Winks warns Spurs to expect physical test at Crystal Palace
- Credit: PA Wire/PA Images
Roy Hodgson’s Eagles have only scored twice at Selhurst Park this season, but Tottenham Hotspur are braced for a tough encounter
Tottenham Hotspur central midfielder Harry Winks has told his team-mates to match the physicality and power of Saturday’s Premier League opponents Crystal Palace.
Spurs head to Selhurst Park looking to make it four wins in a row in all competitions after Tuesday’s dramatic 2-1 victory over PSV in Group B of the Champions League.
The 5.30pm kick-off will be the end of a taxing few weeks for Mauricio Pochettino’s side as they have played six times already since October 20.
Ahead of one last big effort, Winks said: “We played them around this time last year at home and it was a physical test then and we only just beat them 1-0 (on November 5).
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“It was after the game with Real Madrid at Wembley and it was a difficult. We got the win finally, but you can never underestimate a team like Crystal Palace.
“They are strong, they are powerful and aggressive and we need to match them first and foremost and hopefully we get the win after we’ve matched them.”
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Saturday’s game will see three players who have come through the Spurs academy set-up do battle.
Tottenham will most likely play Winks and Harry Kane from the off, while Andros Townsend should start for the hosts after his goal in the 3-1 loss at Chelsea last Sunday.
After spending 16 years at White Hart Lane, the winger departed N17 in January 2016 to sign for Newcastle United before making the switch to Palace six months later.
Townsend has become a key figure for the Eagles and also made a big impact on Winks at Spurs by helping him settle into the first-team fold during the 2013/14 campaign.
“I know Andros and he was important for me when I come through the academy and into the first-team,” Winks said.
“He was a big part of me settling in and integrating with the lads and he is a great guy and I have nothing but respect for him.”
On Saturday the pair will be rivals and Tottenham will know their former winger will be desperate to impress.
Spurs need the points to stay in the top four and after a demanding few weeks, they will aim to finish it in style with a crucial victory over a team 14th in the table.
“Going to Selhurst Park is always difficult,” Winks said. “It is another game, so we’ll recover well and get ourselves in the right physical frame of mind.”