Tottenham expected 4-2-3-1 v Crystal Palace: Defensive duo axed as 26-year-old returns
By Will Butcher
Mauricio Pochettino is expected to make two changes to his Tottenham side as they travel across London to Selhurst Park to face Crystal Palace on Wednesday evening.
Spurs will be looking to keep the pressure on league leaders Chelsea with a 22nd league win of the season against Sam Allardyce’s Eagles, but will come up against a side in a rich vein of form.
Palace have won six of their last eight league games against the likes of Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool, and could add Spurs to their latest Premier League scalps on home soil.
Pochettino is likely to revert to a four-man defence after shipping four goals against Chelsea in the FA Cup semi-final on Saturday, which could see Ben Davies and Kyle Walker return.
The inclusion of 26-year-old Walker and Wales international Davies is likely to see Eric Dier and Kieran Trippier drop to the bench.
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Skipper Hugo Lloris should remain between the sticks for north London giants Spurs, despite conceding more than two goals for the first time during his 37 appearances this term against Chelsea.
Walker is expected to replace Trippier at right-back, while Dier could be the one to miss out at centre-back as Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld look set remain at the heart of the defence.
The duo will look to cope with target man Christian Benteke, while Davies continues to deputise for England international Danny Rose.
The absence of crocked star Harry Winks should see Mousa Dembele and Victor Wanyama continue to strengthen their partnership in the middle of the park.
Dele Alli will be in buoyant mood after winning the PFA young player of the year award for a second successive year, and he is expected to start in the number 10 role.
He scored in the 4-2 loss to Chelsea, along with striker Harry Kane who remains Spurs’ undisputed number one striker. The free-scoring duo should be joined by Christian Eriksen and Son Heung-Min on the flanks.
Spurs will be hoping for a repeat of the reverse fixture that saw Tottenham earn a 1-0 win over Palace back in August, while hoping Chelsea lose to Southampton on Tuesday.
In other Tottenham news, Stan Collymore has predicted Spurs’ clash against Palace.