The ‘will they, won’t they’ of Spurs’ Champions League spot chase continues apace tonight, with a tricky away fixture at Bolton. Tricky more because of our appalling away form since the turn of the year rather than Bolton’s ability, perhaps, but either way the result is in no way a foregone conclusion. With Harry probably still smarting after the FA snubbed him for the England job, it’ll be interesting to see the reaction from both him and the players in this game – a win keeps us in pole position for fourth, whilst a defeat could leave us as rank outsiders and reliant on slip ups from others to even get a sniff of a Champions League qualifying finish. No pressure, then. Here’re the stats.
- Bolton have picked up just 12 points this season from games against teams outside the bottom 6. Not saying they’re ideal opponents, but Spurs have also failed to beat a top-half side since Newcastle in January, so at least they fit that bill too.
- Bale has taken 48 shots in Spurs’ past 11 Premier League games without scoring a goal. Time to lay off the long range shooting, Gareth?
- Luka Modric could well be off in the summer if Spurs fail to make the top four, so it’s interesting to note that he’s been Tottenham’s top chance creator with 18.1% of our chances so far this season. All the more reason to try and secure that Champions League spot?
- Spurs might not have been firing on all cylinders recently, but they’ve still conceded just 6 goals in their last 720 minutes. This despite King’s apparent decline and Kaboul’s brief injury too. And despite Nelsen. Impressive.
- Spurs’ attack is also much improved in quantity this season, if not necessarily quantity. The team have managed a shot on target every 15.5 minutes this season, compared to every 18.2 minutes last season. They already have four more goals than the total of 55 achieved last year.
- Now here comes the bad news. Those of a nervous disposition, look away now. Tonight’s game is an away match, and of course Spurs are yet to win an away game in 2012, a run of 8 games. They’ve also failed to score in the last 4 away games.
- As if that wasn’t ominous enough, Bolton are undefeated in their last 8 home matches against Spurs in all competitions. Bolton won this fixture 4-2 last year, so let’s hope for no repeat of that, for a start.
- A belated look at the form table shows that the weekend’s victory against Blackburn has elevated us to the dizzying heights of 11th over the last six games (really, this is the highest we’ve been for a fair while), with a record that reads DWDLLW. Bolton, meanwhile, are right on our tails in 12th (WLLDWD). Too close to call.
- Bolton’s average pass success rate is 71.9% – the only team in the league with a lower figure is Stoke.
- We’ll finish with something more encouraging: only Blackburn and Wolves have conceded more goals than Bolton this season, and only Wolves have conceded more goals at home.
On Twitter: @AEFSpurs.