Spurs and Man United in tough home ties

HAVING had a frustrating few months with a leaky defence, it’s now in attack that Tottenham find themselves struggling.

Spurs are likely to line up tomorrow lunchtime without a recognised striker on the pitch. Jermain Defoe is ruled out through injury and Emmanuel Adebayor has just returned from the Africa Cup of Nations.

No one is quite sure what went on behind the scenes in January, but Andre Villas-Boas’s failure to get a frontman in may come back to bite him as the club battle to hold on to a top four spot in the Premier League.

Tottenham haven’t managed more than one goal in any of their last five matches and I think they are vulnerable to a resurgent Newcastle. The signings of seemingly half of France during the transfer window reaped immediate rewards when Moussa Sissoko starred in back-to-back victories for the Magpies against Aston Villa and Chelsea and it was the former Toulouse man’s brace last weekend that gave them that memorable 3-2 win.

If Alan Pardew’s men can keep Gareth Bale quiet then I can see the visitors leaving White Hart Lane with at least a point.

The Newcastle double chance — draw or away win — is 11/10 with Blue Square Bet and that’s worth snapping up.

At Old Trafford on Sunday, Manchester United will bid to banish memories of last April’s 4-4 game with Everton that arguably cost them the title. The Toffees fought back from 3-1 and 4-2 down to force a draw that day.

Everton beat their hosts this weekend 1-0 on the opening match of the season at Goodison Park and, although the Merseysiders draw too many of their league games – 12 of 25 so far – they have lost just once in their last 10, proving just what a tough nut David Moyes’ men are to crack.

It seems inconceivable that the Red Devils can saunter on in the title race without dropping points at some stage and this certainly looks one of their toughest games for a while.

At a generous 3/1 with Coral, chance the draw, and, with both teams more than capable of finding the net, the 2-2 correct scoreline at 16/1 with Coral must also be worth a punt.

■ Pointers…
Newcastle double chance at 11/10 with Blue Square Bet
Draw (Man Utd v Everton) at 3/1 with Coral
2-2 correct score (Man Utd v Everton) at 16/1 with Coral