Tony Pulis takes his Baggies side to White Hart Lane for the Saturday lunchtime kick off this weekend for what will undoubtedly be his toughest fixture until Albion face Spurs’ north London rivals at the Hawthorns in mid-March. So while points may be hard to come by in the next match, Baggies fans should be comforted by the fact that the following six fixtures are eminently more winnable.
Not that a trip to the Lane should be written off, of course. In fact, Albion haven’t lost at Tottenham since 2012, picking up one win and three draws in their last four visits, and have lost just one of their last seven games against the Lilywhites. However, five of those games have finished all square, including both matches last season and the encounter at the Hawthorns back in October. The fact remains that Albion have beaten Spurs just once in their last 14 meetings, at White Hart Lane in September 2014 when James Morrison scored the only goal.
Ignoring last weekend’s cup exit for the Baggies, both sides have been on good form of late, although Pochettino’s men are on sparkling form having won eight of their last nine games in all competitions, including a current run of six straight wins including their 2-0 defeat of Aston Villa last Sunday. That included a period when Dele Alli, who scored Spurs’ late equaliser at the Hawthorns in October, scoring seven goals in four Premier League matches including the brace that ended Chelsea’s 13-match winning run.
Albion’s last visit to White Hart Lane proved to be quite costly for Tottenham as, despite taking a first half battering, Albion went in at half time only 1-0 down. Craig Dawson completed a rare double by heading home the equaliser after the break, having scored an own goal in the first half, and Spurs dropped a crucial two points in their title challenge, the first of their last four games of the season that produced just two points.
This season, Spurs are in the title race once again and, while there are still eighteen games to go, they are seven points behind leaders Chelsea despite having beaten them in their last league game, and they can ill afford to drop any points, particularly at home. But with Albion having proved difficult to beat at the Lane in recent years, I’m sure Pochettino will not be taking this match lightly.
Saturday will be the 144th meeting between the sides, with Spurs holding the overall edge with 55 wins to Albion’s 53. In the league, however, Albion are in front with 49 wins to Spurs’ 46. One match that is not amongst those statistics took place on 2nd September 1939 – it was a Division Two fixture at the Hawthorns that Spurs won 4-3 with hat-tricks on both sides for Johnny Morrison of Tottenham and Albion’s Eric Jones. The next day, of course, saw the official declaration of war with Germany and the Football League competition, then three games old, was abandoned as the country prepared for conflict. When the competition was resumed seven years later, the fixtures remained in the same order and the match was replayed on 7th September 1946, with Albion this time running out 3-2 winners. By that time, Eric Jones was playing for Brentford and he never officially played a league game for Albion, despite having scored 4 goals in 3 league games at the start of the 1939-40 season.
Having won their last seven home games in all competitions, Spurs are clear favourites for this match, but Albion’s recent record at White Hart Lane suggests that it is not a foregone conclusion. However, with their current form, I expect Tottenham to come away with a narrow victory.
All competitions; most recent game on the right
15 Oct 2016 – Premier League
West Brom 1 (Chadli)
Tottenham Hotspur 1 (Alli)
Last meeting at Tottenham Hotspur
25 Apr 2016 – Premier League
Tottenham Hotspur 1 (Dawson (o.g.))
West Brom 1 (Dawson)
21 Sep 2014 – Premier League
Tottenham Hotspur 0
West Brom 1 (Morrison)
Albion’s Record against Tottenham Hotspur
|Premier League Record|