MX23RW : Monday, December 17 08:17:08

Preview: West Bromwich Albion vs. Tottenham Hotspur - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews the Premier League action as bottom-of-the-table West Bromwich Albion welcome Tottenham Hotspur to The Hawthorns.

West Bromwich Albion welcome the visit of Tottenham Hotspur as Darren Moore seeks to keep alive any faint hopes of beating the drop from the Premier League this season.

As for visiting Spurs, Mauricio Pochettino's charges will be aiming for three points on the road as they try to secure a top-four finish in the wake of a late push from Champions League-chasing Chelsea.


West Bromwich Albion

Salomon Rondon in jazz hands action for West Bromwich Albion against Southampton on February 3, 2018© Offside

As West Brom's board stare down the barrel of relegation, they might just be kicking themselves for not moving Alan Pardew on earlier. Since Moore has stepped in, the Baggies have claimed eight points from an available 12.

Onlookers are likely to be asking themselves the same question of late - with more time, would Moore have kept the Baggies up this season? West Brom require another three points on Saturday to keep any faint hopes of survival alive, while also relying on a number of other results too.

Moore has made some slight, but essential, tactical changes to the Baggies since arriving and his charges now seem to be playing with the confidence and industry that was seemingly lacking under Pardew.

The stand-in coach has already insisted that he wants to play some part in the club's management setup, most likely in the Championship, and has done himself no harm having been unbeaten during his four matches in charge of the Baggies.

The 44-year-old's first fixture saw West Brom hold fellow strugglers Swansea City, before memorably beating Manchester United at Old Trafford to hand Manchester City the title. The Baggies then built on the victory to claim a point against Liverpool and three when beating Newcastle United last weekend.

Part of the club's problem in the latter stages of the season has been their home form, having failed to win any of their last six home matches in the Premier League. Moore will now need to improve his side at The Hawthorns, where the Baggies have conceded at least two goals in five of their last six home matches, should they want to stand any chance of beating the drop.

If West Brom wish to keep a promising finish going this term, they will need to rewrite some problematic form when facing Tottenham at home - they last beat Spurs at The Hawthorns in December 2008.

The Baggies could likely be relegated this weekend, if not next, but Moore has certainly provided both his players and staff with a promising blueprint to work from should they want to bounce straight back up from the second tier next term.

Recent form: LLDWDW


Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham Hotspur's Harry Kane celebrates scoring against Brighton & Hove Albion on April 17, 2018© Offside

Spurs head to the Midlands knowing that only a victory will do if they want to finish their season in a positive fashion and stave off Chelsea's late bid for a top-four spot.

Recent defeats to City in the league and Manchester United in the FA Cup have brought more questions to the door of Pochettino, who has thrived with progressive football right up until the crunch point in the campaign.

Spurs shone in the Champions League but were ultimately defeated by an astute Juventus side, although the way in which Pochettino was tactically outmanoeuvred by both Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho in recent weeks has arguably put more strain on the Argentine's project at Tottenham.

With no silverware left to play for, Spurs will be hoping to finish the season with three more victories that will seal their place in the Champions League next season. A top-four finish is now pivotal for the Lillywhites should they want to keep hold of their most-prized assets over the summer window.

Spurs bounced back from the FA Cup exit at the hands of United by beating Watford on Monday night, but the 2-0 victory did not prove the most convincing of wins under Pochettino's stewardship.

There has arguably been some undeserved criticism over Spurs in recent weeks and it is easy to forget that Tottenham are actually undefeated in 16 of their last 17 matches following a standout run since the turn of the year.

Tottenham travel to The Hawthorns unbeaten in their last seven away matches against the Baggies in all competitions, although the club have only managed one win from their last four visits to West Brom.

Harry Kane will be hoping to find his scoring form again should he start, as the frontman aims to put pressure on Mohamed Salah in the race for the Golden Boot. Kane has scored seven goals in his six Premier League showings against the Baggies and is aiming for a third straight top-scorer crown in the top flight.

Recent form: WWWLDW
Recent form (all competitions): WWLDLW


Team News

Mousa Dembele in action for Spurs on March 11, 2018© Offside

Buoyed by his team's recent showings, Moore could opt to start with the same side that beat Newcastle last weekend. Salomon Rondon is expected to be given creative support from Jay Rodriguez in the hole.

Both James Morrison and Gareth Barry remain as West Brom's long-term injury absences, while Nacer Chadli is still thought to be struggling for match fitness.

Spurs are suffering from a number of minor knocks, leaving Danny Rose, Mousa Dembele and Kieran Trippier all sweating ahead of the game.

Erik Lamela could be handed a start in place of Son Heung-min, while Victor Wanyama may also come into the centre of midfield.

West Bromwich Albion possible starting lineup:
Foster; Nyom, Dawson, Hegazi, Gibbs; Phillips, Livermore, Brunt, McClean; Rodriguez; Rondon

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


Head To Head

The clubs shared a 1-1 draw when they met at Wembley Stadium earlier in the campaign, Rondon's early opener being cancelled out by an equaliser from Kane.

Across their previous six meetings, Spurs have won twice and been held by the Baggies on the four other occasions dating back to 2015.

Spurs have not lost in the Premier League at The Hawthorns for seven games since a 2-0 defeat at the hands of West Brom the best part of a decade ago.


Sports Mole Logo

We say: West Bromwich Albion 1-2 Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham come into the clash with hopes of firming up their Champions League credentials for next season. A victory on the road will put a serious dent in any late ambitions from chasing Chelsea.

There are also designs from Kane, who is bidding to keep apace with Salah. Kane could also equal Kevin Phillips's record for most away goals in a single Premier League season in what will be his last away game this term.

The Baggies have done remarkably well to stave off relegation this long and they now have a difficult task on their hands to take three points off a side that have not lost at West Brom in the league for almost 10 years.


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Who will win Saturday's Premier League clash between West Bromwich Albion and Tottenham Hotspur?

West Bromwich Albion
Draw
Tottenham Hotspur
West Bromwich Albion
13.2%
Draw
7.5%
Tottenham Hotspur
79.2%
Toby Alderweireld in action for Tottenham Hotspur in November 2017
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool1714303773045
2Manchester CityMan City17142148103844
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs17130431161539
4Chelsea17114235142137
5Arsenal17104337231434
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd177552929026
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves177461919025
8Everton176652422224
9West Ham UnitedWest Ham177372525024
10Watford177372325-224
11Bournemouth177282528-323
12Leicester CityLeicester176472121022
13Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton176382024-421
14Newcastle UnitedNewcastle174491422-816
15Crystal Palace1743101423-915
16Cardiff CityCardiff1742111733-1614
17Southampton172691632-1612
18Burnley1733111533-1812
19Huddersfield TownHuddersfield1724111028-1810
20Fulham1723121642-269

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