Tottenham Hotspur vs Norwich City
Spurs face bottom club Norwich City on Wednesday night in a game in which they can’t really win.
Of course Jose Mourinho’s team can pick up three points against the Canaries, but then almost everyone expects them to do so. So anything other than a victory will be a crushing disappointment in the White half of North London.
Norwich may be bottom, but they often play with a cavalier abandon and can always spring a surprise…just ask Manchester City. And they took a point from their hosts when they met in the last game of 2019.
A 2-2 draw with Norwich at Carrow Road started a four match winless sequence for Spurs and that’s left Mourinho’s team eight points behind fourth placed Chelsea in the Premier League. Now it’s time to end that run, or Spurs can say goodbye to a top four finish.
Lack of goals cause Jose a headache
After starting his career as Spurs head coach with a flurry of 3-2 wins, Jose has reverted to type and shored up his defence. Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen have teamed up again at the back, with Vertonghen taking the captain’s armband in Harry Kane’s absence.
Spurs put up a decent show in a 0-1 home defeat to Liverpool, matching the Reds for much of the game and having two great chances to level in the second half. But they failed to score again in a goalless draw with strugglers Watford on Saturday. Erik Lamela was a centimetre away from bagging a late winner but Watford’s Ignacio Pussetto made a dramatic goal line clearance in the second minute of injury time.
In fairness, Spurs were lucky to be level after Paulo Gazziniga saved a Troy Deeney penalty, and the Hornets had plenty of other chances.
Another injury to Harry Kane has sidelined the England and Spurs skipper. This time a hamstring problem has prompted fears he won’t be available for Euro2020, but that’s not Mourinho’s biggest fear. His team has failed to score in its last three league games, picking up just a solitary point. He started with Heung-Min Son, Lucas Moura and Lamela as a front three against Watford and is likely to do so again against Norwich.
Jose’s return is a treat for SBOTOP Premier League fans, but the Spurs faithful will hope he can rekindle his touch as the Special One.
Can Canaries win ugly again?
Norwich head coach Daniel Farke doesn’t want his team to disappear from the Premier League 2020 news without trace, but they are in danger of being the first club relegated, currently six points from safety.
The Canaries just about stayed in touch with the rest of the relegation strugglers with a vital 1-0 win over ten-man Bournemouth on Saturday. Teemu Pukki scored a first half penalty after Cherries skipper Steve Cook saw red for a spectacular handball. That’s ten goals for the Finnish hit man and he could be the key to the Canaries’ hopes of survival.
It would be a dramatic escape. But Farke has moved to strengthen his squad to give his team a fighting chance. Hertha Berlin attacking midfielder Ondrej Duda has signed a loan deal for the Canaries which will keep him at Carrow Road for the remainder of the season; and he has already linked up well with 21 year old wide man Todd Cantwell, who has six goals and two assists so far for Norwich.
The hosts have had the better if the head to head meetings as Spurs have won ten, drawn four and lost four of the 18 meetings in the Premier League era.
When playing at home Spurs have not lost to Norwich in the last three encounters, while the Canaries have won just once on the road this season, drawing twice and losing eight.
And the latest Spurs vs Norwich City are a clear reflection of those stats.
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