Fourth-placed Tottenham welcome a winless Cardiff to Wembley Stadium in the eighth round of the Premier League (PL). Two straight wins have sent ‘Spurs’ into the top four, whereas Cardiff currently avoid the bottom position courtesy of goal difference alone.
Tottenham were on the receiving end of a football lesson in midweek, as Barcelona beat them 4-2 here after a Messi masterclass. The defeat highlighted a possible trend of a more vulnerable Tottenham this season; in 53 matches in all competitions last season they lost just eleven matches (20%), whereas this season they’ve lost four in ten (40%).
Saturday’s opponent, however, is of a different caliber and if not counting the current top two (Man City and Liverpool), Tottenham have won eight home PL matches in a row while scoring 2+ goals on six occasions and keeping the same number of clean sheets.
Cardiff (W0, D2, L5) have only scored four goals, and worse, created just five big chances outside those. At the other end, they’ve kept clean sheets in two ‘bore’ draws against the other two teams in the bottom three.
However, when Cardiff fail to keep a clean sheet, they concede for fun, shipping 2+ goals in six-straight games of that ilk this season.
Players to watch: Harry Kane has scored four goals in his last three matches (in all competitions). Josh Murphy, meanwhile, finally got his first PL goal of the season in the last round.
Stat attack: Six of Tottenham’s seven PL matches this season have ended with over 2.5 goals (highest in the league).
Cardiff, meanwhile, are the only team who’ve seen three matches end with a total of over 3.5 goals this season.
Averaging just 1.3 yellow cards per match each, the referee might have a quiet afternoon at Wembley.
Fifteen of Tottenham’s 23 league wins last season were with a 2+ goal margin, so far this season that is the case with three of five.
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Will not play
Referee: Dean M. (Eng)
Venue: Wembley Stadium (London)