Afternoon Premier League fans. A packed second weekend of action shows no sign of slowing down as we head to White Hart Lane for an intriguing battle between Tottenham Hotspur
and Swansea City
. Both sides were in Europa League action on Thursday night, which means a Sunday afternoon clash between the two sides.
Spurs have gone about their business with quiet efficiency so far this season, as the media frenzy surrounding Gareth Bale
's imminent departure has reached fever pitch. Today's first home match of the campaign gives Spurs fans a chance to focus on the future and watch a host of new faces, including Roberto Soldado
Soldado has bagged three goals in his first two Spurs games and looks primed to be the consistent supply line of goals in attack they have been chasing for some time. The Spaniard followed up last weekend's decisive penalty at Palace with a brace against Dinamo Tbilisi in midweek, already showing his ability to be clinical on a regular basis in the final third.
There are a quarter of Spurs players all bidding for a home debut this afternoon, with summer signings Soldado, Paulinho, Etienne Capoue
and Nacer Chadli
all in contention. Aaron Lennon
, Jan Vertonghen
and Jermain Defoe
all missed the trip to Tbilisi in midweek, but are all back in Andre Villas-Boas
's plans this afternoon.
Swansea are hoping to rebound from last weekend's tough start to the season, a 4-1 defeat to Manchester United which did not really reflect a hard-fought game. Michael Laudrup
's men should take confidence from a 5-1 thrashing of Petrolul Ploiesti on Thursday, which saw Wayne Routledge
get on the scorehseet.
BREAKING TEAM NEWS!
We have just received word on today's starting XI's at the Lane, with Andros Townsend
keeping his place for Spurs after an impressive performance in Georgia on Thursday. A full look at both teams will follow in just a few moments.
Spurs: Lloris, Walker, Vertonghen, Dawson, Rose, Townsend, Dembele, Capoue, Paulinho, Chadli, Soldado
Vorm, Rangel, Chico, Williams, Davies, Canas, de Guzman, Shelvey, Routledge, Hernandez, Michu
Spurs fans will see a quarter of summer signings make their home debuts this afternoon, with Chadli, Capoue, Paulinho and Soldado all included from the start. Jan Vertonghen
has been passed fit and partners Michael Dawson
at centre-back, with Younes Kaboul dropping out of the starting XI.
Kyle Walker is also back for Spurs after missing out on the midweek Europa League tie, taking the place of Kyle Naughton. Chadli is the other change from the side that hammered Tblisi 5-0, but Townsend keeping his place must be a huge lift for the youngster.
Swansea have made three changes to their winning team from midweek, with Ben Davies, Jose Canas
and Jonathan de Guzman coming into the side. Michu will revert to a lone front role for the visitors, with club-record signing Wilfried Bony
having to settle for a place on the bench.
A quick glance at the benches shows that Aaron Lennon
has not been included in the Spurs squad this afternoon, but Defoe returns to join Sandro
on the bench. Gylfi Sigurdsson will also be desperate to play a part this afternoon, against the club he enjoyed a highly productive loan spell with two years ago.
Friedel, Kaboul, Naughton, Carroll, Sandro
, Sigurdsson, Defoe
Swansea Subs: Tremmel, Amat, Richards, Britton, Pozuelo, Lamah, Bony
Today's clash actually represents a first Premier League start for Townsend, as the 22-year-old looks to press home his claim for a regular place under Villas-Boas. The flying winger has insisted in the week that he has no interest in going back out on loan this season, with his sole focus on fighting for a first-team chance at Spurs.
Villas-Boas has been keen to stress this week that persistent transfer speculation will have no effect on his side. With Bale almost certainly off and primary target Willian sloping off to Stamford Bridge, I still expect Spurs to be chasing new players right up until the window closes in eight days from now.
Here's what the Spurs boss had to say just moments ago: "Today is a totally different encounter, Swansea have a style that is magnificent, completely different from any other team in the league.
"Soldado's form has been positive, Roberto's start is important for his confidence but he's still a long way off top form.
"I gave Andros an opportunity because he showed quality on Thursday, he's developed and deserves this chance."
Laudrup has been at pains to insist his side remain confident in their style of play this week, after being taken apart ruthlessly by United at the Liberty Stadium last weekend. The Swans have been handed a tough start by the fixture gods this season, but the Dane believes that his team can cope with the added pressure of playing three times a week.
A quick set of quotes here from Laudrup in an interview given just moments ago. He said: "I think today is about proving we can manage a very tough programme, with three away games in eight days.
