Spurs’ European Football Hopes Dwindle as they Face Crystal Palace: A Look at the Teams’ Form and Players to Watch”
Travelling Tottenham fans who left Anfield after just 15 minutes in significant numbers with their side 3-0 down were almost punished for their insolence when Spurs mounted an astonishing three-goal comeback before conceding a gut-wrenching fourth goal in the 94th minute to lose 4-3.
Now enduring their longest winless period (D1, L3) of this Premier League (PL) campaign, and with direct competitor
Brighton still holding another two games in hand at kickoff time, their prospects of European football next season look increasingly bleak.
Interim manager Ryan Mason doesn’t appear likely to match the four wins he enjoyed from six PL matches in charge of Spurs (L2) after José Mourinho departed in 2020/21, though the sight of Crystal Palace might just be what Tottenham’s players need to get their mojo back.
All but one of their PL wins this season came against clubs eighth or lower in the standings at the end of last weekend (W15, D5, L3), including a four-goal haul at Palace in the first week of 2023 (4-0).
That reverse H2H began a miserable period for Palace that saw them fail to win a PL game for three months (D5, L7), leading to the dismissal of manager Patrick Vieira in March. They put that behind them as they became one of six clubs to win at least four PL games in the month of April (D1, L1) following a 4-3 home triumph against West Ham, although all four wins were against clubs beneath them in the table at the conclusion of their previous match.
Still, one cannot dispute the impact that legendary boss Roy Hodgson has had on their season, for they were just a few points above the danger zone prior to the start of his newest tenure at Palace – a buffer that they extended to ten points at the conclusion of last weekend. One single win against current top-half PL clubs isn’t particularly encouraging as far as this clash is concerned (D8, L9), but 75-year-old Hodgson has evidently injected some vigour into the previously struggling visitors.
Players to watch: Tottenham’s Harry Kane found the back of the net in five of his last six H2Hs including the reverse fixture. Palace’s Ebere Eze declared the club is “thriving” under Hodgson’s stewardship, and so has Eze as he scored four PL goals in April.
Hot stat: Palace have scored just one first-half goal from nine PL away matches in 2023.