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Premier League

  • April 12, 2014
  • • 10:07 AM
  • • The Hawthorns, West Bromwich
  • Referee: N. Swarbrick
  • • Attendance: 25398

Premier League Preview: West Brom - Tottenham

Pepe Mel's men are edging closer to safety but face a tough test against Spurs, who thrashed Sunderland 5-1 at White Hart Lane last time out.

Tottenham striker Emmanuel Adebayor will once again look to come to the aid of boss Tim Sherwood when Spurs visit West Brom on Saturday.

Monday's clash with Sunderland was overshadowed by speculation surrounding Tim Sherwood's future, and Goal UK reports he will be replaced at the end of the season.

Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal is the favorite to replace Sherwood, but Adebayor - arguably the standout success story of Sherwood's reign to date - bagged a brace in a 5-1 demolition of the rock-bottom Sunderland, perhaps providing a reason for chairman Daniel Levy to stick rather than twist when the offseason arrives.


Adebayor, a gifted but enigmatic striker, has endured turbulent relationships with a host of coaches during a career that has taken in spells with Monaco, Arsenal, Manchester City and Real Madrid.

The 30-year-old has hit a rich vein of form under Sherwood, scoring 13 goals in 19 matches after he was brought back from an exile imposed by Villas-Boas.

And in the buildup to The Hawthorns clash, he claimed that Sherwood "gave me back my life," with the Togo forward having another chance to thank the under-pressure coach Saturday.

Tottenham sits sixth in the table – five points behind rival Arsenal, which occupies the final Champions League place – and knows it really needs a victory to keep its slim hopes of returning to Europe's premier club competition alive.

West Brom's plight is very different, with another midseason appointment, Spaniard Pepe Mel, trying to steer his side clear of the bottom three.

Mel, who replaced the sacked Steve Clarke, has seen his side rise to 16th, five points above the relegation zone, after two wins in its last four matches - including a 1-0 triumph at Norwich City last time out.

But West Brom is far from safe with tricky trips to Manchester City and Arsenal to come, while the two teams immediately below them - Norwich and Fulham - meet this weekend.

Mel could name an unchanged starting XI for the first time since taking over if midfielder James Morrison passes a late fitness test on his injured ankle.

If the former Middlesbrough man misses out, West Brom captain Chris Brunt will come in after he made a successful comeback from a knee injury for the club's Under-21 side on Sunday – a game that defender Billy Jones also featured in. Jones is fit after a hamstring injury, as is midfielder Claudio Yacob, but Zoltan Gera's own hamstring problem sees him sidelined.

Roberto Soldado (hamstring) and Jan Vertonghen (calf) remain doubtful for Tottenham, while Kyle Walker (groin), Erik Lamela (thigh) and Etienne Capoue (ankle) are set to miss out again.

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