Crystal Palace v Tottenham preview: Toby Alderweireld doubtful as Eagles struggle with injuries
Last Updated: 25/02/18 11:13am
Toby Alderweireld is doubtful for Tottenham on Sunday as their opponents Crystal Palace struggle with injuries ahead of their Premier League meeting, live on Sky Sports.
Alderweireld has been suffering with a hamstring injury over the last few months but picked up a fresh knock in training on Thursday and will face a late fitness test.
"We will assess him today and tomorrow and see if he can train and be available for the weekend. We hope it's not a big issue. Until tomorrow we can decide nothing," Mauricio Pochettino said of the defender.
"It was just, I think, for caution that he didn't finish the training session. It's the same leg but a different area. I want all the players fit and I hope to help Toby to be available for the team."
While Alderweireld is Spurs' only injury concern, Roy Hodgson is preparing Crystal Palace for the game with 12 first team players sidelined.
"At the moment, as far as I'm concerned, it's a question of trying to get through the games until I can feel that I have a team that perhaps is a bit more of the Palace team that we had a couple of months ago," he said.
"At the moment, we're missing that enormously."
With Alderweireld set to be monitored, Lucas Moura's fitness will also be assessed ahead of the game after he started his first game of the season against Rochdale last weekend.
A groin injury suffered by Yohan Cabaye made him the most recent Crystal Palace player to be ruled out this weekend and added his name to a long list.
He joins Julian Speroni, Joel Ward, Martin Kelly, Scott Dann, Mamadou Sakho, Jeffrey Schlupp, Jason Puncheon, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Wilfried Zaha, Bakary Sako and Connor Wickham in sitting out Sunday's match.
Crystal Palace have lost their last five Premier League games against Tottenham Hotspur, scoring just one goal in the process. However, the Eagles did win an FA Cup fifth-round match against the Lilywhites in February 2016.
Spurs will be looking to win three consecutive away league games against Crystal Palace for the first time in their history.
Crystal Palace have kept just one clean sheet in their last 27 Premier League London derbies.
Indeed, only Fulham (0.91) have won fewer points per game in Premier League London derbies than Crystal Palace (0.92).
Spurs have won more points in 2018 than any other Premier League side (15 - P7 W4 D3 L0) and are the only side yet to lose so far this year.
Palace have scored five Premier League penalties this season, with no side scoring more (level with Everton and Man City); Spurs are one of three sides (also Leicester and Man City) yet to concede from the spot.
Indeed, the Eagles' last two Premier League goals have been penalties scored by Luka Milivojevic - since his debut last February, the Serbian has scored more Premier League penalties than any other player and more than all but one of the 16 other teams to compete in both seasons (Man City also seven).
Harry Kane has scored 19 goals in his last 14 Premier League games on the road, scoring three hat-tricks in this run (vs Leicester, Hull and Burnley).
Kane has had a hand in three goals in three previous Premier League appearances at Selhurst Park (two goals, one assist).
Kane has scored 13 goals in his last 12 Premier League appearances in the month of February, scoring in both matches this month.
I just don't see how Palace can beat Tottenham without Wilfried Zaha. I actually think they're in trouble, Palace. They've had their run, and I think they lost a bit of focus.
I'm not sure where their next win comes from. They've got some really, really tough games coming up in March, and could easily lose their next three games.
PAUL PREDICTS: 1-3 (11/1 with Sky Bet)