The final game of the season preview: C. Palace v Tottenham Hotspur
The final game of the season preview: C. Palace v Tottenham
Well, we are finally here, over two months late… but here, nevertheless.
For those that are waiting for that big day to arrive, let me just picture it; the day rushes fast by until you are sat in front of your computer/ TV screen or radio listening to a commentators words rattling around an eerie stadium as you clutch your beer/ wine/ partner or pet. Sitting alone, together or in the company of other people in your rubber walled safe place. Whatever, once there you will be enthralled as your transfixed eyes watch every movement, waiting, anticipating that goal that would put us one-nil up, then two, three, four. As this is all happening our eyes flicker to our smartphones looking at the other results coming in hoping that you will see that Chelsea has gone one or two up against the Wolves. There you go, if I am proven right call me whatever you like, just not too late for that point you want to buy me.
So, let us start off with the Team News
First up: Palace
Crystal Palace captain Luka Milivojevic might be fit to return from a knee injury that ruled him out at Wolves. Mamadou Sakho is definitely out, along with James Tomkins, Patrick van Aanholt, Gary Cahill and the suspended Christian Benteke.
Now we move on to: Spurs
Alli is available, having returned to training this week following a four-game absence with a hamstring issue. Tanguy Ndombele is again ruled out because of injury.
Now to my thoughts on the match and predictions.
As you all know, Mourinho's arrival in November hasn't yet had the anticipated effect. But did we really expect miracles so quick and fast? I didn't. We will finish outside the top four for the first time in five seasons (and in those five seasons no trophies, just two finals).So our only viable target on the last day is a place in the Europa League.
But we can be positive, going by the run we've recently had: three straight wins with a settled side; which, hopefully, indicates that Mourinho has found a formula in which he can build upon. But, a top-six finish will only be assured if we better Wolves' result, but we should be favourites to beat Crystal Palace (fingers crossed!!)
The Eagles have lost all seven of their matches, while we are finishing the season strongly and Harry Kane is scoring goals again. I'm expecting more of the same here and for next season… with a few added players thrown in.
Score: I believe we will win 3/4 nil.
But we need to look at other results as well:
I think Chelsea will beat Wolves and Leicester will beat United
In the FA Cup Final, Chelsea will beat Arsenal.
Palace have suffered nine successive league defeats against us, their longest losing streak versus a single opponent in top-flight history.
Palace have not scored a league goal versus us since a 3-1 home loss in January 2016, and that was an own goal.
We have won 11 of the past 13 league meetings, with our solitary defeat coming at Selhurst Park in January 2015.
Palace can equal their club league record of eight consecutive defeats.
Their current seven-match losing sequence is the longest of Roy Hodgson's Premier League career. They have failed to score in six of those defeats.
The Eagles have been beaten in five of their past seven matches at Selhurst Park.
They have won each of their past four final day home fixtures.
Palace have scored only 30 league goals, three fewer than their lowest tally in any season.
They have scored first-half goals in just nine of their 37 league matches.
Roy Hodgson is winless in all three Premier League matches as a manager against Jose Mourinho (D1, L2).
We are unbeaten in five league matches, winning the last three.
We have won four of our past five fixtures, as many as in our previous 13 games.
We are guaranteed to finish with our lowest points total since 2008-09.
We have lost our final league fixture just once in the past nine seasons (W7, D1).
Our last four final day league fixtures have produced 27 goals - almost seven goals per game.
We have kept just two away league clean sheets this term.
We have won 13 points from London derbies this term (W4, D1, L2); only Chelsea, with 16, have accumulated more.
Harry Kane has scored four goals in his past two league appearances.
So there you have it. We are raring to go.
Just a bit of other news; the league restarts on the 12th September (a month later than usual).
I wish you all well, make sure you've got your food/ drinks ready and waiting and speak again sometime after the match.
Best Regards, Glenn