Tottenham Hotspur v Cardiff City - Match Preview, Stats & Team News

To be played on Sunday 2nd March 2014 at 16:30. Venue: White Hart Lane, London.

Odds: Tottenham Hotspur 4/11, Draw 4/1, Cardiff City 11/1

Last season: N/A

Preview & injury news

Tottenham could be nine points off fourth place by the time kick-off comes around on Sunday afternoon when they entertain struggling Cardiff City. Having lost to Norwich City last week, a win seems imperative if they are to have any realistic ambitions of qualifying for the Champions League for next season. Their record isn't so great after Europa League involvement but they won the reverse fixture after participation in Europe in September. They managed to bounce back from two successive defeats by turning around their Europa League deficit against Dnipro, winning 3-1 to send them through to the last 16. For Cardiff, they need a response after their dreadful display against Hull City when they went down 4-0 to the side they finished above in the Championship last season. They have only one win under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer this season in the league and are three points from safety, but last week's performance gave little cause for encouragement.

On the injury front, there is a chance that Danny Rose and Kyle Walker could return from knee and thigh injuries respectively. Etienne Capoue is sidelined with an ankle problem whilst Erik Lamela is still out with a back problem. Gylfi Sigurdsson and Vlad Chiriches are still out with thigh and back injuries respectively.

For Cardiff, Jordon Mutch could return for the visitors after struggling with a hamstring problem recently. Gary Medal is said to be considered for selection after a thigh injury, whilst Mark Hudson is out for the remainder of the season.

Key stats

Here are the two sides top scorers in the Premier League this season

Emmanuel Adebayor Spurs FW 8 12 998
Fraizer Campbell Cardiff FW 5 26 1,835
Roberto Soldado Spurs FW 5 22 1,626
Jordon Mutch Cardiff MF 4 24 1,370
Paulinho Spurs MF 4 21 1,759
Steven Caulker Cardiff DF 2 27 2,430
Peter Whittingham Cardiff MF 2 25 2,176

Their average possession statistics:

NamePossession PercentagePlayed
Tottenham Hotspur 54.30 27
Cardiff City 45.11 27

And the amount of clean sheets they have kept this season:

NameClean SheetPlayed
Tottenham Hotspur 11 27
Cardiff City 6 27

5 players to watch

Sandro - Sandro made his first appearance for Spurs since December against Dnipro in the Europa League after recovering from injury, and put in an impressive performance. Whether he is ready to back up that performance three days later remains to be seen, so he'll be worth keeping an eye on.

Steven Caulker - The Cardiff defence was all over the place last week as Hull City ran riot, beating Cardiff 4-0 on their own patch. Caulker returns to his old club this weekend, and is going to have to be a rock at the heart of the defence, and call on his fellow defenders to raise their game if they are to get anything from White Hart Lane.

Christian Eriksen - The Denmark national coach was confused as to why Eriksen has had spells out of the side but his intervention in the Europa League this week was the catalyst to Tottenham's revival. Has he earned his place in the starting line-up for the weekend?

Craig Bellamy - With Cardiff in a sticky situation towards the bottom of the table, it's an ideal time for their captain to put in a big performance in order to drag them to a good result. Can Bellamy deliver?

Emmanuel Adebayor - His goalscoring form continues. Having contributed significantly to the upturn in form since Tim Sherwood took over in the league, his first Europa League performance of the season yielded two goals to take them through to the last 16. If Cardiff defend anything like they did against Hull City, the striker could fill his boots.

Earlier on in the season

Cardiff City 0-1 Tottenham, Premier League 2013

Spurs left it late, very late in fact as Paulinho's late winner ultimately proved to be the difference between the two sides. David Marshall was in fine form in the Cardiff goal and managed to keep the visitors at bay until second half stoppage time with a string of terrific saves. Gylfi Sigurdsson hit the bar with a terrific effort but Paulinho's improvised close range finish from an Erik Lamela cross gave Spurs all three points.

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