Keeping back door closed might be Spurs’ best chance

Ben Cleminson
Ben Cleminson previews the best of the weekend’s Premier League action

DERBY defeat to Arsenal on Wednesday night provided an unwelcome setback
for Tottenham. After consecutive wins against Sunderland and Crystal Palace, the 2-1 reverse against their rivals in the Capital One Cup opened up the cracks that those wins had papered over.

Spurs still look light up top, with Harry Kane often isolated and waiting for his first club goal of the season.

But there were signs of encouragement against the Gunners for the England striker. He looked lively and his confidence seems intact, despite the dry spell.

With Manchester City in town, Mauricio Pochettino could really do with his main man finding his scoring boots.

After four defeats on the spin in this fixture – with an aggregate scoreline of 16-3 – Spurs are priced accordingly.

They are 3/1 outsiders with Sportingbet, while City are odds-on at 10/11.

However, the most recent of those losses, in May, was courtesy of a single Sergio Aguero strike – his 10th against Spurs – and the Lilywhites do, at least, look steady at the back this season.

Hugo Lloris’ net has been breached four times in six games, giving Spurs the second best defensive record in the league, behind tomorrow’s visitors, who have only conceded twice.

Nothing has got past the Frenchman in three league outings. That looks to be the hosts’ best hope of getting something from this game and there’s encouragement in backing the draw at 11/4.

West Ham showed last weekend – as we predicted when correctly backing them with a handicap and selling City’s supremacy – that Manuel Pellegrini’s men are not invincible.

Having built a lead, they were able to stop City’s superstars. Tottenham will be looking to follow their lead.

Of the north Londoners’ six league fixtures, five have accrued under 2.5 goals.

City were four-up at the break against Sunderland and the scoring was finished inside 45 minutes against the Hammers, but their previous four matches – against Juventus, Crystal Palace, Watford and Everton – were all goalless at half-time.

Backing the score to be 0-0 at the interval is a tempting 21/10 with Sportingbet.

If the contest is as tepid as I’m expecting then selling total goals at 2.9 with Sporting Index is the way to go.

Draw 11/4 (Sportingbet)
0-0 at half time21/10 (Sportingbet)
Sell total goals 2.9 (Sporting Index)