Tottenham travel to West Brom on Sunday afternoon, with Andre Villas-Boas hoping to pick up a first win in three Premier League games and reclaim the form that saw the White Hart Lane club rise to fourth, as the season enters its final stretch. Tottenham presently occupy the final Champions League qualifying position, with a one-point lead over Everton in fifth and Arsenal and Liverpool close behind.
The Baggies, meanwhile, have dropped down the table after a bright start to the season but remain firmly anchored in the middle of table, which will please manager Steve Clarke. Two big questions will hover around the Hawthorns on Sunday though - can West Brom put the Peter Odemwingie incident behind them... and can they record a first win since late December.
Where to Watch Live
Kick-off is set for 1.30pm GMT. Live coverage is on Sky Sports 1 and Sky Sports 1 HD. Catch highlights on Match of the Day 2 on BBC One and BBC One HD, at 10.30pm GMT.
West Brom lost midweek to Champions League hopefuls Everton and the poor run of form they are in will not help matters. However, the Baggies have a surprisingly strong record at the Hawthorns, with only three defeats in 12 games. Spurs' away form is equally strong, with only four losses in their 12 games so far.
Expect, therefore, a closely fought match, particularly if the visitors are as unconvincing as they were during their midweek game - a 1-1 draw at Carrow Road.
The reverse fixture, at White Hart Lane, finished 1-1, which will give further cause for optimism for Clarke. However, he, as most rival managers now know, will have to stop Welshman Gareth Bale from playing or running at his defenders, if he wants to take anything home from this match.
Spurs are unbeaten in eight but haven't really produced consistent results, with only four wins in the aforementioned period. They needed Bale to rescue them once again, with an 80th minute strike against Norwich. Overall, they remain only four points behind London rivals Chelsea, and a good run could actually see them overtake the Blues.
A more immediate concern, though, will be the slightly off-colour attack in recent games. The side did miss England striker Jermain Defoe (who has only now come back from a pelvic injury) and the absence of Togo's Emmanuel Adebayor (the ex-Arsenal, City and Real Madrid man is away with his country for national duty) means American utility forward Clint Dempsey has lead the line in recent games.
Fortunately, Defoe seems to be recovering well and his assist for Bale's goal midweek, as well as the seamless way in which new signing Lewis Holtby played his part in the goal, augurs well for AVB.
West Bromwich Albion
- Last Five (all competitions, most recent first): L D L L D
- Last Match: Everton 2 - 1 West Bromwich Albion
- Last Five (all competitions, most recent first): D L D D W
- Last Match: Norwich City 1 - 1 Tottenham Hotspur
Steve Clarke will be without unsettled Nigerian striker Peter Odemwingie. The forward will sit out after his transfer deadline day antics. The former Chelsea coach will have Youssouf Mulumbu available; the Congolese international has returned from the Africa Cup of Nations after his country was knocked out of the competition. Midfielder George Thorne is out with a knee injury.
Probable Line-Up: Foster; Jones, Olsson, McAuley, Popov; Dorrans, Mulumbu, Brunt, Thomas; Morrison; Lukaku
The good news for Spurs fans is Defoe is fit again. Tottenham's hunt for a third striker was public knowledge in the recent transfer window but the return to form Defoe will hopefully ease the pain of having missed Internacional's Leandro Damiao. Adebayor is unavailable for this game. French defender Younes Kaboul and Brazil midfielder Sandro (both knee) are both unavailable for this game as well but young striker Harry Kane, who has returned from his loan spell with Norwich, is fit and available. And Holtby could be in line for a first start for the club.
Probable Line-Up: Lloris; Walker, Dawson, Vertonghen, Assou-Ekotto; Lennon, Dembele, Parker, Bale; Holtby; Defoe
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