Top four hopefuls Tottenham Hotspur take on relegation candidates Bournemouth in what is a must-win clash for both teams. Three points are absolutely vital for both teams here and it will be an intriguing game, given the game witnessed the last time there two sides met.
Tottenham Hotspur are currently in 5th place, three points behind Manchester United, having played a game more than the Red Devils. The North London club are eager to finish in the Champions League this season and are still within the race despite having a tumultuous season so far. Antonio Conte was sacked a couple weeks ago and his assistant manager Cristian Stellini was named as the caretaker manager. So far under Stellini, Spurs have drawn one and won another, with the win coming in their last game against Brighton and Hove Albion. It was a controversial game with the Seagulls feeling hard done by some referee decisions, but the Lilywhites were glad to take home the three points against a particularly tough opposition. They face a rejuvenated Bournemouth at home, who are involved in a fierce relegation battle. Spurs have a number of weaknesses which have been exploited by multiple opposition clubs of late, and Stellini will be hoping for a strong performance on Saturday. With the North Londoners playing a day before Manchester United, their top four rivals, a win would help them heap pressure on the Mancunians and give them something to think about ahead of their game on Sunday.
Bournemouth are in somewhat of a good form heading into this tie, having won three of their last six games, including wins over Liverpool and Fulham. They have climbed upto 15th place in the league, albeit only three points off the relegation zone. The gap between the bottom three and 12th place is only six points and things have never been tighter in the relegation battle. The Cherries have improved under Gary O’Neil, who took over the reins after Scott Parker was fired just four weeks into the season following a crushing 9-0 defeat. The 39-year-old steadied the ship and then guided the club to some strong results over the course of the season. They have put in solid displays against superior oppositions and have made a strong showing in their battle for survival. The Cherries were last in action against Leicester City away from home, as the South Coast club earned three vital points against another relegation-threatened candidate. A first-half Phillip Billing strike gave the visitors the lead, and they held on to it despite having a number of chances to increase their lead. Gary O’Neil was pleased with the performance and will be demanding a similar type of intensity against a side who is facing multiple issues of their own.
WHEN & WHERE?
Date: Saturday, 15th April 2023.
Time: 3.00 pm BST
Venue: Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London.
Referee: Andy Madley.
Assistants: Harry Lennard, Nick Hopton.
Fourth official: Andy Davies.
VAR: Tony Harrington.
Assistant VAR: Marc Perry.
Tottenham Hotspur will be without midfielders Rodrigo Bentancur and Yves Bissouma, with both set to be on the treatment table for some time along with Ryan Sessegnon. Defender Ben Davies is making good progress but is expected to miss out on Saturday’s game. There was some good news for Spurs fans last week as Richarlison recovered from an injury to make the bench against Brighton, and could be set for more minutes this weekend. Lucas Moura received a straight red card for a rash challenge against Everton and will miss out against Bournemouth. Former Bournemouth winger Arnaut Danjuma, who is on-loan at Spurs from Villarreal, could be in line for another substitute appearance.
Bournemouth have a few concerns with influential defender Marco Senesi a huge doubt ahead of Saturday’s trip to the capital. Along with him midfielder Hamad Traore will be assessed as well.
The ever-present Spurs striker has had a stellar season, despite the team struggling at times. Only Erling Haaland of Man City has scored more league goals than the 29-year-old this season, with Harry Kane having 23 goals so far. His future has been the subject of much debate, with many urging the England captain to leave Spurs in search of silverware, but Kane insists he is focused on finishing the season with Lilywhites as strongly as possible and hopefully with a top four spot. He has been the most reliable player for the North Londoners for many years now, and they will be relying on him once again on Saturday, spearheading the Spurs attack.
The former Liverpool man was tipped to be a future star after showing a lot of promise at the youth stage, but it has not worked out as well as he had hoped for. He left Merseyside in search of regular game time and found home with the Cherries for whom he has led the attack since 2019. Dominic has not been able to replicate his imperious goalscoring form from the Championship last season, where he scored 29 goals in 40 games, but has been a constant threat in that Cherries side. He has scored only once in more than 10 games, but has had the most shots inside the box over the last six games of any Bournemouth player. Solanke has the ability to get into dangerous spaces behind opposition defense and can be of great effect against a Spurs side who has not kept a cleansheet in the last five league games.
Tottenham Hotspur predicted lineup vs AFC Bournemouth: Hugo Lloris; Cristian Romero, Eric Dier, Clement Lenglet; Pedro Porro, Oliver Skipp, Pierre-Emilie Hojbjerg, Ivan Perisic; Dejan Kulusevski, Son Heung-min; Harry Kane.
AFC Bournemouth predicted lineup vs Tottenham Hotspur: Neto; Adam Smith, Jack Stephens, Chris Mepham, Lloyd Kelly; Jefferson Lerma, Joe Rothwell; Ryan Christie, Phillip Billing, Marcus Tavernier; Dominic Solanke.