Match date & time: Saturday 16th May 2015. 3pm GMT Kick Off.
Competition: Premier League.
Venue: White Hart Lane.
TV: Not televised in the UK. Worldwide TV listings can be found HERE.
The last home game of the season is upon us, Hull City meet us at the Lane in the penultimate game of the 2014/15 season – with not a lot to play for if you’re from a Tottenham persuasion and everything to play for if you’re associated with Hull City! Premier League survival is on the agenda for the Tigers and they come to White Hart Lane with everything on the line, while we debate among ourselves whether we want Europa League or not, and we don’t really have a choice in the matter whether we end up sixth or seventh! This season hasn’t gone completely to plan, but in Mauricio Pochettino’s first season this is what we expected – an average season but one that showed promise for the future and I think this season certainly has – the emergence of youth has been a massive plus, while getting to the Capital One Cup Final, and beating big sides such as Chelsea and Arsenal – this all shows improvement and although our League form has been unsteady, I’m still very confident in the future under Mauricio Pochettino. Now, let’s hope we can end the season with two wins, and finish as high in the table as we possibly can. We need to make amends after our demoralising and apathetic performance against Stoke City last week, that’s for sure.
Hull City sit in the relegation zone, with 34 points – two points off Sunderland and Newcastle, and three off Leicester. They are desperate for another win and looking at their last two games, I think they’re going to need a miracle. Their loss to Burnley at home has surely sent them down to the Championship, with games against Tottenham and Manchester United to come – it certainly doesn’t loom good for the Tigers – but they will be going into these games all guns blazing – with no pressure of expectancy but instead the ability to cause a massive upset –one win and it looks as though they will be safe – but three points seems like a mountain for Hull City now. In Hull’s last 10 games, they have won only two, with two draws – leaving six defeats in 10 matches which leads you to believe that they will be the side joining Burnley and QPR in the Championship. Sorry Daws. Last time we faced Hull was at the KC Stadium earlier this season, Harry Kane and a late Christian Eriksen strike giving us a 2-1 win, Jake Livermore with their goal. The last time we faced Hull City at White Hart Lane in the Premier League was back in October 2013, Roberto Soldado scoring the only goal from the penalty spot in a 1-0 win. Hopefully this time we can win in more convincing fashion! We are unbeaten against Hull City in the last seven games, winning six and drawing one – we’ll be looking to make it seven out of eight.
The team news for Hull City is that Gaston Ramirez (hamstring), Mohamed Diame (knee), Curtis Davies (hip) and Robert Snodgrass (knee) are all ruled out of the game through injury, while former Spur Jake Livermore (suspension) will also miss the game after being tested positive for cocaine, incredibly – so wont be making a return to White Hart Lane after being sold in the summer. The players that will be making the trip to North London on behalf of the Tigers includes former Tottenham captain Michael Dawson, who will make a return to the club he made 324 appearances for and I am absolutely certain that former fan favourite will get a brilliant reaction when his name is read out at the Lane – and he certainly deserves a good reaction, after being such an amazing servant to the club over his nine year stay. I look forward to seeing ‘Daws’ back on the hallow turf of White Hart Lane, along with another great servant in Tom Huddlestone, who performed really well at Spurs, and scored some absolute crackers! The threats that Hull City have come in the form of Nikica Jelavic who has eight goals this season, and strike partner, bought in January has done a decent job – Dame N’Doye, he has five goals in 13 appearances for Hull – and the partnership between Jelavic and N’Doye, if they can hit form in these last two games, will be their biggest hope of survival – but it’s still a very tall order.
The team news for Tottenham is that Ben Davies (shoulder) and Kyle Walker (foot) remain out while Emmanuel Adebayor (illness) is a doubt for our final home game of the season. Vlad Chiriches is suspended following his red card at Stoke last weekend, but Danny Rose returns after recovering from a slight groin problem. Having Danny Rose back is a massive boost for us – and it means that we have more of an outlet down the left flank, and can move Jan Vertonghen back into his favoured centre back position, which gives us a more solid looking back four than the one we had against Stoke, which simply didn’t work at all. It will be interesting to see whether Pochettino will give DeAndre Yedlin a chance a right back, which will allow Eric Dier to move alongside Vertonghen in the centre, which seems to be our strongest centre back partnership at the moment. Personally, I would chose an inexperienced Yedlin over a mistake prone Federico Fazio at this moment in time.
In our last home game of the season, I’m hoping to see a performance that can send us off into the summer feeling good, rather than underwhelmed. Despite a hard season, with highs and lows, we do have a very good foundation for the future, with a first team built around youth, with more exciting youth looking set to come through, with the guidance of Mauricio Pochettino, who has certainly helped Harry Kane become the striking force he is today and the improvement of Danny Rose has also been a success of Pochettino’s. Now, I hope next season Erik Lamela can improve further, while Christian Eriksen should be looking to be more consistent and effective on the ball. The Kane and Eriksen partnership should be one that teams fear even further next season, and even though both players have contributed 30 Premier League goals between them, I hope their partnership can grow, and the assists between them can grow as well as the goals. It will be nice to see that partnership in full force against Hull City. Even though we do have two games left of this season, it is gearing up to next term now, with Champions League fully out of the equation and only Europa League to play for, which we all wouldn’t be totally upset to see us miss out on, even though I would miss the European nights at White Hart Lane – but it would help to have a rest from the competition that without full attention, isn’t really possible to win. But, with two games to go – I want to win them – which would secure our place in the Europa League, so I am certainly not going to be wishing defeat on Tottenham, that’s for sure!
Match stats provided by StatsZone:
– Tottenham have won four and lost none of their last six Barclays Premier League fixtures against Hull City.
– Hull have scored just five goals in seven previous Premier League games against Spurs and never more than once in a match.
– Harry Kane’s goals and assists have won Tottenham 26 points this season; more than any other player in the division.
– However, Kane has scored just once in his last six Premier League appearances.
– Hull City have never won a Premier League game in the month of May (W0 D3 L8).
– The Tigers have conceded a league-high 13 goals from outside the box this season.
– No player has scored more match-winning goals in the Premier League this term than Christian Eriksen (7, same as Eden Hazard).
– Hull’s victory last time out on the road (v Crystal Palace) was their first away win in eight attempts (D2 L5).
– Tottenham have gained 10 points from losing positions at home this season, more than any other side.
– Spurs have failed to score in their last two PL games; they’ve not gone three in a row without a goal since November 2013.
Prediction data collected through the Forza Football app:
Tottenham win: 78% of fans.
Hull win: 14% of fans.
Draw: 9% of fans.
In our final game of the season at White Hart Lane, donning the new kit, let’s hope we can get the three points against a struggling Hull City side and help secure our spot ahead of both Southampton and Swansea, getting closer to Liverpool in 5th. I’ll be at White Hart Lane, but I will attempt to get you updates live from the Lane on twitter, follow me at @AddictedToSpurs. Up the Spurs!! COYS!!
My predicted/preferred side to face Hull City at WHL:
Yedlin – Dier – Vertonghen – Rose
Mason – Bentaleb
Lamela – Eriksen – Chadli
Mauricio Pochettino previews Hull City and reacts to Brad Friedel’s retirement: