Tottenham Hotspur travel across London to face Crystal Palace in an attempt to maintain their good form and remain top of the Premier League.
Roy Hodgson’s side, however, will not make that an easy task. Inconsistent form sees them 11th, but they are coming in fresh after their 5-1 trashing of West Bromwich Albion.
Spurs are on a run of 10 top-flight games without a defeat, and in their three previous fixtures have took seven points from Manchester City, Chelsea, and Arsenal while also picking up three clean sheets on the way.
A routine win for Jose Mourinho’s side is expected, but 2,000 Palace fans will be in Selhurst Park for the first time since March and they will try and fuel their side towards a big upset.
In their previous three games, Spurs have sat in a low block in an attempt to hit their opponents on the counterattack.
In this affair, it is expected that they will have to take the initiative and break down their opponents through patient possession play.
Erik Lamela is the only Spurs player that is definitely ruled out of the London derby, as Mourinho said:
“We have lots of games coming up and in January and hopefully Lamela will be back for that.”
Tanguy Ndomeble missed the North London Derby with a minor injury, but he managed 30 minutes against Royal Antwerp on Thursday so it is highly expected that he will be available for selection on Sunday.
Mourinho has confirmed that the right-back would be unavailable before the game against Antwerp.
"Serge will miss the game yes, because he had that problem before Arsenal. He is still not completely recovered; he had a reaction from the game.”
The injury appears to be very minor, but it Is unknown whether he will be available for the Palace game.
Hodgson has four men ruled out of Sunday’s game, with Connor Wickham, Martin Kelly, Wayne Hennessey and Nathan Ferguson all injured.
Ones to watch
In this game, Spurs will switch up their plan as they will have to take the initiative and hold a lot of possession.
Hodgson’s side are well drilled in their defensive shape, so breaking the low block down will not be an easy task.
The creative emphasis may fall to Ndomeble, as his progressive passes and silky dribbling may be required to unlock the ridged shape of the Eagles.
If the French midfielder is unfit, Giovanni Lo Celso may take up this task.
While Son-Heung Min and Harry Kane are the obvious dangers, a creative spark from midfield might just be what is required when the space is so restricted.
It was hard to pick anyone else as Wilfried Zaha has been on top form this season – scoring seven goals in nine games.
His new role, which sees him higher up the pitch in a two-man attack alongside Jordan Ayew, is clearly benefitting the 28-year-old.
On the counterattack, he will have to be on top form to get round a Spurs defence which have only conceded nine goals – the least of any team in the Premier League.
If Palace achieve any success in this game, it will no doubt come through the lethal Zaha.
The last time these two London sides met was the last game of the previous campaign.
It played out as a 1-1 draw, as Kane opened the scoring in a tidy fashion.
But Jeffery Schlupp equalised in the second half to make sure that both sides ended their 2019/2020 season with just a point.
It was all smiles in the Tottenham camp, however, as the point meant they leapfrogged Wolverhampton Wanderers to a Europa League spot.
It was a meaningless game in Hodgson’s eyes, with their status in the Premier League already secured and they finished in 14th place.
Guaita; Clyne, Kouyate, Cahill, Van Aanholt; Schlupp, Milivojevic, McArthur, Eze; Zaha, Benteke
Lloris; Aurier, Alderweireld, Dier, Reguilon; Sissoko, Hojbjerg Ndombele; Bergwijn, Son, Kane
How to watch
You can watch the game live on Sky Sports Premier League and Main Event from 2pm.