Tottenham badly need a positive result to help lift their spirits as they travel to face Crystal Palace tonight. An unconvincing draw with Brentford was followed by a home loss to Aston Villa, and they are now five points clear of the top four.
Antonio Conte’s side continue to get off to a slow start in the game and it’s catching up with them more and more, while the Italian faces questions about the team’s style of play from Spurs fans. As always, Conte was far from definitive when discussing his future at the club. The visitors are without the injured Dejan Kulusevski again tonight, as Bryan Gil starts alongside Harry Kane and Heung-min Son.
As for Crystal Palace, a comfortable victory over Bournemouth was much needed after a Boxing Day disaster at Selhurst Park against Fulham. Goals remain a problem for the Eagles, with only the league’s bottom five scoring less this season. Follow all the action with Standard Sport’s LIVE blog below, with expert analysis from Dan Kilpatrick on the pitch.
4 mins: Nice decision from Spurs, as they win the ball.
Kane leads the defence, the ball is played to Gil and it’s a decent chance in the box. Tamed effort, deflected behind for a corner.
Thrown into the box, too much on it though and Palace can erase.
2 min : First foul of the night as Zaha is knocked down – won’t be the last time this happens.
Confident start from the hosts, seeing pretty much the whole ball in the opening minutes.
TO START UP!
We are operational at Selhurst Park!
The most important news of the evening…
Here we are!
The players are on the pitch, good atmosphere at Selhurst Park. It’s going to be a real test for Spurs tonight.
They just have to show up from the start, can’t keep giving themselves so much work to do.
Update from Conte on Kulusevski – not very encouraging for Spurs fans.
Before kick-off, he said: “I don’t know. The medical service gave the opportunity to play with us. Today they said he was unavailable. I don’t know how close he is to coming back with us.
Vieira speaks before kick-off…
“We have quality, we have talent, we understand how we want to play the game. The challenge for us is to be consistent.
“It is important for us to build [from the Bournemouth win]. We have to be focused and disciplined for the 95 minutes.
Dan Kilpatrick at Selhurst Park
Conte’s pre-game thoughts
“Our expectation is to have a good reaction after a bad result.
“The performance wasn’t that negative but when you lose a game, everything positive about the situation becomes negative.
“Our goal is to start well and play football, try to create chances and not concede. That’s our idea of the game.”