After an international break that seems to have lasted for an eternity, Spurs finally head back into action against Reading today, and hopes have to be high for seeing the first three point haul of the season. There’s still a bit of uncertainty about the team Andre Villas-Boas will send out – Defoe was preferred in the starting line-up to Adebayor last time around, though likely as a consequence of the latter’s lack of match fitness. After two more weeks of training, Adebayor may well have the match fitness to start tomorrow’s game, but you’d've thought Clint Dempsey will be starting from the bench in light of his own lack of game time.
Doubtless if Spurs fail to get the win, The Mirror and the rest of the anti-AVB brigade will have a field day. With our next four fixtures including games against Manchester United and Chelsea, a failure to take all three points tomorrow will invite unwelcome levels of fierce scrutiny. So, the pressure is on – here are some anticipatory stats.
- Spurs have won four of the last six meetings between the two sides, and haven’t lost against Reading since December 2006.
- Reading head into the game having only played two games, as their previous fixture against Sunderland was postponed. They lie in 19th position in the table with just one point (DL); Spurs lie in 16th with 2 points (LDD).
- Spurs’ away game ineptitude is becoming quite the bugbear – we’ve won just one of our last eleven away matches in the Premier League.
- Reading have enjoyed an average pass success rate of just 67% in their two games so far this season. Spurs, meanwhile, have averaged 85%.
- Jermain Defoe has averaged 5.7 shots per game since the beginning of the season – only Luis Suarez has amassed more (5.8). Spurs’ average of 17 shots per game has been bettered only by Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester United.
- By way of contrast, Spurs have conceded just 11 shots per game. Only Manchester City and Arsenal have conceded fewer.
- Gareth Bale’s long barren run without a Premier League goal continues. He’s now amassed 36 shots on goal without scoring since last notching in the Premier League against Manchester City.
On Twitter: @AEFSpurs.