Football Predictions

Tottenham vs Crystal Palace: predictions & expected XIs for the first PL game at Spurs’ new stadium

By Steve Jennings

Published: 16:14, 2 April 2019

Tottenham Hotspur will usher in a new era on Wednesday night when they host Crystal Palace in the first game at the club’s new stadium.

Mauricio Pochettino’s side go into the match off the back of four defeats in their last five Premier League outings – drawing the other – so only a win will do in front of what is expected to be a 62,000-strong capacity crowd.

Meanwhile, Palace are aiming to move further away from the relegation zone and will be keen to upset the Spurs party.

With the pressure building on Tottenham to revive their bid for Champions League qualification, it’s certain to be an edgy contest on an otherwise celebratory evening.

Read on for Tottenham v Crystal Palace TV channel info, stats, predicted XIs and team news.

When is Tottenham vs Crystal Palace?

Competition: Premier League

Venue: Tottenham Hotspur Stadium

Date: Wednesday, April 3

Kick-off: 7.45 PM BST

Where can I watch the match live?

Tottenham vs Crystal Palace isn’t being televised in the UK, but the stadium’s opening ceremony is. Coverage starts at 7pm on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Premier League, channels 401 and 402 respectively on Sky and channels 511 and 512 respectively for Virgin Media users.

Sky Sports will also be broadcasting the opening ceremony on its Twitter, Facebook and YouTube accounts, as well as the Sky Sports app.

Head-to-head

Tottenham ran out 1-0 winners in this season’s reverse fixture at Selhurst Park thanks to Juan Foyth’s winner. Palace took revenge in January with a 2-0 home win in the FA Cup fourth round.

Spurs have won their last seven Premier League league meetings with Palace, six of which ended 1-0.

Tottenham wins: 29 Draws: 13 Crystal Palace wins: 12

Match Preview

Will Spurs respond to the new stadium’s carnival atmosphere?

Tottenham have been waiting for this for some time. After constant safety issues and repeated delays, the club will finally play at its brand new, £1bn, White Hart Lane-based stadium for the first time.

The occasion comes at a strange time for the team. Sunday’s late defeat at Liverpool was Spurs’ fourth defeat in five Premier League games, a run of form which has seen them leapfrogged by fierce rivals Arsenal.

Indeed, their place in the top four is now under serious threat, making Wednesday night a must-win match. The crowd will certainly be behind the team as they test the new stadium’s acoustics – but will the players respond?

Put simply, they have to. Tottenham can’t afford to drop any more points at home if they are to qualify for the Champions League. What’s more, stopping the domestic rot as soon as possible could be crucial to changing the mood ahead of a Champions League quarter-final clash with Manchester City.

Are Palace still embroiled in the relegation dogfight?

Palace are currently eight points clear of 18th-placed Cardiff City and just four points off the magic 40-point tally which is usually enough to ensure survival.

With seven matches to play, the Eagles have a good chance of picking up the four points needed to reach the 40 mark, and they will hope to get at least one of those points on Wednesday.

Roy Hodgson’s men will be aiming to feed off the anxiety that could seep into the home crowd if Tottenham fail to score in the first half. The Eagles will then look to the likes of Wilfried Zaha and Andros Townsend to hit the hosts on the break.

Even if they lose, however, Palace still have opportunities to pick up points in their following matches. It would certainly be a surprise to see them relegated considering their current position.

Will Mauricio Pochettino drop Hugo Lloris?

In the aftermath of Sunday’s loss to Liverpool, former Spurs midfielder Jermaine Jenas said what a lot of the supporters were thinking.

“As ruthless as it sounds, if I was Pochettino I would seriously be considering starting the Argentina international [Paulo Gazzaniga] in Wednesday’s game against Crystal Palace,” Jenas said.

Hugo Lloris was at fault for Liverpool’s winner on Sunday, the latest in a long line of costly errors for club and country over the last couple of years.

However, Pochettino has confirmed, via Football London, he won’t be dropping his captain: “No doubt Hugo is one of the best and will be in goal tomorrow.”

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Team news

Eric Dier (hip) and Serge Aurier (hamstring) are still sidelined for Spurs, while Erik Lamela (hamstring) and Fernando Llorente (concussion) have been added to the injury list.

Harry Winks (groin) only returned to training on Tuesday and so is unlikely to start.

Bakary Sako (knee) is Palace’s only long-term absentee after Wilfried Zaha and Aaron Wan-Bissaka recovered from injuries to face Huddersfield Town at the weekend.

Three ways Spurs could line up

1. Keep faith in the nearly men

Tottenham were so close to pulling off a surprise victory at Anfield on Sunday. Had Moussa Sissoko taken a gilt-edged chance at 1-1, things could have been very different for both Spurs and Liverpool.

Instead, the Londoners fell to a painful late defeat. But Pochettino was hugely encouraged by his side’s performance and could put out a near-identical line-up against Palace.

If Pochettino opts against drastic changes, Ben Davies is still likely to come in for Danny Rose as the left-backs are almost always rotated game to game.

3-5-2: Lloris; Alderweireld, Sanchez, Vertonghen; Trippier, Eriksen, Sissoko, Alli, Davies; Lucas, Kane.

2. Four at the back and another attacker

Son Heung-min was a surprise absentee from Tottenham’s starting line-up at Anfield. The Korean has understandably looked tired of late due to his international exploits throughout the campaign.

His replacement, Lucas Moura, put in his best display for some time and scored Spurs’ equalising goal. As a result, Pochettino might want to start both Lucas and Son against Palace.

Doing so would mean sacrificing a defender as there are no more midfielders to take out. Pochettino could bring Son in for Davinson Sanchez, switching to four at the back and giving his side a more attacking outlook.

4-3-3: Lloris; Trippier, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Davies; Eriksen, Sissoko, Alli; Lucas, Kane, Son.

3. Usher in a new era with youth

Wednesday marks a fresh start for Tottenham, and Pochettino might be keen to begin the new era with a look to the future.

That said, he must get the balance between youth and experience right. Juan Foyth, Kyle Walker-Peters and Oliver Skipp might all come into the team, but not if it means sacrificing necessary experience.

Despite their uncertain futures at the club, Toby Alderweireld and Christian Eriksen should retain their places, so it’s Sanchez and Lucas who could be the unlucky players to end up on among the substitutes.

Trippier’s indifferent form is a good excuse to introduce Walker-Peters, while Son and Lucas will be ideal options to use from the bench.

3-4-2-1: Lloris; Alderweireld, Foyth, Vertonghen; Walker-Peters, Sissoko, Skipp, Davies; Eriksen, Alli; Kane.

Squawka prediction

Tottenham are more desperate for the points than Palace, which could work both for and against the hosts. With the crowd behind them and a sense of injustice driving them on after Sunday’s unfortunate defeat, Spurs should have just enough to edge the contest. Tottenham 2-1 Crystal Palace.