Crystal Palace need Joel Ward to win his battle with Spurs’ Heung-min Son

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This article is part of Football FanCast’s The Chalkboard series, which provides a tactical insight into teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…

Crystal Palace travel across London this Saturday to take on Tottenham, who have endured a mixed start to the campaign.

Mauricio Pochettino’s men have won just one of their opening four Premier League games so far, drawing two and losing one. They will have presumably been left disappointed by their last outing against rivals Arsenal, too, seeing as they were leading 2-0, although they have one player in their ranks who loves causing Palace problems…

Who is it?

Heung-min Son.

Since arriving on these shores from Bayer Leverkusen, the South Korean has developed a knack of finding the net against the Eagles.

He scored against Palace on his Premier League debut at White Hart Lane back in 2015, while also netting in a 1-0 win at Wembley.

Last season also saw Spurs play the first-ever league game in their new stadium, incidentally against the south Londoners, and guess what?

Son scored in a 1-0 win – Palace must keep an eye on the deadly forward.

Who must keep Son under wraps?

Palace right-back Joel Ward will have a real task on his hands this weekend, as he should be the one directly up against the 27-year-old.

Son technically started centrally behind Harry Kane last time out against Arsenal, but his heat-map proves that most of his activity came down the left flank – he won the penalty for Harry Kane’s goal by cutting in on his right foot from the left.

The 6 foot 2 defender records some pretty impressive defensive numbers – 2.8 tackles per game and 4.3 clearances isn’t bad at all – but just by watching him you can see how rigid and slow he is at times, whereas Son is almost the complete opposite.

The man with five goals in 222 appearances for the Eagles must win his battle against Son – who scored 12 league goals last term – if Palace want to have any chance of a result this weekend.

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