The Crystal Palace fans in the Transfer Tavern have been pleased with their improvement under Roy Hodgson this season, but they know there is still plenty of work to be done to ensure their Premier League status is preserved.
Roy Hodgson welcomes Mauricio Pochettino’s side to Selhurst Park this afternoon knowing that a win would do wonders for their aspirations of survival this season. Not only would victory over Spurs leave them needing just ten points to reach the magic 40-point mark, but it would also be a huge confidence boost to defeat a side of such quality.
However, Palace are currently on a run of 4 league fixtures without a win, so they will need to put in a vastly improved display to have any chance of taking all three points from their clash with Spurs. The Eagles have lost each of their last 5 Premier League fixtures against The Lilywhites – four of which ended 1-0 – so it’s fair to say that both their recent form in the league and their head-to-head history point towards a Tottenham victory today.
But the beauty of football is that these records are there to be broken, so Palace must use their histroy as extra motivation to set the record straight today. Hodgson’s side will need all of their players to be at the top of their game to match Spurs across the park, but the performance of James Tomkins (valued at £6.3 million by Transfermarkt) will play a pivotal factor in determining the final result.
Tomkins will be tasked with the most difficult job of the afternoon, which is marking Harry Kane of course. The danger and quality of Kane requires little introduction, and Tomkins will be fully aware that the smallest of mistakes will be punished by the most ruthless striker in world football right now.
Palace have conceded just 1 goal in their last three home fixtures in the Premier League and Tomkins presence at the heart of their defence has been a key reason for their solidity, but he must ensure that he steps up a level today in order to deal with the threat of Kane and boost his side’s chances of pulling off a shock victory.