Two teams from London with contrasting ambitions lock horns at the White Hart Lane this weekend, the Lilywhites with their hopes of lifting the lucrative league trophy (and of course, to finish over Arsenal) while the Eagles would look to avoid flirting with the relegation zone. Neither of the two sides have had a start to the campaign the way they must have wished to, with Spurs bagging a point against Everton and Alan Pardew’s men falling short in terms of attacking fluidity against West Bromwich Albion (and had no reply to Salomόn Rondόn’s header). A crucial London derby awaits and here are three key encounters which can go a long way in dictating the outcome of the fixture.
Harry Kane vs. Scott Dann
Eyes are set on Harry Kane, who is one of the finest strikers in the Premier League at the moment, as to when he is going to have a galvanising impact for Spurs this season. The English poacher will test the tensile strength of a stand-out defender in the shape of Scott Dann who made as many as 7 interceptions, 2 interceptions and a block against the Baggies which leaves an evidence that the task to break the shackles is going to be an uphill one for the 23-year-old forward.
Danny Rose vs. Wilfried Zaha
Mauricio Pochettino’s troops rely heavily on the contribution from their full-backs both defensively as well as offensively. The battle of pace between Spurs’ left-back Danny Rose and Eagles’ right-winger Wilfried Zaha should excite the viewers. Rose hasn’t had his best of times dealing with the former Manchester United man. At the south London-based club, Zaha is rediscovering his lost reputation with the creativity and pace he has on his tray and thus, Rose should be constantly aware all the time when he stands up against Zaha.
Toby Alderweireld vs. Connor Wickham
There is a clear dearth in the attacking arsenal for Alan Pardew alongside the lack of notable contribution by the midfielders in the final third, which was indeed one of the reasons for Crystal Palace’s severe fall in the second half of last season. Striker Connor Wickham will be lined up against the physical prowess and resilience of Belgian centre-back Toby Alderweireld who forms a formidable pairing with Jan Vertonghen at the heart of Spurs’ defence, the tearing up of which will indeed be an uphill task for Wickham.