"The midfield battle will be important today, with six quality players fighting in there. I expect us to competitive and we hope to take something back to Swansea tonight."
Laudrup makes an interesting point about a congested midfield area this afternoon, which could well hold the key to victory. Swansea are famed for their ability to dictate possession under pressure, but with Capoue and Paulinho looking to impress on their home debuts doing just that today will prove a huge challenge.
PREDICTION! With Spurs full of confidence I fully expect the hosts to make it back-to-back wins this afternoon, but not without a stern test from a Swansea side full of quality. I'll for Paulinho to mark his home debut with a goal in a 2-1 win for Villas-Boas's side.
Here come the two sides, led out by Dawson and Williams. With Europa League commitments both sets of fans will quickly have to get used to these Sunday afternoon kickoffs, but Spurs are well versed in this routine and I expect the hosts to start quickly today, with pace on the counter through Townsend.
Just about ready at the Lane, with Spurs to get us underway shooting from right to left. Swansea are in a changed blue and yellow strip, worn for the first time this season.
Capoue sends a nice early pass out to Rose as Spurs settle in possession, winning an corner inside the first minute through Chadli. Dawson and Vertoghen both come up, with Shelvey nodding behind for a second successive corner.
Swansea clear the lines as Routledge wins a throw-in out wide, allowing the visitors to get a foothold in midfield for the first time through summer signing Canas.
Danny Rose has pulled up with an early muscle problem with Spurs, but seems determined to run it off and continues for now. Swansea are sitting deep early on, with Capoue showing encouraging early signs on his home debut as he wins a 50-50 in midfield, which already looks a congested area in the first few minutes.
De Guzman attempts to spray a long diagonal pass out to Davies, but the full-back fails to read his intentions and a chance to counter quickly evaporates. At the other end Angel Rangel wins a straight race with Townsend to clear on the full. That is a battle well worth keeping an eye on this afternoon, as Rose overlaps to cross just short of Soldado.
Paulinho shimmys inside to find space after a strong tackle in midfield from Capoue, but his curling strike from range lacks power and is caught comfortably by Vorm. Just the first signs of the Brazilian's tendency to burst forward there, which has become a regular feature of his play for the Selecao in recent years.
Swansea go close as the ball breaks to Routledge just outside the penalty area. His drilled effort it parried out by Lloris, with Michu unable to find the target from six yards on the follow-up. The Spaniard's blushes are spared by a flag from the linesman, who decides the forward had drifted beyond Dawson into an offside position.
Capoue continues a bright start by brushing off De Guzman to drive beyond the halfway line. His speculative strike from all of 40 yards is on target, but well held by Vorm to had plenty of time to watch a shot that stayed central and at a nice height for the goalkeeper.
Paulinho is brought down by Canas in central midfield, allowing Spurs to retain possession from deep. Dawson takes what seems like an age to drill the free kick forward, sending a poor ball out wide that Chadli is unable to control under pressure from Rangel.
Spurs have a free kick just outside the penalty area thanks to some sloppy play from Swansea in their own half. Ranger's dangerous ball inside was picked up by Townsend, who was brought down by a rash lunge from Davies. A whole host of Spurs players want to take this, but Chadli wins the argument to drift a disappointing effort well over the target.
Swansea win a corner kick but fail to make it count as Routledge is crowded out after controlling at the far post. Spurs partially clear their lines but the visitors are quick to establish possession, with Shelvey's diagonal towards Routledge finding the winger in an offside position.
OFF THE BAR!
De Guzman dribbles straight out of play as both sides continue the struggle to take charge of a busy midfield area. From the throw-in Walker gets a driven cross in, with Ashley Williams
heading back off his own crossbar. Paulinho reacts quickest to the follow up, but his hammered effort is somehow caught by a superb stop from Vorm at his near post. A very lucky escape there for Laudrup's side there!
Spurs look dangerous when their pacy full-backs bomb on out wide, with Rose demonstrating just that as his deflected cross is gathered by Vorm. Routledge is then penalised for a foul on Townsend, as the hosts just start to take control of this match.
On closer inspection of the replay that Paulinho strike was kept out by a combination of Vorm and Williams covering on the line, with Swansea skipper quickly atoning for heading off his own woodwork.
Shelvey gets some space to strike after a quick flick inside from Routledge, with his deflected effort taking a nick of Dawson before being pushed behind by Lloris at his near post.
Angel and Routledge combine out wide for Swansea, but lack support as Spurs clear their lines through Rose. When the ball breaks in midfield De Guzman and Dembele fight for possession, with the referee deciding the Belgian was guilty of a push as he awards the visitors a free kick.
