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Sunday, 16 December, 2018

Christian Eriksen can make his mark at Selhurst Park

Back Spurs star to find the net

Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen (right)
1 of 1

Premier League
Sky Sports Premier League, midday Sunday

It's seven defeats out of seven for Crystal Palace in the absence of Wilf Zaha, and it would surprise few if that doesn’t read eight out of eight once Spurs have left Selhurst Park.

Crystal Palace aren’t exactly a one-man team – but minus that one man they are seriously vulnerable.

The magical Zaha is out for a few more weeks and that spells danger for Roy Hodgson’s men, who are slipping back into trouble after taking two points from their last possible 12 and have a massive injury list to contend with as well. Spurs, on the other hand, are flying, still in the Champions League and FA Cup, and bang in the hunt for a top-four spot.

It’s easy to be bullish about Tottenham even at predictably skinny odds especially with the opposition so thin for quality numbers.

That doesn’t necessarily mean a massacre since Palace know they can defy the layers against the big boys at home – they’ve beaten Chelsea and held Manchester City in their own backyard.

And Hodgson, for all his selection worries, is still going to be able to send out 11 decent players who presumably will give their all. His options, though, do look threadbare.

Encouragement? Well, the Eagles have lost just one of their last ten home Premier League assignments while Tottenham have won only two of their last ten away games. And each of their last five, at venues as varied as Spotland and the Allianz Stadium in Turin, have ended in draws. 

And Hodgson is probably going to be forced to field both Christian Benteke and Alexander Sorloth, two players with a formidable physical presence who will test out any defence. Expect Palace to be looking to set-plays for joy and they boast wide men who can cross a ball.

They have to see the ball first, of course, and it will be Tottenham doing most of the pressing.

As the only side yet to lose in the Premier League in 2018, they are in the finest of nick and no one symbolises their excellence more than Harry Kane, whose goalscoring streak is simply mesmerising. Against yet another new Palace defensive combination, the England man is bound to get chances.

It’s hard to see Spurs being stopped from scoring so the 6-4 that they win to nil has to appeal.

Kane is a short price to open the scoring and maybe Christian Eriksen is a better option at 17-2. He has hit 16 for club and country and three on his last five starts, his form is sumptuous, and the Dane should also thrive against a rejigged opposition backline.

C Eriksen first scorer
1pt each-way 17-2 bet365

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Premier League standings

Team news
Crystal Palace
Julian Speroni, Joel Ward, Martin Kelly, Scott Dann, Mamadou Sakho, Jeffrey Schlupp, Yohan Cabaye, Jason Puncheon, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Wilfried Zaha, Bakary Sako and Connor Wickham are out.

Toby Alderweireld has broken down again and probably won’t feature. Lucas Moura needs to prove his fitness.

Key stat
Harry Kane has scored 19 goals in his last 14 Premier League games on the road, scoring three hat-tricks.

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He has hit 16 for club and country and three on his last five starts
E.W. Terms
Sky bet