Cottagers should be no match for in-form Spurs

IT hasn’t been an easy week for Tottenham with manager Harry Redknapp undergoing minor heart surgery, but the operation seems to have been a success and nothing will please him more than a win at Fulham on Sunday.

Spurs have been superb lately, scoring at least twice in seven straight league fixtures, with six victories and one draw. Fulham beat struggling Bolton last weekend, but that was only their second league victory of the season and they’ve won just two of their last 11 home games against top-six outfits. They’ve also taken three points only once in their last 10 league meetings with the north Londoners and have lost three of the last four. Redknapp is unlikely to be in the dugout, but his charges should be backed at 5/4 with Paddy Power.

This has been the highest scoring season so far since the 1960s and there have been 32 goals in Spurs’ nine league fixtures. Fulham’s home games against the better sides tend to be high scoring with eight of their last 11 matches against top-six sides producing at least three strikes and five seeing four or more. Sporting Index have taken a pounding recently and it’s worth buying goals again here at 2.8.

The bookies are running scared of Manchester City and it would be brave to back against them notching a 10th league success this term at QPR, but City are a best-priced 4/11 and Sporting Index quote goals at 3.2-3.4, so I’ll sit this one out.

After a reasonable start, Alex McLeish is now feeling the pressure at Villa Park after winning just two of his opening 10 games. Aston Villa have become draw specialists, with six stalemates, and it will worry Big Eck that his side are yet to play Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool or Spurs.

Norwich are the visitors tomorrow and the Canaries have lost just one in six. Paul Lambert will be pleased with his side’s efforts on the road, where they have scored in four of five games, only failing to find the net at Old Trafford. Villa don’t normally do well at home when their opponents get on the scoresheet – winning just four of their last 15 such matches. The draw looks the standout bet at 13/5 with William Hill.

Although much was written about Man United’s defensive frailties after their 6-1 mauling by City, they responded with a clinical 1-0 win at Everton and look much more solid with Nemanja Vidic in the starting line-up.

United have kept clean sheets in 10 of their last 20 league matches at Old Trafford – only City on 13 have more in that time – and they haven’t conceded in four of six home fixtures following a defeat in their previous league home game.

Despite Sunderland’s decent scoring form lately, they have failed to net in all but one of their last half-dozen trips to top-six sides, suffering four defeats along the way. United have taken maximum points in 18 consecutive contests hosting bottom-half teams, with 11 shut outs, and they have won to nil in seven of their previous nine encounters with the Mackems home and away. Back United to do it again at 11/10 with Paddy Power.

POINTERS...

Tottenham at 5/4 with Paddy Power
Buy goals at 2.8 with Sporting Index
Aston Villa v Norwich draw at 13/5 with William Hill
Manchester United to win to nil at 11/10 with Paddy Power