All eyes are focused on Gareth Bale, even it is 99 percent sure that he won’t play on this match.
The Welshman is connect with transfer to Real Madrid and he has been training on his own due to injury. He joined Wales national team for the friendly match against Republic of Ireland on Wednesday, but did not take part. Bale has scored 21 goal last season and finished third in the Premier League list, just behind Robin van Persie and Luis Suarez. But Tottenham failed to reach the Champions League participation and now Bale want to leave the club. The only question is about the prize. Manchester United is also involved in the talks about Bale’s future, but it is clear Real Madrid is closer to him.
Crystal Palace had a mixed preseason campaign, they managed to beat a number of lower league teams (4:1 against Dulwich Hamlet and 4:0 against Waterford) before being defeated 0:1 by Lazio last weekend. The manager Ian Holloway is facing a hard job to secure the status, especially after the Eagles lost their star player form the previous seasons Wilfried Zaha. Zaha was loaned by Manchester United and now returned to the parent club. According to me, Crystal Palace is weaker now, even some new players joined the squad including the Morocco striker Marouanne Chamakh from Arsenal. Holloway has two unavailable players for this match – Glenn Murray and Jerome Thomas.
I already wrote about Bale “saga”. But Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas has brought some new players to the squad – Roberto Soldado, Paulinho and Nacer Chadli are the biggest acquisitions. Soldado, who came from Valencia, marked his White Hart Lane debut with a goal against Espanyol last weekend. The captain Michael Dawson has been impressed by the new additions, especially Soldado, who has scored 20 goals per season for Valencia over the last three campaigns.
– He can send you here, there and everywhere with his touches and movement. I know, I’ve seen it in training, Dawson said. He is a top signing and he is someone that I am sure the fans will come to adore.
So, with or without Bale, Tottenham have a respectable squad able to fight for top-four position on the table. Villas-Boas will be without Jan Vertonghen and Lewis Holtby for this trip, but I think that’s not a problem as he has a big roster.
It is clear Tottenham are favorites on this match. However, this is a London derby and everything is possible. Last time when Tottenham visited Selhurst Park was in January 2005. Interesting, Crystal Palace totally outplayed them and won 3:0. It is clear throughout the years that derbies sometimes are producing surprises, but I believe Tottenham will leave Selhurst Park with three points.