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Tottenham Hotspur-Crystal Palace Preview
No matter what the competition, Tottenham Hotspur continue to find ways to win.
Shifting the focus to the Premier League, Spurs look for a fourth consecutive victory over all competitions Saturday, when they face Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.
After falling to Manchester City 1-0 in a hard-fought top-flight contest on Oct. 29, Tottenham (8-0-3) have been perfect in three matches. That run started with a 3-1 victory over West Ham United in League Cup action on Halloween, followed with a 3-2 win at Wolves in the Premier League and Tuesday's comeback 2-1 triumph over PSV Eindhoven in the Champions League.
"It is a very positive situation to be in," striker Fernando Llorente, who reportedly took the high road despite reports he want out of the club, told Spurs' official website. "We are still alive in the Champions League, but we have to continue to work hard and a get a result in the important game against Crystal Palace now."
Tottenham currently sit fourth in the Premier League table, one point ahead of Arsenal and five off the lead held by Man City. Star Harry Kane scored twice Tuesday, one assisted by Llorente, and snapped a three-game Premier League goal drought last weekend against Wolverhampton. He scored in the 88th minute to give Tottenham a 1-0 league victory at Selhurst in February - the club's fourth consecutive victory over Palace by that same scoreline.
Whilst Kane should be around to help Spurs try to continue their recent success over the Eagles, teammates Eric Dier and Victor Wanyama could also be fit for this contest. However, injured defenders Danny Rose and Jan Vertonghen both remain out for Spurs.Fitness does not appear to be a major issue for Crystal Palace (2-2-7), who remain without injured forward Christian Benteke, but have plenty of other options up front. The problem for Palace is that none of those options provide consistent offence at the moment.Palace have recorded three goals in the last two league games to match their total from the previous eight, but are 0-2-4 since a 1-0 victory over Huddersfield Town on Sept. 15.
"I can't in any way criticise or complain about what the players are trying to do either in training or in matches, and I'm sure that (the goals) will come when the ball goes in for us," manager Roy Hodgson told Palace's official website. "But, as I say, we've scored three in the last games. "The only thing we can do is keep trying to give those performances, and hope that if there is any luck going, it goes our way."
The Eagles are 14th in the table, but just two points off the relegation zone as they continue a rough Premier League stretch that's featured games with Arsenal, Chelsea, now Spurs, then Manchester United.
"We need to go into the matches game by game, and the next one is Tottenham, which we know will be another tough one," Palace midfielder Luka Milivojevic said. "We need to have more belief in ourselves because we do have a good squad with quality players and have shown since the beginning of the season, we can play the type of football you need to play at this level. We know we have lost many points, that's obvious, and we don't need anyone to tell us that, but we need to try to have that (belief) we can take points from the games coming up."
Updated November 8, 2018