Spurs vs Bolton: Preview and Predicted Score

By on February 5, 2011

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“We may allow ourselves a brief period of rejoicing; but let us not forget for a moment the toil and efforts that lie ahead. We must now devote all our strength and resources to the completion of our task, both at home and abroad.”

~ Winston Churchill (1945)

It’s been a slightly frantic, stressful and relieving week all rolled into one. With the embarrassing and frustrating transfer window closing, then the news of Luka Modric’s injury many Spurs fans were downbeat and not looking forward to the Blackburn game. However, the re-introduction of the 4-4-2 formation, a battling 1-0 victory over an improving Blackburn side and comments about looking forward to tomorrow’s game against Bolton have been all the rage.

I’ve finally managed to use my wild card in the Premier League fantasy football game and now it’s done I feel I can sympathise with Redknapp and Levy a little more. It’s not easy getting the right players into your team when you’ve got a limited bankroll and as much as we’d both like to buy more strikers there’s only room for so many. I’m not sure if that’s a game imitating life or the other way round.

So after the much needed win on Wednesday night we’re back on the top 4 trail and we should have the sweet smell of revenge on our minds. Back in November we were spanked 4-2 and that scoreline didn’t tell the whole story. A 4-0 victory for the trotters would’ve resembled the match a lot better. Both teams have had a dip in form of late but managed to win in midweek, Bolton’s thanks to a last minute winner from on loan Daniel Sturridge, a player we could’ve looked at loaning too? Our victory was down to playing 4-4-2 and having a little bit of luck but at this stage in the season it’s all about the 3 points.

With that in mind I can honestly say I don’t care how we play today. Normally I like to be entertained and as a Spurs fan I wouldn’t except long term boring football but sometimes you just need to fight yourself out of a rut and make no mistake that’s what we’re in. One victory doesn’t mean all is rosy in the Tottenham garden but it should result in shoots of recovery showing. Stick to what we did well against Blackburn, add to that home advantage and we should be golden. There are rumours Bale could return (although unlikely) which could be spectacular if played correctly. Imagine a midfield of Lennon, vdV, Palacios/Jenas, Bale. vdV could slip into Modric’s role while he’s injured very nicely, especially at white hart lane. If he’s not back then so be it, play the same team as Wednesday with the exception of Dawson returning from his suspension.

It must be 4-4-2 and after their performance on Wednesday I have no problem keeping the same midfield although I’d still like to see Lennon back on the right and vdV on the left. What we can’t do is revert back to type and play 4-4-1-1. All these formations we’ve played that have seemed alien to the players have been to try and fit vdV into his favoured position behind a striker. Wednesday showed he has no problem playing out wide, or at least starting out wide and joining play making it a 4-3-3 or 4-3-1-2 when we’ve got the ball. Being a home game we should be able to get our midfield closer to the strikers too than we did on Wednesday so we could really hem them in, which is what we’ll need to do to stop Kevin Davies from scoring.

I suggested last summer that we signed him. Not only because I thought he’d be good for the team but also because it’s probably the only way we could guarantee him not scoring against us. He’s a pesky little so and so, throwing his elbows around, holding up the ball and bringing midfielders into the game but when you think of that type of striker there aren’t many better in the premier league. Without playing against us his goals to games ratio would be even worse than it already is but as he showed in the game at the Reebok for some reason we struggle to deal with him and when he’s on form he’s nearly impossible to stop.

That being said I think we may have turned a little corner. We haven’t got round it completely and we’re still on the apex of the bend if you like but with our home record being what it is, following on from a good win midweek I think we’ll continue to put the pressure on those above us. The next few weeks we’ve got a real chance of doing just that too. Chelsea and City have both got to play United and with Chelsea playing a resurgent Liverpool side on Sunday we could find ourselves level on points with them again if we can win.

I’ll reiterate my point about winning. That’s what it’s all about. Nothing more, nothing less. Last season we needed to beat Bolton at home and managed it thanks to a THud missile into the top corner which led to the meeting in Manchester. This season is no different. We didn’t play particularly well then and we don’t need to now, just get those 3 points. No excuses. Who cares if the referee’s Mark Clattenburg, he owes us one after the Old Trafford fiasco anyway. Bolton will come out firing, hoping to catch us cold. Owen Coyle (a possible future Spurs boss perhaps?) will be telling his players if they can get the first goal the fans will become restless and the players nervous but that shouldn’t be the case. In fact, the pressure’s off the team really now. No-one expects us to get into the top 4 again this season so we should be playing with freedom and conviction.

Like Wednesday, it’s easy. Pick the right team, play the right formation and play to win. If we do that the 3 points will be ours. If we mess around again Bolton have the players to hurt us where it counts.

My Prediction: Spurs 2 – 0 Bolton Defoe to bag a brace.

COYS

Submitted by THFC1882

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