssouf MulumbuMidfielder
24Shane LongStriker
28Marc-Antoine FortuneStriker
13B. MyhillGoalkeeper
25Craig DawsonDefender
-Billy JonesDefender
11Chris BruntMidfielder
11Zoltán GeraMidfielder
9Markus RosenbergStriker
17Romelu LukakuStriker
Players to Watch
Gareth Bale
Gareth Bale
Position: Midfielder
Squad Number: 11
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
The flying Welsh winger scored nine goals and created a further 10 in the Premier League last season, and hopes to reach double figures for goals scored this season. Bale was unlucky not to open his account against Newcastle after his looping header beat Tim Krul but not the crossbar. Bale has been in good form in pre-season, scoring twice in Spurs’ tour of America, and has been deployed higher up the pitch under Villas-Boas, even starting up front.

West Brom are arguably weakest at full-back, and Bale will look to exploit that at every opportunity. It’s almost inevitable that Stephen Reid will pick up a booking in his attempts to contain the Welshman.

Bale has enjoyed playing West Brom in the past, and picked up two assists in two games against the Baggies last season. Don’t be surprised to see him switch flanks and cut inside off the right-hand side.
Claudio Yacob
Claudio Yacob
Position: Midfielder
Squad Number: 5
Games Goals YC RC
1 0 0 0
The 25-year old joined West Brom from Racing during the summer and has quickly made a positive impression at the West Midlands club. Yacob bossed a Liverpool midfield consisting of Steven Gerrard, Lucas and Joe Allen last weekend, forming a solid and combative partnership with Youssouf Mulumbu in the centre of midfield and picking up the man of the match award in the process.

Yacob sat deep, shielded the back and anchored the Baggies midfield, allowing Mulumbu and James Morrison in particular to get forward more often and affect the match in the final third. Yacob had a 100% tackle success rate, and only misplaced two of 52 passes. The Argentine will need to be at his best to contend with the physicality and tenacity of Spurs’ central midfield, while his defence will require significant assistance to keep a dynamic and pacy attack at bay.
Prediction
White Hart Lane has become something of a fortress for Spurs, and Villas-Boas’ side will look to play expansive, dynamic, attacking football.

Just as they did against Liverpool, West Brom will sit back and absorb pressure before countering with speed and precision. Expect goals from both sides, but Tottenham should have enough quality, especially off the bench, to see off the Baggies.
Editor's Prediction

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