Monday, January 02, 2012

Tottenham v West Bromwich Albion Preview

It was only five weeks ago that Spurs went to The Hawthorns and returned with three points from a 3 - 1 success.  With the Premier League at the half-way point, West Brom come to White Hart Lane for the first of the return fixtures.  This is the start of a very important period in the season for Tottenham with four home League games in January and only one away, at Manchester City.  By the end of the month  we will have a greater indication of what Tottenham's goals will be for the rest of the season. 

West Bromwich Albion arrive at Spurs for the first match of 2012 on the back of two contrasting home results.  They denied Manchester City a win in a well-drilled performance on Boxing Day but lost to a late goal from Everton on Sunday afternoon in what was reported to be a drab game to quickly erase from the memory bank.  Since losing to Spurs at the end of November, they have taken only one home point from three games but are undefeated on their travels.

West Brom have little over forty eight hours to recover from that game before taking to the White Hart Lane pitch but it is their away form which is keeping them in the relative mid-table security of 12th with 22 points.  They have earned 14 points on their travels from four wins, two draws and three defeats at Chelsea (1 - 2), Swansea (0 - 3) and Arsenal (0 - 3).  They have won their last two away matches at Newcastle (3 - 2) at the start of the holiday games and at Blackburn Rovers (2 - 1) four days earlier.
Their last visit to London at the beginning of December saw them take a point from a 1 - 1 draw with QPR.  All three of those games featured late West Brom goals to snatch the points - Shane Long scored in the 81st minute to earn the point at Loftus Road, Peter Odemwingie scored after 89 minutes against Blackburn and Paul Scharner's winner against Newcastle came five minutes from time.

A month earlier, their only away game in November saw them lose at the Emirates.  They also lost at Chelsea in their first away game of the season but followed that with a single goal successs at Norwich.  They then lost at Swansea but earned a point at Sunderland (2 - 2) and defeated Aston Villa 2 - 1 in the Midlands derby.

While West Brom have scored late goals in recent games, they have also scored the highest percentage of their goals in the first half - 63%, more than any other club.   Earlier in the season they scored at Chelsea after four minutes, scored the only goal at Norwich after three and were two up at Sunderland within five minutes.  Food for thought for Harry Redknapp as he prepares the team as West Brom are sure to be well organised and determined to deny Spurs space while still looking for a goal opportunity for themselves.  Team selection is always difficult to predict during the holiday games with injuries and squad rotation coming into play but Roy Hodgson is the master tactician in setting up his team to defend, deny and frustrate the opposition and Spurs can rest assured that whoever plays they will be fully committed to carry out the manager's plan.

Shane Long is the leading scorer with 5 goals while Peter Odemwingie has four.  Chris Brunt has two goals as has Scharner, Jerome Thomas, James Morrison and Marc-Antoine Fortune.

They Played for Spurs and West Brom: Read more

Spurs' Home League Record against WBA 

P  58  W  28  D  16  L  14  For  100  Ag  61 

Last Season's Match
23rd April, 2011  PL  Draw 2 - 2  Pavlyuchenko, Defoe
Spurs looked to have earned the three points until a late strike from Simon Cox, nine minutes from time.  It was his first Premier League goal and denied Spurs after Roman Pavlyuchenko had equalised Odemwingie's early goal, before half-time.  Jermain Defoe scored his 100th Spurs goal in the second half but Cox's spectacular strike cut short Tottenham's celebrations.

Previous PL Meetings at White Hart Lane
2nd May, 2009  PL  Won 1 - 0  Jenas 
A Jermaine Jenas goal, two minutes before half-time earned the three points for Spurs.  Heurelho Gomes, Jonathan Woodgate and Ledley King played their part in the win by keeping a clean sheet with important saves and a good defensive display.

27th March, 2006  PL  Won 2 - 1  Keane (2) (1 pen)
West Brom had taken a first half lead and it wasn't until twenty minutes from time that Robbie Keane equalised.  The game looked to be heading for a draw until the final minute's drama when the visiting goalkeeper, Thomasz Kuszczak, messed up a clearance and then fouled Defoe as he tried to recover the situation.  Keane coolly put away the penalty with one minute remaining.  

20th April, 2005  PL  Draw 1 - 1 Keane
A first half goal from Gera puts the visitors ahead only for Keane to get a second half equaliser.

8th December, 2002  PL  Won 3 - 1  Ziege, Keane, Poyet
Chritian Ziege put Spurs ahead after three minutes from a free-kick on the edge of the area and Keane added a second after half an hour but West Brom were the better team in their first visit since 1986.  the visitors pulled a goal back in the second half but Gus Poyet made the points secure with ten minutes remaining.

The Previous Meeting
8th March, 1986  1st Div.  Won 5 - 0  Mabbutt, Falco (2), Galvin, Waddle

Earlier this Season
26th Nov.  PL  Won 3 - 1  Adebayor (2), Defoe  Match Report and Preview

Tottenham are looking to increase the pressure on the two Manchester clubs with their run of four Premier League home games this month.  They need to start with a win to build the momentum for a challenge on the top two clubs and to distance themselves from the pursuing pack.  It has been a hectic period for all clubs but with two away games following the high intensity of the local derby against Chelsea, it has been particularly draining on the Spurs players.  Clubs around them have slipped up at less obvious hurdles so Spurs will want to ensure maximum points from this match.

The results in the coming month will not determine Spurs' season but they will give an indication of their goals and what they will be competing for in the final four months of the season.


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