Davies nearly gets caught in possession by Townend out wide, but Shelvey hammers clear on the cover. The former Liverpool midfielder then makes contact with Soldado on the follow-through after initially getting the ball. Michel Vorm
comes out to furiously protest the decision, and follows Davies into the book for dissent.
Paulinho cruises past Shelvey in midfield with a clever nutmeg inside, but instead of looking for Soldado drags a speculative strike wide. Spurs need to provide the Spanish striker with service in those situations to give themselves a better chance of breaking the deadlock.
SAVE! Vorm has just denied Dembele with a superb turn over the crossbar. The Belgian was presented with a chance to strike from 12 yards by a drive down the wing from Walker, but his central strike landed just above the Dutchman, who reacted quickly to parry behind for a corner kick.
WIDE! Swansea are struggling to contain the hosts as Chadli beats Rangel with a clever turn, before hanging a chipped cross into the penalty area. Paulinho meets the ball with a controlled volley into the ground, but with Vorm rooted to the spot his effort goes beyond the near post. The visitors are hanging on a touch, but you feel they must hold firm until the break now as an immediate priority.
YELLOW CARD! Michu becomes the third player booked after arguing with the referee following a foul on Dembele. The forward attempted to help his side by covering in midfield but definitely cleaned out the Belgian with a late lunge and can have few complaints with the caution.
Michu is once again furious but this time with Dawson, after getting caught in a sandwich between the centre-back and Capoue in aerial challenge. The Spaniard looks a frustrated figure as his compatriot Chico Flores fires well wide from all of 40 yards as the set piece is taken quickly.
PENALTY APPEAL! Spurs have been awarded a free kick just inches outside the penalty area, after Shelvey blocks off Townsend. That had to be a spot kick for the home side, with the foul at least three yards inside the area. The linesman was just yards away but failed to signal for a penalty, what a left-off for Swansea as Walker's free-kick is headed away.
HALF-TIME Spurs 0-0 Swansea
An encouraging but ultimately frustrating first period for Spurs, who have controlled the match but spurned a number of chances to break the deadlock. That penalty call also went against them just before the break, with Swansea a touch fortunate to be level at the interval.
A pair of Spurs home debutants have been impressive in midfield this afternoon, with Capoue clattering into tackles in a bright start. Paulinho also looks bright and always ready to make late runs into the final third, but probably should have buried one of his two chances from close range for a first goal in the Premier League.
One slightly disappointing aspect for Spurs so far today has been a lack of service for Soldado. Walker, Rose and Townsend have all regularly got to the byline with intent but failed to pick out the Spaniard, who has been largely on the periphery this afternoon. Still plenty of time to change that though.
Swansea threatened early on through Routledge, but have been unable to control central midfield with their usual assurance. Laudrup needs his side to press higher in search of a response, with Michu more isolated than usual in a lone front role.
BENCH WATCH! Both sides have plenty of attacking options to call upon if this stalemate drifts late into the second half. Defoe will surely be the first port of call for Villas-Boas, while Sigurdsson could also be introduced against his former club. For the visitors Bony looks a natural choice to add strength in attack, while Alejandro Pozuelo was also impressive in midweek.
Both sides are back out at the Lane, with Villas-Boas and Laudrup resisting the temptation to make changes for now. Swansea will get us back underway in just a few moments.
Spurs quickly go on the attack when play resumes as Townsend wins a quick corner off Davies with a pacy burst, but Chadli's delivery is a disappointment and fails to beat Shelvey at the near post.
The hosts are looking to isolate Townsend with Davies all the time, with Walker quick on the overlap to send a cross into the box. Soldado makes a strong run to the far post but Williams reads the danger, scrambling clear with the help of Routledge to concede another corner kick.
A better ball into the danger zone this time from Chadli, but Vorm comes out of his six-yard box to punch away. Hernandez thens wins a cheap free kick as he turns to clear, giving the visitors a chance to catch their breath after a frenetic start to the second half.
Chico slides in to stop Chadli breaking clear at the touchline, handing Spurs their third corner in quick succession. The hosts have plenty of physical players to bring a threat to set-piece situations, but a poor cross ruins the opportunity as Swansea's resistance stays strong.
SAVE! Townsend latches onto a loose ball and unleashes a dipping drive towards goal from 20 yards. Vorm sees the effort late through a crowd of bodies but turns in the air to tip over. Swansea certainly have the Dutchman to thank for parity they scarcely deserve at the moment.
