Bolton Wanderers can leapfrog Tottenham in the Premiership table on Monday night with three points against the north Londoners at White Hart Lane.
It may be a tall order for Sam Allardyce’s team when you consider that the Trotters have not won at Spurs for over 42 years. But then Bolton have astounded many critics this season with their football and already have been to Leeds and Arsenal and come away with a share of the spoils as well beating Manchester United at Old Trafford.
And the Sky cameras focusing on this clash have been a good omen for Bolton this season, with their supporters already witnessing wins over Liverpool and Ipswich on the box.
But Tottenham should expect to have the majority of the possession during the contest, with the home side’s 4634 successful passes bettered only by champions Manchester United this season. In contrast, Bolton’s distribution rate of 68% is the worst in the Premiership.
The hard-to-please Spurs supporters are currently delighted with the brand of football their team is playing and would expect their side to take all three points from tonight’s encounter.
Skipper Teddy Sheringham has been in excellent form on his return to White Hart Lane. The 35-year-old England international is a great foil for powerful striker Les Ferdinand and the pair have notched eight goals between them in the Premiership this season. Bookmakers’ surreySPORTS offer 9/2 on Sheringham opening the scoring on Monday night.
But they will have to try and beat one of Bolton’s most impressive players this season, goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen. In his first season of top-flight football the Finn has kept four clean sheets and caught an impressive 27 high balls in his 12 appearances. Jaaskelainen was also his side’s penalty shoot-out hero as his save from Chris Marsden’s spot-kick helped the Trotters progress into the last eight of the Worthington Cup.
Also in form against Southampton in the cup was star striker Michael Ricketts who with nine league goals is the highest scoring Englishman in the Premiership. The Spurs defence will need to keep a watchful eye on him if they want to keep their first clean sheet at home since early September.
But Hoddle’s team will settle for the win that would keep them in contention towards the top of the table and in the running for a UEFA Cup spot.