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Wolves v Spurs: Preview, Team News & Predicted Score

With the international break out of the way Spurs head to Wolves and the start of the season couldn’t be more contrasting for the two clubs. Wolves have started undefeated with two wins and a draw, whilst Spurs have been comprehensively beaten by the two Manchester juggernauts.

Saturday however should see a different Spurs side take the pitch than the one that capitulated at home to Manchester City. Much needed character has been added in the shape of Scott Parker and Emmanuel Adebayor and both should make their debuts in Lilywhite.

This fixture last year neatly summed up both clubs seasons, Spurs dropping points at a struggling side when they had been the better team. Wolves fightback was characteristic of them but in all honesty Spurs surrendered maximum points as Harry Redknapp wasn’t brave enough to try and close the game out.

With their undefeated and impressive start to the season Mick McCarthy’s men will hope they can take advantage of Spurs poor form. Wolves have never started a season with four games unbeaten while Spurs, even through extremely dark times, have never lost their first three games of a season.

Wolves team news

The biggest news from Spurs point of view is that the dangerous winger Matty Jarvis is unavailable due to injury. Over the last couple of years Jarvis has come to the fore as a Premier League player and earned his first England cap versus Ghana in March. It will be interesting to see who gets the nod in his place. It could well be a chance for former ‘future England winger’ Michael Kightly to shine. Kightly was rejected by Spurs as a schoolboy so will be keen to impress if he does get a chance. Mick McCarthy is unlikely to make many other changes after their good start. Another with a point to prove against Spurs will be Jamie O’Hara, he must have looked at Spurs midfields against United and City and thought about what could have been.

O’Hara has more off target shots than anyone else in the Premier League this season, so with Spurs luck its pretty much guaranteed that he’ll score a cracker from distance. Alongside O’Hara in midfield Karl Henry will look to impose himself on Spurs and he will provide Scott Parker with a big challenge. Without Jarvis, Steven Hunt will carry a lot of the responsibility for supplying Doyle and Fletcher with scoring chances. At the back Roger Johnson has added much needed stability and a never say die attitude, though he and his fellow defenders will need to be on top of their game against Emmanuel Adebayor.

Spurs team news

Spurs still top Premier League injury table with Rafael van der Vaart and Aaron Lennon joining Ledley King, William Gallas and Steven Pienaar on the sidelines. Despite conceding eight goals in two games, Brad Friedel has been impressive and is sure to start. Friedel has made more saves per 90 minutes (7.5) than any other keeper in the Premier League this season and he will hope that the midfield and defence are able to give him a quieter day this time out. Dawson and Kaboul will be looking to improve on their woeful showing at White Hart Lane over the Bank Holiday weekend while Kyle Walker will want to restart his season after illness if he gets the right back slot ahead of Corluka.

There is no reason why Benoit Assou-Ekotto won’t start at left back, in typical Benny style he was one of the few to come out of the United and City games with any credit. Spurs midfield should have a different look from the last time out, with Lennon injured Redknapp has a couple of options available to him. His most likely choice will be playing Gareth Bale on the right as he has done impressively for Wales with Niko Kranjcar getting a reprieve and playing from the left. Many would like to see Giovanni Dos Santos get an opportunity but this tricky away tie is unlikely to see Redknapp take that risk.

In the centre Scott Parker will surely start, leaving Redknapp to decide if Luka Modrics’ head is ‘right’ for this game. Spurs Croatian playmaker was in fine form for his country midweek, scoring with a cracking 25 yard effort. It remains to be seen if he’s still able to perform to his best in a Spurs shirt. If Modric isn’t ‘right’ then it seems certain that Tom Huddlestone will get the nod and he will look to re-establish his credentials if he gets the chance. Injury to Rafa Van der Vaart means that Redknapp is set to go with his preferred 4-4-2 formation and it would be a surprise if the front two weren’t Adebayor and Jermain Defoe. This little and large combo could well be the key to Spurs getting anything out of this game, it will be interesting to see how the combine in their first outing together.

My Prediction

It’s too early for Spurs fans and management to panic but with Wolves in good form this game could very easily end with Spurs having their worst ever start to a season and no points from three games. Thats a soundbite that Harry Redknapp certainly wouldn’t repeat ad infinitum. It will be hoped that the international break has slowed Wolves momentum and that Spurs new signings can reinvigorate a listless team. Even with Wolves on top form, if this Spurs team are at it then a win will surely be forthcoming, with no disrespect to Wolves, simply put Spurs are better in every position.

There are a lot of ‘if’s’ and ‘buts’ about it though and as Spurs fans know, against supposedly inferior opposition is when Spurs can do their worst. Spurs really need to kickstart their season and with a trip to Greece in the Europa League and Liverpool visiting The Lane in the next two fixtures, it really needs to happen this Saturday. Therefore the optimist in me (not sure why he always shows his face at prediction time) says Spurs are going to win 2-1* and Emmanuel Adebayor will grab a debut brace.

*Note: as well as optimistic my predictions have been woefully inaccurate so far this season, so take it with a pinch of salt.


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