Tottenham will be hoping to cement their place in the top four of the Premier League with victory at home to a Norwich City side that will be in buoyant mood following their fine win last time out at Manchester United.
After seeing their unbeaten run come to an end in disappointing fashion at home to Newcastle United, Mauricio Pochettino’s team came up with the perfect response at the Argentine’s former club Southampton, scoring two first half goals to seal an impressive victory. The key to success was excellent build-up play, an immensely strong midfield display from Mousa Dembele, and supremely cool finishing from Harry Kane and Dele Alli, all of which showed that there are positive signs for the club going forward.
But they would not have won so comfortably were it not for some fine saves from goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, who after something of an off-day against Newcastle was back to best. For all of the youth that exists within the side there is a considerable amount of quality and with the top-flight so wide open this season Spurs look like real contenders for a Champions League place. Some have even tentatively put forward their name as potential title winners, but in truth that would be asking a lot.
Although a lot of the attention was placed on the many failings of Man Utd, the win that Norwich gained at Old Trafford was not only reward for an effective counter-attacking performance, but it lifted them out of the bottom three ahead of this important sequence of matches which include two winnable home outings in the coming days. Having slid into a perilous position through some poor recent results, Alex Neil deserve a lot of credit for the character they showed, and even more for the way they punished United’s shortcomings.
Cameron Jerome came in for plenty of criticism after his glaring miss cost the Canaries victory at home to Everton, but he showed great feet and admirable composure to put his side ahead last weekend. It was an example of how fortunes can change so quickly in football, but here he will be aware that it will be difficult to breach what has been a very rock-solid Spurs defence this season.
The home side have regained the services of midfielder Ryan Mason and Danny Rose after injury and illness respectively. Clinton N’Jie faces three months out after undergoing knee surgery.
Matt Jarvis is still out for Norwich, who are waiting on the fitness of another loanee in Andre Wisdom.
Last Meeting: Gareth Bale had just become the world’s expensive player as Tottenham hosted Norwich in September 2013, but they suffered no hangover as they secured a 2-0 win thanks to Gylfi Sigurdsson’s brace. The Icelander scored from close range after being well set up by debutant Christian Eriksen, and wrapped it up shortly after half-time when he fired home from Paulinho’s cross.
Played for both – Kyle Naughton: Signed along with Kyle Walker from Sheffield United in the summer of 2009, it took a while for Naughton to be given his first-team chance at Tottenham and indeed he never really established himself as a regular, making 42 league appearances in five and-half years. One of several loan spells was spent at Norwich, where he helped them finish 12th in 2011-12 in playing 32 times in the top-flight.
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