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Tottenham Hotspur-Bournemouth Preview

(Photo by Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images)

Tottenham Hotspur will be looking to move on from their midweek disappointment when they travel to the Vitality Stadium to face Bournemouth on Sunday in Premier League action.

Mauricio Pochettino's Spurs (17-7-5) suffered a heart-wrenching Champions League loss to Italian giants Juventus on Wednesday, dropping out of the competition with a 4-3 aggregate loss despite dominating much of the two-legged tie but allowing their competitor to score twice in a four-minute span of the second half this week.

The defeat ended Tottenham's 11-6-0 stretch over all competitions.

However, Spurs' showing in Europe's elite competition was much-improved from their performances last season, while a top-four place in the league and a FA Cup win are still very much attainable for Pochettino's ever-improving side. And the Argentine manager said it's important that his players take the positives from their Champions League campaign as they attempt to move on.

"Last season, we complained a lot about not being able to compete in the Champions League, but this year we showed in the group stage against Dortmund, Real Madrid and then Juventus that the club is ready to compete," Pochettino said. "The basis is there. Now it's to keep going and try to be clever and work hard.

"It was tough on Wednesday and the effort was massive, but we need to move on. The Champions League is in the past. Now we need to believe more and compete in the Premier League and FA Cup, two competitions in which we're alive."

Spurs travel to Bournemouth (8-9-12) looking to further strengthen their grip on one of those Champions League qualification places. A run of 11 Premier League matches unbeaten (8-3-0) have seen the north London club leapfrog Chelsea into the top four heading into the weekend matches.

But there is still plenty of work to be done, and a match against Eddie Howe's in-form Bournemouth will be no foregone conclusion. The Cherries are unbeaten in six overall at home, scoring at least two goals in each of those fixtures, while the return of a fit and firing Jermain Defoe has also boosted their attacking firepower.

However, Howe is wary of the threat posed by a wounded Tottenham.

"Spurs have been playing really well recently," Howe said. "Of course, the (Champions League) exit will hurt them, just because I think they believe they should have gone through, they were the better team for the majority of that game. But I am sure they will be focused on this weekend's match, which is important for them and very important for us."

Relegation is still a threat to Bournemouth, but while one win will likely to be enough to pull them clear of trouble, they are likely to have to try and unlock Spurs without the services of Jordan Ibe, Rhoys Wiggins, Ryan Fraser and Marc Pugh, who all face late fitness tests. Centre-back Tyrone Mings will miss Sunday's match and the remainder of the season with a back problem.

The visitors could rotate their starting line-up, as hinted by their manager in Friday's media conference.

"We need in our starting XI, to pick players who are capable to fight and feel fresh," Pochettino said. "That is now a tough job for us to choose the starting XI to play at Bournemouth."

Erik Lamela, Victor Wanyama, Serge Aurier, Danny Rose, Moussa Sissoko and Lucas Moura will all be pushing for starts after being left out of the starting team against Juventus. However, Toby Alderweireld remains absent with a recurrence of a hamstring injury.

Tottenham have not lost to Bournemouth in any of their five Premier League meetings, while Spurs have not conceded a single goal against the Cherries in the last four matchups. However, Bournemouth's solitary Premier League point against Spurs did come in this fixture last season, when they restricted their high-flying visitors to a goalless draw.

Updated March 9, 2018

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