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Spurs Odyssey Preview - Crystal Palace v Spurs, 18.08.13

This week - last year
What happened in the Premiership in Match 1 2012-13

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Full Record of Spurs -v- Crystal Palace

Prem         Pl  W   D   L  For-Ag  Pts
Home         4   0   3   1   3 - 4   3
Away         4   2   1   1   7 - 6   7
=======================================
Total(Prem)  8   2   4   2   10 -10  10
=======================================
Football Lge
Home(Div 1)  9   5   2   2   14 -6   12
Away(Div 1)  9   5   3   1   16 -9   14
=======================================
Total(Div 1)18  10   5   3   30 -15  26
=======================================
Football Lge  
Home(Div 2)  1   0   1   0    2 -2    1
Away(Div 2)  1   1   0   0    2 -1    2
=======================================
Total(Div 2) 2   1   1   0    4 -3    3
=======================================
Total(Prem)  8   2   4   2   10 -10  10
Total(Div 1)18  10   5   3   30 -15  26
Total(Div 2) 2   1   1   0    4 -3    3
=======================================
Grand Total 28  13  10   5   44 -28  39
=======================================

Last Six League results:-

Crystal Palace - DDWDWW

Blackburn  1-1   C. Palace
Millwall   1-1   C. Palace
C. Palace  3-2   Peterborough
C. Palace  0-0   Brighton
Brighton   0-2   C. Palace
C. Palace  1-0   Watford

(Last 3 games - Play-offs)

Spurs - WDWDWW

Spurs      3-1   Man City
Wigan      2-2   Spurs
Spurs      1-0   S'hampton
Chelsea    2-2   Spurs
Stoke      1-2   Spurs
Spurs      1-0   S'derland

Last season's final positions:-

Pos             P   W  D  L   F-A   GD  Pts
(Premier League)
 5. Spurs      38  21  9  8  66-46  20   72
(Championship)
 5. C. Palace  46  19 15 12  73-62  11   72

Football at last!

It's been a long three months since we've seen Spurs in a competitive football match, but here it is at last! For once, the club has completed a lot of transfer business before the season has started, with the exciting top class and record breaking signings of the Brazilian Confederates Cup star midfielder Paulinho, capped by ace goal-scorer Roberto Soldado from Valencia.

On top of that, the club has also signed Nacer Chadli from Twente, and just this week has confirmed the signing of Etienne Capoue, a midfielder, who can also play at centre-back. of course we are still waiting to see whether Gareth Bale stays or goes to Real Madrid, but there is no doubt in my mind that the Spurs squad is stronger and sharper with the new arrivals. If Bale were to stay, that would be a big bonus, but a top four place should be our minimum objective for the 9 months ahead, with or without Bale.

First stop then will be Selhurst Park, home of Crystal Palace who inched their way back to the top flight, with a 1-0 win over Play-Off Final favourites Watford, thanks to a 105th minute penalty coolly fired home by veteran striker Kevin Phillips, now aged 40, who has earnt himself another year's contract with his 8th Professional club in what could become a full 20 year career. Phillips aims to join Ryan Giggs (who turns 40 in November) in being the only 40 year old outfield Premier League players.

Palace lost their great young talent Wilfried Zaha to United of course, and so far they haven't been over-active in the market. They have signed Marouane Chamakh from Arsenal, who will get a boo or two on Sunday. Jerome Thomas, signed from West Brom is another player with Arsenal antecedents, as he was a Junior on their books until 10 years ago. Thomas is recovering from an ankle injury, and will not feature on Sunday. Stephen Dobbie was on loan from Brighton last season, and has now been signed full-time. Dobbie played for manager Ian Holloway when he was at Blackpool, and I recall featured in Play-Off Finals for Blackpool one year, and Swansea the next.

Amongst Palace's other signings is a 20 year old Spanish midfielder, Jose Campana, from Sevilla. Campana represented his country in the Under-20 World Cup in the summer.

Palace's top scorer last season, and indeed the top scorer in the Championship season, was Glenn Murray, who scored 30 goals, which beat Jordan Rhodes of Blackburn by one goal. Murray spent four seasons at Palace's nemesis Brighton, who lost out in the Play-off semi-final. Murray is another player who will be missed through injury, and Palace might play striker Dwight Gayle, signed from Peterborough.

Clearly there will be a great atmosphere and a full house at Selhurst Park for their first Premier League fixture since May 2005. Whilst Palace are one of the favourites to go straight back to the Championship, the locals will point to a respectable record against Spurs in the Premier League, in which they have met 8 times and won two of those games. Indeed, our last meeting was a 3-0 defeat in January 2005. The "Eagles" also beat us at White Hart lane in November 1997, after Gerry Francis had left, and before Christian Gross officially took over. Therefore, Chris Hughton took charge of our team for one night only.

A famous (perhaps that should be ignominious) day in our history was 28th January, 1970, when Palace, who were considered to be real rookies and rank outsiders, beat a famous Spurs team in an FA Cup Fourth Round replay. Bill Nicholson dropped four big name players after that game, one of whom was my all-time hero, Jimmy Greaves, who never payed another first team game for Spurs, going to West Ham in the move which brought Martin Peters to White Hart Lane.

This season, Spurs Odyssey plans to focus upon the events of 15 years ago, when this web site was truly established. As the caption says at the top of the page, there are Over 25 years of archives at Spurs Odyssey.

Our opening game of that 1998-99 season, with Christian Gross still in charge was at Selhurst Park against the tenants of the day - Wimbledon. Spurs had spectacularly avoided relegation at the end of the previous season, with at 6-2 win and four Klinsmann goals, but on 15th August, 1998, the season started badly with a 3-1 defeat. To my shame, in my match report, I even praised Spurs debutant left back Paolo Tramezzani, who is the butt of many a Spurs joke, and a selection of many for a "worst ever Spurs eleven". (Wimbledon 3 Spurs 1 - August 15th, 1998)

Thankfully, we live in far better times now, and despite some frustrations with either last minute, or late failed transfer business in recent years, E.N.I.C and Daniel Levy have made us genuine Champions League contenders once again this season. I even dare to hope for better than that, and silverware of some ilk this season.

Andre Villas-Boas has declared that Gareth Bale will not play on Sunday, but Spurs should field an otherwise strong line-up which could read - Loris; Walker, Dawson, Kabou, Rose; Dembele, Paulinho; Lennon, Chadli, Sigurdsson; Soldado, with most recent signing Capoue starting on the bench.

Kaboul looked pretty sharp to me in last week's friendly, whilst I suspect that Sandro, who also appeared for half an hour, will need more time before he is match-fit. Jan Vertonghen may not be ready, following his pre-season injury in Hong Kong, and Lewis Holtby has not featured in the run-up at all.

Sunday's match referee will be Mark Clattenburg.

I am predicting a strong start for Spurs, and have even gone for a 3-0 win, with Soldado sure to be on the score-sheet.

Spurs record in recent London Derbies.

15 years ago this week, it was not a good start for us at Selhurst Park, against Wimbledon.

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