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West Bromwich Albion v Tottenham Hotspur – Match Preview

Tottenham will be hoping to maintain the momentum that has propelled them into third with a fifth straight Premier League win when they face West Brom at the Hawthorns on Saturday.

They’ll face a tough game against Roy Hodgson’s Baggies who beat Bolton last week after losing their last two games against Arsenal and Liverpool. Albion’s form has rapidly fluctuated this season with supporters celebrating a clutch of wins which is then swiftly followed by a run of defeats. Hodgson’s men have put served up some insipid displays to the Hawthorns faithful this season and had scored only three goals before their win over the Trotters on Saturday. The return of Shane Long from injury was a major plus point with the Irish striker adding some extra pace and purpose in the final third. His winning goal capped a remarkable comeback for the Baggies record signing considering he chipped a bone in his knee at Aston Villa barely a month ago. His link up with another returnee and West Brom legend Zoltan Gera gave them something they’ve lacked all up front all season. Peter Odemwingie’s absence at times this season has hit Hodgson’s attacking options hard but the return of the stylish Bulgarian offered them some guile and industry up front. His intelligent ball through for Jerome Thomas’ opening goal was a mouthwatering and his sharp vision and passing range will compliment Long’s preference to run off the shoulder of defences. That win over Bolton was only their second win in six at home this season and they’ll need to be wary of a Spurs side who lost only once on their travels.

Harry Redknapps side saw off Albion’s Midland rivals Aston Villa with ease on Monday to leapfrog Newcastle into third with a game in hand on those in front of them. Since losing their opening two games at the hands of both Manchester clubs the North London side have excelled winning eight out of the nine subsequent fixtures putting themselves in contention for a title challenge. Redknapp’s summer signings have all settled in well with Brad Friedel providing a stable presence at the back whilst Scott Parker has added a smatter of grit in the heart of midfield. Up front Emmanuel Adebayor has performed superbly in the lone striker role and was the match winner on Monday scoring twice against Villa with his acrobatic first goal displaying his qualities in front of goal. The on loan Manchester City striker now has five goals for the club and was the recipient of two assists from Gareth Bale who once again dominated the left side of the field. The Welshman put in another breathless pounding Carlos Cuellar and Alan Hutton into submission. His direct running will be a key component of Tottenham’s attack along and will most certainly be a deciding factor as to whether Tottenham continue their excellent form in the Midlands.

West Brom – 10th

Last Five: Won 2-0 v Bolton (H), Lost 3-0 v Arsenal (A), Lost 2-0 v Liverpool (H), Won 2-1 v Aston Villa (A), Won 2-0 v Wolves (H)

Potential Starting X11: 1. B. Foster 12. S. Reid 3. J. Olsson 23. G. McCauley 20. N. Shorey 14. J. Thomas 21. Y. Mulumbu 7. J. Morrison 11. C. Brunt[C] 22. Z. Gera 9. S. Long*

Injury News: Peter Odemwingie remains sidelined with a troublesome knee injury but Austrian defender Paul Scharner could return after overcoming a similar affliction.

Key Player: Shane Long

West Brom missed the striker during his short absence through injury losing the two games he missed after the injury he picked up against Aston Villa. His return coincided with Albion returning to winning ways on his return with the Irishman scoring the winner against Bolton. His energy and clever runs off the defence will give the Baggies an attacking option every time they’re in possession against Tottenham

Match Fact: The Baggies have only managed to beat Tottenham twice at the Hawthorns in five Premeir League meetings with Spur’s winning once and claiming a draw in the other two games.

Tottenham – 5th

Last Five: Won 2-0 v Aston Villa (A), Won 3-1 v Fulham (A), Won 3-1 v QPR (H), Won 2-1 v Blackburn (A), Drew 2-2 v Newcastle

Potential Starting X11: 24. B. Friedel 28. K. Walker 26. L. King [C] 4. Y. Kaboul 32. B. Assou Ekotto 7. A. Lennon 14. L. Modric 8. S. Parker 3. G. Bale* 11. R. Van Der Vaart 10. E. Adebayor

Injury News: Redknapp has no new injury worries to think about with William Gallas, Michael Dawson and Tom Huddlestone all long-term absentees.

Key Player: Gareth Bale

Who else for Tottenham at the moment? The Welsh winger has been in irresistible form this season with his lung bursting sprints down the wing leaving full back after full back panting and looking on in awe. Bale has been deadly on the left contributing his fair share of goals and assists and was the provider for both of Adebayor’s on Monday night. He’ll be expected to repeat that feat at West Brom on Saturday.

Match Fact: Tottenham’s away form has been superb this season but a trip to the Hawthorn’s may prove a tricky one considering they haven’t won in their last four visits. The last time they beat West Brom in the Midlands was a 3-2 victory in April 2003 courtesy of a double from Robbie Keane and a strike from Teddy Sheringham.

Last time at The Hawthorns

Premier League 11 September 2010

West Brom 1-1 Tottenham

Brunt, 41.

Modric, 27.

Attendance: 23,642

Referee: Howard Webb

PREDICTION

Albion will go into the game full of confidence after their win over Bolton but come up against a Tottenham side who are in magnificent form. Redknapp’s men have been superb since losing their opening two games and look capable of winning every game they go into. Albion will have to be at their best to get the better of Luka Modric and Parker in the centre of midfield whilst Rafael Van Der Vaart, Bale and Adebayor will prove a handful in attack. Spurs are due an off day and should the Baggies get everything right on the night then they will put themselves in with a good chance of stopping the North Londoners in their tracks.

Score 2-3

Article title: West Bromwich Albion v Tottenham Hotspur – Match Preview

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