Match Preview: West Bromwich Albion vs. Tottenham Hotspur

This sees the 21st meeting between these two teams in the Premier League, Spurs have eight wins; four at home and four away. Last season these two teams played out two 1-1 draws, the game at White Hart Lane proved to be costly in several ways. It put a dent in their title hopes and in an off the ball incident involving Dele Alli, saw him banned for the final three games of Tottenham’s season. Having sold him late in the window Spurs will face former player Nacer Chadli who has had a good start to his West Brom career, with three goals and two assists. Tony Pulis is his 2nd full season as West Brom’s head coach, taking them to 13th in the 2014-15 season and 14th last season. He has racked up over one thousand games as a manager, with West Brom being his ninth club.  He has the proud record of never being relegated as a player, coach or manager. Mauricio Pochettino was unhappy with Tony Pulis last season after the welsh man publicly stated he wanted Leicester to win the title. Pochettino said it was unprofessional “Maybe in the last few weeks or months we know football people maybe don’t behave like professionals”.  

West Brom switch between a 4-2-3-1 and a 4-4-1-1, they like to use a target man as a striker and use natural wingers and since the arrival of Chadli are using him behind the front man. Pulis uses two defensive midfielders who hold their positions and protect the back four. They like to get the ball forward quickly and stretch the game by keeping their width. Pulis is seen as a defensive minded coach who encourages discipline and a solid formation, his team are more efficient than elegant. Spurs also like to line up in a 4-2-3-1 but in their last game used a 4-1-4-1 for the 1st time in the league, Pochettino said after the City game that one holding midfielder could be the future. He also started the game without a recognised striker, seeing Son playing a false 9 position and rotating with Alli and Lamela throughout the game.  Despite being the home team West Brom will set themselves up to defend and Spurs will need to be patience and try to get an early goal. The longer the game is at 0-0 the more stubborn West Brom will become. West Brom only average around 41% possession compared to Spurs 54% also Spurs pass success rate is far superior at nearly 81% with West Brom’s being the worst in the league at 68%. 

Spurs remain the only unbeaten team in the Premier League after their impressive 2-0 win over Manchester City. They outplayed the 1st place team in every aspect and were worthy winners. This left them in second place and only 1 point behind the leaders. Son maintained his good form with an assist in the City game and another goal while away with South Korea. Vincent Janssen scored an excellent goal for Holland and surely will return to Spurs with added confidence. West Brom are undefeated in their last 3 games and find themselves in 9th position with 9 points. Their last game was a 1-1 draw away to Sunderland, they were left disappointed as they had enough chances to win the game but conceded in the last ten minutes. 

How the teams may line up:

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