Dawson just denies Michu with a strong sliding tackle in a rare Swansea break. Surely Laudrup must be considering a move to introduce Bony, who would have provided much-needed support for the Spaniard in that situation.
PENALTY TO TOTTENHAM! Spurs have a spot kick as once again Shelvey tangles with Townsend, but this time the decision looks harsh. Contact looked minimal but either way Soldado will have the opportunity to break the deadlock from 12 yards.
GOAL! Spurs 1-0 Swansea (Soldado)
Soldado confidently tucks away his second spot kick in as many games to give Spurs a lead they deserve. Laudrup has quickly reacted to that goal by making a change, with Pozuelo brought on to replace Wayne Routledge
After sitting deep and holding on Swansea must surely come out and play now to chase an equaliser. Pozuelo will drift inside far more than Routledge, but may leave Davies isolated as he looks to contain Townsend and Walker on the right flank.
Shelvey cuts inside and curls a tame drive towards goal, which Lloris gathers easily. At the other end Soldado is blocked off by a robust challenge from De Guzman as the tackles start come in thick and fast as the game opens up.
SUBSTITUTION: Spurs have made their first change to bring on fresh legs in midfield, with Dembele replaced by Sigurdsson.
Swansea are once again upset with the official as Vertonghen roams forward to win a foul against Williams inside the final third. Townsend's delivery is blocked off by the wall, with his cross on the follow-up flying out past a packed penalty area.
WIDE! A first genuine sight of goal from Swansea as Hernandez creates a chance with intelligent play on the edge of the area. The winger used Michu's run as a decoy to create space, before curling a left-footed drive just wide of Lloris's far post.
SUBSTITUTION: Laudrup decides the time is right to bring on club-record signing Bony, with the striker replacing Shelvey as the visitors opt to give Michu a partner in attack.
SHOT! Bony wins a free kick which Swansea take quickly, with Pazuelo's chipped cross towards the back post finding a late run from Chico. His sweetly-struck volley forces Lloris into a smart stop, turning behind for a corner kick.
YELLOW CARD! Quite superb hold-up play from Soldado sees the forward twist Williams inside and out near the corner flag, eventually forcing the frustrated forward to bring him down. The Swansea skipper gets a caution for his efforts but recovers quickly to help his side clear the free kick.
Hernandez looks well up for this in the closing stages as he finds room to turn inside Walker, before just over-running as the full-back's deflected clearance went back towards Lloris. The Frenchman is alive to the danger and catches at the second time of asking, avoiding what could have been a freak equaliser.
YELLOW CARD! Soldado becomes the latest player to receive a caution after a cynical lunge on Pozuelo, who had swivelled clear of a crowded midfield. Swansea send the following free kick high towards Bony at the far post, but the striker can only concede a foul after barging into his marker.
Walker helps relieve pressure with a fast break down the right, winning a corner kick as Hernandez tracked back to get a block on his cross. Townsend's cross floated towards the six-yard box finds Dawson, who fails to get his header on target as Swansea hack clear.
SUBSTITUTION: Hernandez is obstructed by Walker as he attempts to cut inside, but before a free kick can be taken Spurs decide to swap Soldado for Defoe. The forward will provide an injection of pace in attack, helping keep the hosts a threat on the counter in the closing stages.
Pozuelo works hard under pressure from Walker near the corner flag but gets nothing for his efforts, with the referee deciding to award a goal kick. Time running out for the visitors to respond now, as Sandro prepares to come on for Spurs.
Davies wastes a chance to cross for Swansea, sending a poor cross well over. Before a goal kick can be taken Spurs swap Townsend for Sandro, who makes a welcome return after a season ravaged by injury.
Defoe nutmegs Chico and draws a foul as Spurs wind down the clock in the opposition half. Paulinho then wins a throw in on the far side as we head into four minutes of stoppage time.
Paulinho continues his run as Spurs counter with pace into space, but the Brazilian is twice denied with chipped efforts by Vorm at full stretch.
Angel Rangel lets out some frustration as he fails to win a free kick in the final minute of stoppage time. Lloris punts upfield and that should just about do it for the hosts.
FULL-TIME Spurs 1-0 Swansea
Another efficient display proves enough for Spurs to make it two wins from two in the league season, with summer signing Soldado once again the hero from the penalty spot. Swansea will be frustrated as they fail to claim any points for the second successive week, but in truth they showed little endeavour in the final third.
That just about does it for out live commentary from White Hart Lane. Be sure to keep an eye out for comprehensive analysis of the match from Sports Mole, which will arrive in around 30 minutes time. Good evening!