Preview: Crystal Palace vs. Tottenham Hotspur
Having been on opposite ends of 2-0 scorelines in their most recent Premier League contests, Crystal Palace and Tottenham Hotspur reconvene for a London derby at Selhurst Park on Wednesday night.
Patrick Vieira’s side eased to victory at Bournemouth last time out, while the lacklustre Lilywhites were nullified in a two-goal defeat to Unai Emery’s Aston Villa.
Set-piece superiority was on the menu as Palace ended 2022 as they mean to go on in 2023 against Bournemouth, with two corner routines producing the goals in a comfortable success at the Vitality Stadium.
Michael Olise’s first delivery found Jordan Ayew to head home his first goal of the season, and a smartly-worked routine then saw the former pick out Eberechi Eze to double the Eagles’ lead on the 36-minute mark, as Palace quickly consigned their nine-man and three-goal defeat to Fulham to history.
Entering the New Year with the aim of boosting their top-half credentials, Palace sit in a healthy 11th place in the table at the time of writing and are only two points adrift of Brighton & Hove Albion in 10th spot.
Defeat to Fulham prevented Palace from stringing together a four-game Premier League winning run at Selhurst Park, which has proven to literally be a sticky patch for visiting teams in recent months, unless they are sides from the capital.
Indeed, Palace’s three losses at Selhurst Park this season have all come to London rivals in Arsenal, Chelsea and Fulham, and they were also held to a 1-1 draw by capital counterparts Brentford at the end of August, but few Lilywhites fans will make the short journey brimming with confidence.
Never one to bite his tongue about Tottenham’s predicament, Antonio Conte openly admitted that fifth place may be the peak for the Lilywhites after they produced a toothless attacking performance against Villa, who deservedly left North London with all three points in the bag.
Former Arsenal boss Unai Emery – who did not lose any of his three North London derbies as Gunners manager – witnessed Emiliano Buendia capitalize on a Hugo Lloris howler to open the scoring before John McGinn and Douglas Luiz combined expertly for the latter to add number two in the 73rd minute.
Tottenham had all the motivation they needed to get the job done after losing their grip on fourth spot to Manchester United, but the North London club remain outside of the Champions League places having played a game more than the Red Devils, who are currently two points clear.
Now boasting just two wins from their last seven Premier League contests, the goals conceded column is not a pretty sight for the Lilywhites either, as they have shipped at least two goals in each of their last seven top-flight games, as well as conceding the first goal in all of those encounters.
Tottenham may have marched to a convincing 3-0 win over Palace on Boxing Day 2021, but their record at Selhurst Park leaves a lot to be desired, as the Eagles are unbeaten in four home matches versus Spurs in all tournaments and posted their own eye-catching 3-0 success over a Nuno Espirito Santo-led team last season.
Crystal Palace Premier League form:
Crystal Palace form (all competitions):
Tottenham Hotspur Premier League form:
Tottenham Hotspur form (all competitions):
We say: Crystal Palace 1-1 Tottenham Hotspur
Crisis mode could be activated if Tottenham fall to yet another defeat on Wednesday, but the potential return of Kulusevski to the final third would be gold dust for Conte, who could also welcome a well-rested Eric Dier back to the rearguard.
Despite posting a paltry set of home results against capital clubs, Palace are generally a force to be reckoned with on their own patch, but we have faith in Tottenham to finally snap their streak of conceding multiple goals and return to base with a point.