Tottenham Hotspur vs Crystal Palace - Lloris to start at Spurs’ new stadium despite Anfield error

Posted Wednesday, April 03, 2019 by PA

Tottenham Hotspur vs Crystal Palace - Lloris to start at Spurs’ new stadium despite Anfield error

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino says goalkeeper Hugo Lloris will lead the club out at their new stadium despite his costly error in Sunday’s 2-1 defeat at Liverpool.

The Spurs captain has come under scrutiny since his fumble led to Toby Alderweireld’s decisive own goal at Anfield – the latest in a growing list of mistakes both on and off the pitch this season.

Pochettino has always backed his goalkeeper, even in the wake of a drink-driving charge earlier in the campaign, and again confirmed that Lloris would be skipper for Spurs’ first game in their new home against Crystal Palace on Wednesday.

“He is my captain,” Pochettino said. “He’s one of the best keepers in the world. There’s no doubt.

“There’s no doubt that Hugo is one of the best and he’s going to be in the goal tomorrow.

“It’s a situation that is so painful because I think we deserved more (at Liverpool), but in that kind of situation, which happens in football, it’s only to be strong and back our player.

“I think Hugo is going to be, like always, great for us. He was great for us.

“He was so important in all that process in five years, and for sure he’s going to be one of the most important players for the future of the club too.”

Spurs’ return home to their 62,062-seater stadium could not have come at a better time as their season has hit the buffers in recent weeks.

They have taken just one point from their past five Premier League games, which has seen them not only drop out of the title race but also put their top-four place in serious peril.

There were signs of promise in the defeat to Liverpool, which could easily have gone the other way, and Pochettino is sure that their new home will be graced by Champions League football next term.

“Of course, the best stadium in the world must have the Champions League,” the Argentinian added.

“It would be a shame to not be in the next Champions League.

“But we are going to fight. We are in the top four, disappointed with the last result but of course it’s not the same.

“Against Liverpool we deserved more, played really well second half, the feeling was so good. Playing like this I have no doubts we are going to be in the top four and playing in the Champions League next season.

“It’s in our hands. It’s a mini-league and playing five games in our new stadium will be a big boost for our players and fans. It’s up to us to achieve that.”

Harry Winks will be involved after his recent groin injury, but Eric Dier, Fernando Llorente, Serge Aurier and Erik Lamela will all miss out.

Roy Hodgson is pleased to be taking Crystal Palace to face Tottenham in the first game at their new stadium – but does not believe his side will gain any advantage on the night.

While Hodgson is happy for his side to play a part in a historic first game, he refuted suggestions playing in unfamiliar surroundings will benefit the visitors.

“It is going to be an extremely good occasion,” he said on the eve of the clash.

“I am really happy that it has fallen our way, that we happen to be the team that Tottenham are playing on the day.

“Whether it turns out to be advantageous in any way we just have to wait and see. I somewhat doubt it.

“I think Tottenham will be so anxious to do so well that we are going to see the very, very best Tottenham that you can see.

“So we will have to be the best Palace we can be to give them the sort of game we need to give them if we are going to get any points from it.”

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