Norwich City will be desperate to bounce back from the late heartback they suffered last time out, but face a huge challenge as they entertain a Tottenham side that is very much part of the race for the title.
Having put themselves in a great position to pick up three vital points in their battle for Premier League safety, Norwich came up with an emphatic example of how not to defend a 3-1 lead, committing error after error at the back to fall behind and then, after seemingly salvaging a point in stoppage time, failing to clear their lines and conceding an inexplicable last-gasp winner with the final action of the game. No wonder manager Alex Neil was seething afterwards.
The absence of holding midfielder Alexander Tettey was felt as the game wore on, but it has not been a secret all season that the Canaries’ weaknesses lie at the back. Having had over a week to reflect on their failings and lick their wounds, they will surely be able to produce a spirited response here but could struggle against a side in form. The need for wins is increasing ever further, especially as they now lie just two points and a place above the drop zone.
There has been a lot of the usual scepticism surrounding any supposed title ambitions Tottenham may have this term, but on current form it cannot be denied that they are in with as big a shout as anybody. The team are playing with a huge degree of confidence, which was typified by Dele Alli’s stunning goal in their last match at Crystal Palace, a game where they came under some pressure on occasions but in the end won with a good deal of authority.
Alli continues to astonish with his immense natural talent, which has helped him achieve the seemingly impossible in recent weeks and take some of the attention away from the beloved Harry Kane. As a duo, these two give a strong indication that there is a bright future ahead for Tottenham, and on the immediate horizon they will be confident of taking the Norwich defence apart. If they get an early goal, it would be hard to took past a victory for the North London side.
The hosts have Andre Wisdom back available after he was ineligible for the game against Liverpool, but are still without the suspended Gary O’Neil. Recent loan signing Patrick Bamford could be given a debut.
Away boss Mauricio Pochettino will make changes from the side that won comfortably at Colchester United in the FA Cup on Saturday, with Toby Alderweireld and Hugo Lloris among those set to be recalled.
Last Meeting: A below-par Tottenham display saw them create few chances throughout and struggling Norwich took full advantage to claim a rare victory. The only goal came shortly after half-time as Robert Snodgrass ran on to Bradley Johnson’s pass to curl the ball home in stylish fashion. Johnson came close to adding a second when he hit the crossbar with a free-kick, but they held on for all three points.