Tottenham vs Bournemouth preview: Dele Alli a Boxing Day doubt
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Last Updated: 26/12/18 1:19pm
Tottenham host Bournemouth at Wembley on Boxing Day, hoping to maintain the free-flowing football they showed against Everton.
Fresh from their impressive 6-2 thrashing of the Toffees, Spurs have now won 23 of their last 30 Premier League games, including the last four on the spin.
In fact, Spurs have taken 82 points from their 36 Premier League games in 2018 (W25 D4 L6) - only Man City (85 from 35) have taken more points this year. Liverpool have also taken 82 points but from 35 games.
Harry Kane and Son Heung-min scored twice as third-placed Tottenham closed within two points of Manchester City and six points of leader Liverpool after their thrilling victory at Goodison Park on Sunday.
"I still believe Liverpool and Manchester City are the real contenders and favourites to win the Premier League," boss Mauricio Pochettino said when asked about a title challenge. "I think there is still a long way to go for me to say we are real contenders.
"If we are able to be consistent and play in the way we did here I think yes, maybe, we could then be a real contender, but there is still a long way. Being involved in four competitions will be tough, but we are going to try."
Bournemouth have lost five of the six Premier League meetings between the two sides with their only point against Spurs coming in a goalless draw at the Vitality Stadium in October 2016.
"We've found the games against Tottenham difficult," Eddie Howe admitted. "They are a very good team and we've had some good matches against them."
Tottenham midfielder Dele Alli is a doubt for the visit of Bournemouth.
The England international was forced off at half-time of Sunday's 6-2 win over Everton with a minor hamstring problem and may not be risked.
Fellow midfielder Moussa Sissoko could be rested after playing all but seven minutes of the last five matches.
Bournemouth team news to follow.....
- Since losing their first ever meeting (1-3 in February 1957), Spurs are unbeaten in their six games against Bournemouth in all competitions (W5 D1).
- Bournemouth have never beaten Spurs in league competition (P6 W0 D1 L5), with each of those six games coming in the Premier League since the start of the 2015/16 season.
- Spurs have won each of their three home games against Bournemouth in the Premier League, scoring eight goals and keeping a clean sheet on each occasion.
- Bournemouth have conceded 17 goals in their six Premier League games against Spurs, at an average of 2.8 per game.
- Spurs striker Harry Kane has been directly involved in seven goals in five Premier League appearances against Bournemouth (six goals and one assist).
Christmas is for football
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I expect Spurs to win this and if they do, they are still in the title hunt. This is a much easier game than Man City have, in my opinion, and before you know it, they can be challengers.
So it is funny how it works, but I think Spurs will win this one as Bournemouth are a funny team - they lose six out of seven, then they win on Saturday and they are one of those teams that could now go and win six on the trot…
PAUL PREDICTS: 3-0 (9/1 with Sky Bet)