Tottenham vs. Cardiff City
Venue: Wembley Stadium
Kick off: 3PM
Tottenham Hotspur will be looking to continue their ascent up the Premier League table when they welcome a winless Cardiff City side to Wembley Stadium this afternoon.
The Lilywhites have won back-to-back matches in the top flight to climb into fourth place, but they suffered a setback in midweek when losing to Barcelona in the Champions League.
The eventual 4-2 loss was a tough one to take for Mauricho Pochettino, who admitted that he was disappointed to see his side trail within 92 seconds at Wembley, but was ultimately pleased with the fighting spirit shown by his players to make a game of it.
With all due respect to today’s opponents Cardiff, Spurs will expect to have far more possession and a lot more joy across the field compared to Wednesday night in this final Premier League outing before the penultimate international break of the year.
Tottenham will not be too disheartened by their midweek setback, then, even if it does leave them with a huge mountain to climb in Europe following last month’s 2-1 loss to Inter Milan.
Since then, though, they have won three matches in all competitions and lost just once – that two-goal defeat to Barca.
Two of those victories have come away to Brighton & Hove Albion and Huddersfield Town in the league, and now after a three-week absence the Lilywhites are back at Wembley in the top flight.
Meanwhile, Cardiff’s 2-1 defeat to Burnley last weekend was the most crushing of Neil Warnock’s two-year reign in South Wales, with the Bluebirds coming out second best in a match that was billed ‘must-win’ before a ball had been kicked.
The Bluebirds actually produced arguably their best display yet against the Clarets and scored an impressive goal through Josh Murphy to temporarily level things up, but some poor defending cost them a share of the spoils.
That made it four defeats in a row in the Premier League and five in all competitions, having also been dumped out of the EFL Cup by Norwich City in August, while their winless streak stands at eight matches since the start of the season – their joint-worst run since 1964.
Warnock, who celebrates his two-year anniversary in South Wales this week, could be forgiven for blaming the fixture list for his side’s slow start to their second ever Premier League campaign, seeing his side face Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City in quick succession.
Tottenham possible XI: Lloris, Rose, Sanchez, Alderweireld, Trippier, Winks, Dier, Moura, Lamela, Son, Kane.
Cardiff City possible XI: Etheridge, Cunningham, Bamba, Morrison, Manga, Murphy, Ralls, Arter, Camarasa, Paterson, Zobore.