Christmas Match Reports plus FA Cup tie against Burnley

Christmas Match Reports plus FA Cup tie against Burnley

Christmas has been very tough for me: five Christmas dinners; Wednesday, we (Janette and I) went out for a meal with Mel and his wife Liz, then on Thursday morning, Christmas with Santa… that is, taking the grandchildren to see Santa for a Christmas morning breakfast. Adults got to colour in pictures and put on stupid things. Saturday, our Tottenham group booked a restaurant in the Tottenham stadium for a Christmas dinner… Then, on Christmas Eve, a family Christmas get-together (8 of us), then on the day itself, another dinner (with JJ, Janette’s son and myself)… and on Boxing Day, Christmas dinner with Janette’s parents in Cheltenham… but before all that, on the Saturday before Christmas, we faced Everton…

…Everton have been doing well up until this point.

Yes, we moved into the Premier League top four after beating Everton in a thrilling encounter. Richarlison opened the scoring against his former club with his fourth goal in three matches before Son doubled our advantage soon after.

Everton managed to pull a goal back through Andre Gomes in his first Premier League game since May 2022.

We move above Manchester City – absent from league action due to the Club World Cup – into fourth.

That defeat for Everton ended a four-match winning run, leaving them just four points above the relegation zone.

That was it for the time being… we then over ate over Christmas to be ready for Thursday 28th (no Boxing Day football for us, for the first time in years).

On the 28th, we (Mel & I) met up with Kevin and Janet at a pub for a Christmas meal. Then, onto Brighton’s ground (courtesy of a lift from Kevin).

We had high hopes that we would get a good victory over Brighton to continue our battle for a top-four place… sadly…

A good display from Brighton, between two excellent and strong challengers from us, but it wasn’t good enough to overcome Brighton at the Amex Stadium.

We dominated the early possession, but the Seagulls took control when teenager Jack Hinshelwood fired into the roof of the net after Joao Pedro was allowed to drift across the length of the 18-yard line. Pedro then doubled the hosts lead from the penalty spot after Dejan Kulusevski had pulled back Danny Welbeck in the area.

Brighton continued to press, with James Milner hitting the post and Facundo Buonanotte having a goal disallowed for offside before Richarlison clipped the woodwork.

We failed to have a shot on target in the first half but improved in the second period, with Richarlison twice seeing efforts ruled out for offside. Nevertheless, Brighton made sure of the three points less than a minute after when Pervis Estupinan fired a 25-yard dipping effort into the top corner.

Pedro added a fourth goal when he sent Guglielmo Vicario the wrong way from the spot again after Evan Ferguson was bundled over in the area.

We threatened a comeback after Alejo Veliz and Ben Davies pulled two back, but we could not convert a string of other late chances.

On the same day as our defeat to Brighton, the Arse-wipes and nose blowers were throttled by the Spamming Bubble-blowing pie and mash eaters by two goals. At least we had something to smile about… then a couple of days after on to the Tottenham stadium to face Bournemouth, while the Arsenics and Old Lace took on Fulham at Craven Cottage.

To summarise, we finished 2023 on a high with victory over Bournemouth.

Pape Sarr opened the scoring when Rodrigo Bentancur latched on to Neto’s casual pass out from the back, and the ball broke for Sarr, who drilled it into the far corner.

Stinging from a 4-2 loss to Brighton in midweek, our injury-hit team watched as Bournemouth enjoyed plenty of chances and looked likely to level. But they lacked a clinical edge in the final third, and Son doubled our lead with a superb left-footed strike, which went in off a post before Richarlison swept home to wrap up the points for Ange Postecoglou’s side.

Their Alex Scott steered home a consolation goal but the Cherries are likely to wonder how they allowed the scoreline to get away from them and leave our stadium empty-handed.

It marked a first defeat in eight games for Bournemouth as their three-match scoring streak came to an end.

