Character vs Fatigue - Who will win?

The pressure will be on again when Tottenham take on Cardiff City on Sunday. They responded from 2-0 down over Dnipro to score 3 in 13 minutes and will be full of confidence for a return to league action.

Already 6 points behind Liverpool in fourth place but needing 7 to overtake the Merseyside team before yesterdays games, Spurs are now 9 points behind needing 10 to overtake Liverpool or Arsenal before the game even starts. Manchester City are 7 points in front already with a game in hand that will climb to 2 games in hand after we play.

To add further pressure, this is Spurs 42nd game of the season, they are a better side away from home than they are at White Hart Lane and their record in Premier League fixtures after an Europa League tie is not great. They looked tired against Norwich and can not afford a repeat of that performance.

Paulinho celebrates the winner against Cardiff
Paulinho celebrates the winner against Cardiff
Norwich City was a must win game and they lost, Cardiff is another must win game. The away game was also after a Europa League tie and Paulinho snatched 3 points with a 90th minute winner after good work from substitute Erik Lamela. They won't want to leave it so late this time.

The Welsh side were woeful in their last game against Hull City getting hammered 4-0, a game in which former Spurs player Steve Caulker was run ragged. With Adebayor on form and Eriksen full of confidence after a brilliant display on Thursday supplying him, it could be another difficult afternoon for Caulker. In fairness to the former Spurs man he had been having an excellent season prior to that game and has blocked more shots (38) than anyone else in the Premier League. He has been called up into the England squad as a result.

The striker he will be up against, Emmanual Adebayor, is currently scoring a league goal every 125 minutes and hits the target 68% of the time. That tussle will be a key factor in the result.

Spurs have had 54.30% possession this season and kept 11 clean sheets. Cardiff have one away win all season and have failed to score in five of their last six games against Spurs.

Danny Rose and Kyle Walker could return after injury, Etienne Capoue is out, as is Erik Lamela, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Vlad Chiriches.

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Emanuel Adebayor is leading the scoring charts with 8 goals in 12 Premier League games while Cardiff's top scorer is Fraizer Campbell, who had a brief spell at Spurs himself, with 5 in 26 games.

Everything points to a Tottenham victory but this is Spurs so nothing can be guaranteed. Adebayor however is focused on the challenge.

"I'm not thinking about Benfica yet, I'm thinking about Cardiff and Chelsea, then Benfica. Right now, my head is on Cardiff on Sunday" he said.

Adebayor salutes another goal
Adebayor salutes another goal
"We are playing well and playing for a place in the Champions League, Cardiff are playing to survive. They will be up for it and we have to want it more."

Midfielder Mousa Dembele believes it's a good time to be playing Cardiff.

"It is a very important game. It is the right time for us to get them (Cardiff) at home after our recent results at White Hart Lane and I think everybody is very happy and maybe a bit more confident after the Dnipro win.

"We hope now that we can see off Cardiff correctly and professionally. It was an important thing for us to beat Dnipro."

Head Coach Tim Sherwood has called on his side to again show their character, so evident in the second half against Dnipro.

"We need to play with more character, more spirit, on a consistent basis. It's a good platform, a learning curve and we can point to it in the future."

In recent season Spurs have crumbled when the pressure has been on at the end of the season, this season if they are to get anything from the league that will have to change.

Tottenham will have to show their character and defeat their fatigue.


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