Thursday, December 01, 2011

Tottenham v Bolton Wanderers Preview

Spurs will look to set aside the disappointment of the second team's defeat in the Europa League and continue their climb up the Premier League table.  In the past Bolton have proved awkward opponents for Spurs but the 'new' Spurs will want to ensure there isn't any disappointment at White Hart Lane for their fans come the final whistle.

This will be Tottenham's first Saturday home League match of the season and we're in December and have played twelve games.

Bolton started the season with an impressive four goal defeat of QPR at Loftus Road with Tottenham target, Gary Cahill, scoring their first goal.  Since then, however, they have struggled and have only three wins and ten defeats from their thirteen matches.  

After their opening day success they lost their next six League games to Manchester City (h), Liverpool (a), Manchester United (h), Norwich City (h) Arsenal (a) and Chelsea (h).  Their second win of the season came at Wigan (3 - 1) before they lost at home to Sunderland in mid-October.  An away defeat to Swansea (1 - 3) was followed by their first, and only, home win of the season a 5 - 0 defeat of Stoke City at the beginning of November.  They then lost at West Brom and Everton inflicted a 2 - 0 home defeat on them last weekend.  With only three wins and nine points Bolton are currently in 18th place in the Premier League.

Ivan Klasnic is their leading goalscorer with 6 League goals, Chris Eagles has 5 goals (4 in the League and 1 in the Cup) and Kevin Davies has scored twice.  Klasnic and Eagles both scored twice in the rout of Stoke.  Kevin Davies has scored six goals in his last six league games against Tottenham.

Bolton have a very experienced team with many players who have served them well in the Premier League.  David Wheater will not be available as he is suspended having been set off last weekend.

Premier League Home Record v Bolton
The clubs have met twelve times in  the Premier League at White Hart Lane.  Spurs have won 8 and drawn 2 of the games.
2010 - 11
Last season Spurs won 2 - 1 having got off to a whirlwind start when they were awarded a penalty after six minute which Rafael Van der Vaart scored.  A minute later and Spurs had another penalty.  Van der Vaart again scored but it had to be retaken for encroachment but he put the retake wide.  Late in the half it appeared that Spurs had another penalty but the linesman was flagging for offside.  Bolton equalised in the second half and would have earned a point but for a thunderbolt strike from substitute Nico Kranjcar in added time.
2009 - 10
The previous season a Tom Huddlestione strike was enough to give Spurs all three points.  This match at the beginning of May was part of the run of results which was to take Spurs into the Champions League.
2008 - 09
26th October, 2008.  Harry Redknapp had replaced Juande Ramos as manager but Clive Allen was in charge of the team which achieved their first win of the season.  Roman Pavlyuchenko and Darren Bent scoring the goals to give Spurs 5 points from 9 games.  Redknapp was there beside Allen even though he had only been appointed a few hours earlier.
2007 - 08
Bolton went ahead in the first minute of the second half but Steed Malbranque scored six minutes later.
2006 - 07
Spurs enjoyed a 4 - 1 success with goals from Robbie Keane (2), Jermaine Jenas, Aaron Lennon
2005 - 06
An Aaron Lennon goal gave Spurs victory in the last home game of the season.  It came after an hour and fans celebrated as it ensured that Spurs were going on their first European tour for some considerable time with their qualification for the UEFA Cup.
2004 - 05
23rd October, 2004.  This match was played on the day that the sad passing of Spurs legend, Bill Nicholson, was announced.  It is the last occasion that Bolton recorded a win at White Hart Lane.  On a wet, grey October afternoon the ground was a sombre place and the team played in a similar manner.  They conceded an early goal, Keane equalised before half-time but Spurs conceded a second midway through the second half.

Harry Redknapp will restore his first choice players to the team and expect them to produce the required result.  If fit, Van der Vaart would probably start ahead of Defoe with Luka Modric restored to midfield in an otherwise unchanged team.  A win would take Spurs to second in the table ahead of Manchester United whose game doesn't start until 5.30pm.  It may only be a short stay but it is continued progress and would be Tottenham making a statement of their intent for the season. 

One must be wary, however, of assuming too much as in December, 1995 Spurs were looking to go second in the table with a win over bottom placed Bolton but the visitors put an end to that idea.  Bolton were newly promoted to the Premier League and had lost nine away games in succession.  They had no away points and Spurs had secured a two goal lead with second half strikes from Chris Amstrong and Teddy Sheringham.  However, a distraction was created when former player Nayim was shown on the big screen.  The crowd chanted 'Nayim from the halfway line' in recognition of his goal in the European Cup Winners' Cup Final over Arsenal.  Spurs lost concentration and conceded two goals in three minutes with the equalising goal scored by former Spurs player, Gudni Bergsson.  This gave Bolton their first away point of the season and denied Spurs second place.  

Note to Spurs TV - no crowd shots on Saturday. 


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