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Preview: Bournemouth vs. Tottenham Hotspur - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews the Premier League action as fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur travel to face Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium.

Eddie Howe's Bournemouth welcome the visit of Tottenham Hotspur to the Vitality Stadium in the Premier League, as the seaside club aim to put an end to a run that has seen them go three games without a win.

Mauricio Pochettino's Tottenham side enter the clash having been eliminated by Juventus in the last 16 of the Champions League, and they will be hoping to bounce straight back with a domestic victory on the road.


Callum Wilson celebrates the opener during the Premier League game between Chelsea and Bournemouth on January 31, 2018© SilverHub

Howe has continued to show why he is regarded as one of England's most promising coaches with another fairly consistent season at the helm of Bournemouth.

Howe has now led the Cherries into a run which has seen the club lose just one of their last 10 league matches, having won four and drawn five. That undefeated record over the same period has only been bettered by Spurs, who are unbeaten in their last 11.

With nine games to play, Bournemouth currently sit in 12th place in the standings and they will know that relegation still remains a slender possibility, with six points separating the Cherries and 18th-placed Crystal Palace.

Still to face three top-six sides, Bournemouth had thought they were able to earn three crucial points against Leicester City last time out, only to be undone by a late leveller from Riyad Mahrez during injury time.

That result means that Howe's men have been unable to pick up a win from their last three games in the league, leaving the Cherries slightly looking over their collective shoulder at those scrapping to avoid relegation.

If there is one trait this Bournemouth side carries in bags, though, it is determination and Howe will know that heading into a crucial back-end of the campaign. No other team in the league have claimed more points from losing positions than the Cherries this term.

Added to that, Howe's men have shown some impressive creativity going forward in recent weeks. The Seasiders have scored at least two goals in their last five games at the Vitality Stadium.

Calum Wilson has at times been impressive for Bournemouth with seven goals this campaign, but the striker has not scored since January and the 26-year-old will be hoping to end a four-game drought at home on Sunday.

Recent form: DWWLDD

Tottenham Hotspur

Harry Kane of Tottenham Hotspur argues with a decision from the referee in the Champions League game against Juventus on March 7, 2018© Offside

Spurs' Champions League dreams came to a shuddering halt on Wednesday evening after the club's 2-1 defeat at home to Juventus.

Massimiliano Allegri made some adroit tactical changes during the contest to allow the Old Lady to bounce back against Pochettino's men, as Gonzalo Higuain and Paulo Dybala struck in the second half to cancel out Son Heung-min's opener.

The defeat leaves Pochettino to now focus on the Premier League and the FA Cup. Spurs will likely have already learned a number of key lessons during their Champions League run, especially during this week's defeat, and if they want to put those to use next term they will have to prioritise finishing at least fourth in the league come the spring.

Spurs are undefeated in the Premier League since the middle of December and head into Sunday's fixture having won four of their five league meetings with Howe's men.

The measure of Spurs' progression has not only been highlighted by their recent showings in the Champions League, as domestic victories over Manchester United and Arsenal have both offered signs of a Tottenham side growing all the time.

Central to their continual rise has been the impact of frontman Harry Kane, who now stands as the league's joint top scorer this term. The England international has six goals in his four league games against the Cherries. Three of those came courtesy of a hat-trick during his only game at the Vitality Stadium three years ago.

Ignoring the recent collapse in the Champions League, Pochettino has largely built this side to endure in testing circumstance - Spurs have won 17 of the 18 matches in which they have led in the league.

Wednesday's defeat will be a bitter pill for Spurs to swallow, but they will not have time to think about what might have been as they aim to secure another Champions League spot for next season. Pochettino's 144th league match in charge of the club should provide his players with the chance to bounce straight back.

Recent form: DWDWWW
Recent form (all competitions): DDWWWL

Team News

Erik Lamela in action for Tottenham Hotspur on February 7, 2018© Offside

Howe could be without both Jordon Ibe and Marc Pugh, who are struggling with hamstring and calf problems respectively. Tyrone Mings is also thought to be unavailable with a back issue.

The Bournemouth coach is likely to name the same side that played during the club's recent 1-1 draw against the Foxes.

As for visiting Spurs, Eric Dier might not feature after picking up an elbow knock in the defeat against Juventus, while Toby Alderweireld remains Pochettino's only longer-term injury.

Victor Wanyama could start from the off as he continues to gain match fitness after a lengthy layoff. Danny Rose might feature at left-back should Pochettino decide to rest Ben Davies after his European exploits.

Bournemouth possible starting lineup:
Begovic; Francis, Cook, Ake, Daniels; Smith, Cook Gosling, Stanislas; King, Wilson

Tottenham Hotspur possible starting lineup:
Lloris; Trippier, Sanchez, Vertonghen, Rose; Wanyama, Dembele; Eriksen, Alli, Lamela; Kane

Head To Head

The clubs last met in the Premier League during October 2017, when Spurs earned a 1-0 victory in the reverse of this fixture at Wembley.

Across their previous six meetings, Spurs have claimed five victories against the Cherries and have drawn only once.

Bournemouth last picked up a point against Spurs in October 2016, when a goalless stalemate in the Premier League saw the Cherries earn a point at home against the Lillywhites.

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We say: Bournemouth 1-2 Tottenham Hotspur

Spurs head into the away fixture aiming to put their Champions League failures behind them, and they are coming up against a side who have not scored against them in their last four matches in all competitions.

Howe will know that his side still require a couple of wins to guarantee their own safety and they will give Tottenham a go when playing at home. The Cherries' opportunities for victory might be more favourable in the coming weeks, although Howe will likely want his charges to play as if they have nothing to lose.

Spurs' defensive record could be an issue for the visitors, though, as Tottenham have not conceded in five of their last seven league games.

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