AFC Bournemouth V Tottenham Hotspur at Vitality Stadium : Match Preview

21 October 2016
AFC Bournemouth V Tottenham Hotspur - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.

Eddie Howe hopes Bournemouth can beat Spurs at their own game

Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe reckons Tottenham's high-pressing tactics under Mauricio Pochettino means they are genuine title contenders again this season - but he hopes to beat them at their own game on Saturday.

Spurs head to the Vitality Stadium as the only team still unbeaten in the Premier League this season, albeit only after a late equaliser from Dele Alli at West Brom last weekend.

Pochettino's men have impressed with plenty of energetic displays so far, which included a 2-0 win over Manchester City at the start of October.

Only two points separate the Premier League's top four, Arsenal now level with City on goal difference and Spurs in third place, with Liverpool one back while Chelsea, Everton and Manchester United are also within striking distance.

Howe believes Spurs can sustain their challenge this term, having faded last season as Leicester went on to secure a shock title win with the Gunners edging them out to finish as runners-up.

"Yes, I think so (Spurs can be genuine title contenders)," Howe said at a press conference. "It is a really competitive league, as everyone knows, with the teams we have at the top of the league. It's going to be a really interesting mix to see what happens.

"They (Spurs) have got an outstanding manager, I think he is up there with the very best.

"The way that his teams play, they don't change. The intensity they play at is very hard to play against. When you add that to a very talented squad, I think they have a real good chance (of the title)."

Howe continued: "They play really good football, we try and pride ourselves on that as well.

"But the main thing which impresses me is off the ball, they have really talented players. It is very easy for the hugely talented guys not to have a great work ethic, but that is instilled by the manager.

"They really work, they press you and it is very difficult to play under their pressing.

"It is well documented at the moment, managers like (Jurgen) Klopp (at Liverpool) and Pochettino, how hard their teams work. That is full credit to them.

"We would like to think we are trying to get to their level and I think they are one of the markers for us."

Following their 6-1 romp over Hull last weekend, Bournemouth are in 11th place with 11 points from eight games.

Howe, though, knows his squad cannot afford to rest on their laurels after a three-match unbeaten run.

"It was a good week but after that it has been about settling back down to work and focusing on what is going to be an incredibly tough game," he said.

"We are confident with the way the team is developing and feel there is a lot more to come, but time will tell."

Midfielder Harry Arter is rated 50-50 for the game because of a knee injury while Max Gradel (hamstring) could be back in contention.

Pochettino admits Tottenham's misfiring striker Vincent Janssen is feeling the pressure but insists the Dutchman will deliver given time.

Janssen cost an initial B#17million when he joined from AZ Alkmaar last summer and has been given an extended run in the team while Harry Kane recovers from injury.

The 22-year-old, however, is yet to score from open play in 12 appearances for Spurs, with his only goal so far coming from the penalty spot against Gillingham in the EFL Cup last month.

"He is not frustrated, he is disappointed as strikers like to score," Pochettino said.

"Always it is incomplete - if you play well but you don't score, something is always missing.

"But he is happy. He wants to show he has the quality to score and maybe he puts a lot of pressure on himself - 'I need to score, I need to score'.

"In the end, we need to calm him, say, 'Yes, good, don't worry, work hard, keep going and you will ensure you will score'."

Janssen's performances overall have been encouraging and he was unfortunate not to break his duck against Bayer Leverkusen on Tuesday, when he hit the crossbar and had a goal disallowed for offside.

He scored 27 league goals to finish top scorer in Holland last season and is likely to start against Bournemouth with Kane still sidelined.

Toby Alderweireld is not available as he recovers from a leg injury while Danny Rose is a doubt after he left Leverkusen wearing a protective boot.

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