A new look Tottenham Hotspur will welcome Norwich City to White Hart Lane, with both clubs keen to pick up their first wins of the season and justify their choice of managers. Spurs lie 14th in the table after two games and while there is admittedly much football still to come, any improvement must come quickly if the club is to harbour ambitions of a top four finish this season; they are already eight points behind early leaders Chelsea and three behind West Brom in fourth.
Norwich, meanwhile, will focus not only on the first win but also on escaping the drop zone as quickly as possible. The Canaries are 18th and while the 1-1 home draw against QPR was worlds better than the miserable 0-5 defeat to Fulham on the opening day, Chris Hughton knows he has a fight on his hands to keep the club in the Premier League, and that the fight starts at White Hart Lane.
Tottenham: Spurs lost their first game of the season, away to Newcastle, and followed that with a 1-1 draw at home to West Brom, in a game that they could well have lost. Admittedly the club is still in transition and new signings like Gylfi Sigurdsson and Jan Vertonghen do need time to adapt. However, you would expect the old guard - Gareth Bale, Jermain Defoe, Aaron Lennon and Rafael Van der Vaart (who has since returned to Hamburg) - to deliver at such times.
The 1-2 defeat to Newcastle was perhaps a little unfortunate, with the Magpies winning thanks to a disputed 80th minute penalty, but the truth was that apart from a few moments in each half, the game never really got going. Defoe looked sharp on occasion, as did debutant Sigurdsson, but the team struggled to recreate anything like the fluency of play under Redknapp.
Back home against West Brom, Spurs were once again comfortable on the ball without really troubling their visitors. Bale, Van der Vaart and Lennon were hugely influential in the opening moments, with the Welshman in particular creating confusion by cutting in from the left, but the fact that none of the chances was taken is troubling... particularly since Andre Villas-Boas has only two recognised strikers at his disposal (Dempsey aside) in Defoe and Adebayor, and both are the kind of players who thrive on self-confidence.
"We wanted to start better,'' AVB has been quoted as saying, "One point out of a possible six is something that disappoints us, but we played two excellent games against both teams. We have to improve on our concentration levels and take the games through with results that are more positive to us.''
Norwich City: The Canaries were simply awful in their opening game and, in truth, should have counted themselves lucky to ship only five, when it could have been ten. Worse still was the fact that this Fulham side was widely predicted to struggle this season after losing the attacking trio of Clint Dempsey, Moussa Dembele and Andrew Johnson; the first two to Spurs.
There simply had to be improvement in their second game and it duly arrived - a 1-1 draw against QPR at home may not have been something to write home about last season but Hughton would have been happy enough with the score and his team's performance. Simeon Jackson opening the scoring, putting the hosts in front after just 11 minutes and Bobby Zamora scored from the spot just before the 20-minute mark to ensure a share of the spoils.
Norwich would have been encouraged, overall, by the fact they were at least able to retain possession and fashion the odd chance, particularly in the second half.
Tottenham: The attention will be on the trio of new signings - Dembele, Dempsey and Sigurdsson. All three come with the promise of fluent and attacking football, something Spurs fans would love to see return to White Hart Lane. However, AVB is unlikely to risk all three at the same time, at least from the start, and will look to mix the new blood with established players to help both parties adapt. Expect, therefore, to see Dembele and Sigurdsson start, with Dempsey on the bench.
In terms of injuries, centre back Younes Kaboul (luckily, Michael Dawson remains with the club) is out for the long term, meaning William Gallas and Jan Vertonghen will continue their partnership in front of, possibly, Hugo Lloris. The French international confirmed his transfer to London on deadline day and despite his considerable experience, Brad Friedel has a fight on his hands to retain his position as No 1.
In the midfield, Scott Parker is, of course, still unavailable, meaning Sandro retains his place (expect Dembele alongside, as AVB looks to boost creativity at home) and the attacking trio of Lennon, Sigurdsson and Bale will continue. Up front, Adebayor is likely to be favoured over Defoe.
(4-2-3-1): Lloris; Walker, Gallas, Vertonghen, Assou-Ekotto; Sandro, Demeble; Lennon, Sigurddson, Bale; Adebayor
Norwich City: The Canaries should be back to full strength after fielding a second-string team in the mid-week Capital One Cup game against Scunthorpe United (they won 2-1). Wes Hoolahan could be handed his first league start of the season, after scoring the winning goal against Scunthorpe. However, Hughton will be without Elliott Ward, Steven Whittaker and Elliott Bennett, all of whom are injured. Norwich will have two former Spurs stars in their ranks, both making immediate returns to White Hart Lane - centre back Sebastien Bassong and striker Harry Kane.
(4-4-1-1): Ruddy; Martin, Barnett, Bassong, Garrido; Snodgrass, Howson, Johnson, Pilkington; Hoolahan; Holt
- Spurs have won six of the last 10 games against Norwich.
- The two traded away wins last season; Spurs won 2-0 at Carrow Road and lost 1-2 at White Hart Lane.
- Tottenham have won only four times in their last 15 league games.
- Hughton has not won a Premier League game since November 2010, when Newcastle beat Arsenal 1-0.
Where to Follow Live:
You can follow the game live from 3pm BST on Absolute Radio. There is also live coverage on BBC Radio 5 live and text updates via ESPN. In case you miss the live action, you can catch up with the day's scores and highlights on Match of the Day, on BBC One and BBC One HD, from 10.10pm to 11.30pm.
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