Tottenham’s European campaign has gone up in smoke as they failed to advance from the group stage, including a defeat to Mura and another that was awarded to Rennes under Antonio Conte.
However, they’re unbeaten domestically under new management, winning four of six games, with the latest result seeing them through to the League Cup semi finals after downing West Ham.
Antonio Conte’s coaching is starting to yield results and Lucas Moura has perhaps been the biggest beneficiary, though in the midweek League Cup win over West Ham, the likes of Harry Winks, Dele Alli and Steven Bergwijn all gave reminders of their quality.
Still, this team is a work in progress and although there are encouraging signs, Conte won’t be getting carried away by the uptick in form.
Although a League Cup encounter with his former club Chelsea will captivate attention, especially for a club that last lifted a trophy back in 2008, Conte’s biggest goal will be to challenge for fourth place.
They’re just six points adrift of Arsenal with three games in hand, but despite a visit to Southampton just two days after this clash, he’ll be fielding his strongest available team here with Palace representing a potential banana skin.
Both Teams To Score
Indeed, the Eagles have already beaten Tottenham 3-0 this season, though that came back in September under different management.
More recently, after a three-game losing streak as Palace went down by narrow margins to each of Aston Villa, Leeds and Man Utd, they’ve recovered a little in their past two outings as they downed Everton 3-1 and fought back to earn a draw hosting Southampton.
Still, that leaves them without a clean sheet in six appearances, while they’ve managed just two in 13. They won just three of these games (W3-D6-L4), so it would be a surprise if they picked up more than a point here against an improving Spurs.
In all competitions, the hosts have only managed three clean sheets in seven matches played under Antonio Conte.
These came against an Everton side that were in the midst of a run of six defeats from seven games, as well as home encounters with promoted duo Brentford and Norwich, so it may take the Italian a little longer to get his defence in order.
That’s especially the case with his best defender, Cristian Romero, remaining sidelined with a hamstring injury, so both teams should fancy their chances of registering on the board.
BOTH TEAMS TO SCORE