January 08, 2015

Crystal Palace seek to end a Premier League goal drought stretching to five matches as they host Tottenham Hotspur at Selhurst Park on Saturday.

Palace have not troubled the rigging since Chung-Young Lee scored a late winner in a 2-1 victory at Stoke City on Dec. 19, drawing two and losing three of their ensuing league matches. The Eagles (9-4-9) did defeat Southampton 2-1 in the FA Cup earlier this month but are scoreless in 452 minutes of league football.

Notwithstanding that there is some way to go before Palace equal their record of 839 Premier League minutes without scoring, set during the 1996-97 season, the drought is a major cause for concern.

Having made inquiries into bringing VfL Wolfsburg's Nicklas Bendtner and unattached former Spurs striker Emmanuel Adebayor to the club, it is clear manager Alan Pardew is set on a quick solution to the goal-scoring conundrum.

It's also led to Pardew casting envious glances in the direction of Saturday's opponents, who possess the deadliest threat in the division according to the Palace boss.

"They've got the best goalscorer, in my opinion, in the Premier League, and I include (Jamie) Vardy in that," Pardew said. "I think Harry Kane is the best and we're going to have to try to stop him.

"If Harry Kane was in our team we'd be in the top four, if I'm honest," he continued. "That's the difference a striker of that quality can make."

Without the distraction of a midweek game, Pardew has had all week in training to focus on Spurs.

"We've worked towards a process to try to beat Spurs," he said. "But if we don't score and it's 0-0, I'll take that. We need a result."

Spurs (10-9-3) enter the game having eliminated Leicester City in a FA Cup replay midweek to keep them fighting on three fronts. The teams played four times over the span of a fortnight, with each winning one and drawing the two others.

In addition to traveling to Colchester United in the next round next weekend and facing Fiorentina in the last 32 of the Europa League next month, the Lilywhites are attempting to close the five-point gap on joint leaders Arsenal and Leicester in the league.

The challenge for manager Mauricio Pochettino is to ensure there is no drop-off in the pursuit of any of the three titles still on offer.

"It's true that we come from a busy period but we are focused, we have a strong squad and the players are focused on playing and taking every game in a very positive way," Pochettino told the official club website. "We're not worried about the different competitions - only about performances about working hard and refocusing every game."

That Spurs' goals against Leicester came from squad players Heung-Min Son and Nacer Chadli highlighted the strength in depth at White Hart Lane currently.

"When you have 24 or 25 players that deserve to play, it's always difficult for the manager," said Pochettino. "In the end we are very happy because you know it's important to keep all the squad motivated and fit and I think that increases our level."

Spurs will be without Ryan Mason (ankle), Clinton Njie (knee) and Alex Pritchard (ankle) for the match. Palace will have to do without Yannick Bolasie (thigh), Kwesi Appiah (knee) and Dwight Gale (hamstring).

Son's strike after 68 minutes for Spurs was the only goal when these sides met at the Lane in September.

Crystal Palace won the corresponding fixture last season 2-1. A Gayle penalty and a Jason Puncheon strike 11 minutes apart in the second half cancelled out Kane's goal.

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