We remain fifth in the table – six points off top spot and one behind Arsenic and Old Lace in fourth, who again were beatem (2-1 by Fulham).

After a strong start to the season under Postecoglou, we had lost five of our past nine games and continued to battle with injuries. The surprise return of Bentancur to the starting XI was a welcome sight for us after he recovered from an ankle injury earlier than anticipated.

We got off to the perfect start with Sarr’s slotted finish but had to hang in there as Bournemouth were on top for large periods.

After that game, we all made our way to the buses and to Kevin’s car, where he took us back to the pub so we could pick up our cars and home.

FA Cup Third round (preview) against Burnley, at the Tottenham stadium.

After our disastrous League Cup exit at the hands of Fulham last year, I am sure that Ange hopes to redeem himself by putting out a stronger squad (that is if he can after our injury and suspension crisis). That sounds like a cruel twist of fate. Nevertheless, we’ve got what we’ve got and must make the best of what we can in a bad situation.

So, role on Burnley…

The stats for Spurs vs Burnley predictions:

Burnley haven’t won away against us since 1983.

Richarlison has scored four goals in his last three Tottenham appearances.

We have won seven of our last 10 games against Burnley.

We have conceded in their past five home games.

We haven’t failed to make it past the third round of the FA Cup since 2013/14.

A few weeks ago, we were extremely worried at the prospect of losing Son to the Asian Cup. And while he will still be missed, Richarlison has found goalscoring form at the right time. He has scored four goals in his last three games for us, netting a brace against Newcastle before also bagging wins over Nottingham Forest and Everton.

We have started life well under Ange Postecoglou, even when you include our rocky patch in November and the start of December, nevertheless, we will be hoping that we can end the season with at least one piece of silverware. The EFL Cup has come and gone, and there is another cup waiting for us. Eight-time winners of the FA Cup, we last won the competition in 1991 and haven’t reached the final since. We have had four fifth-round exits in the past four years, and we haven’t failed to make it past the third round since 2013/14 when Arsenic beat us.

Burnley, meanwhile, will have the Premier League relegation battle as their main priority this season, but a good cup run could be good for their morale and momentum. You have to go back to 1962 for the last time Burnley were in the FA Cup final (we beat them in that final) and pre-World War One for their sole victory, with the Clarets beating Liverpool 1-0 just a couple of months before the assassination of Austria-Hungary’s Archduke Franz Ferdinand. Burnley did make it to the quarter-finals last season, having been knocked out of the third round the year before.

Tottenham team news

Out  & Doubtful

Ivan Perisic, Micky van de Ven, James Maddison, Ryan Sessegnon, Yves Bissouma, Manor Solomon, Pape Matar Sarr       –

Yves Bissouma’s red card suspension also includes the FA Cup, so he’ll sit this game out, too – though he may already be with Mali for the Africa Cup of Nations, with Pape Matar Sarr now injured.

Manor Solomon, James Maddison, Ryan Sessegnon and Micky van de Ven are all expected back in mid-January, but this game will be far too soon. Ivan Perisic is a long-term absentee. Son will miss this game too, expected to travel to meet up with South Korea at the end of 2023, ahead of the Asian Cup.

Spurs vs Burnley head-to-head record

2 September 2023 – Burnley 2-5 Tottenham – Premier League

15 May 2022 – Tottenham 1-0 Burnley – Premier League

23 February 2022 – Burnley 1-0 Tottenham – Premier League

27 October 2021 – Burnley 0-1 Tottenham – EFL Cup

28 February 2021 – Tottenham 4-0 Burnley – Premier League

A 1-0 win for Burnley in February 2022 is the Clarets’ sole victory over us in their last eight meetings. With one draw, we have won six, including a 5-2 league victory at Turf Moor earlier this season.

There is not much point making a guess team selection as this is the first round of the FA Cup and we’ve got so many injuries.

My prediction…

2-1 to us.

Happy New Year.



Christmas with Micky Hazard & Marc Falco – before the Everton game.
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