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Europa League Betting: Back confident Spurs to win Inter thriller

Gareth Bale is emerging as one of Europe's top players

"Given the incredible momentum Spurs have built up (unbeaten in the Europa League, and on their longest ever PL unbeaten run) and Inter's inconsistent road form, I think 1.814/5 is a chunky price for the home win."

Back Spurs to win at 1.814/5

Inspired by the stunning form of Gareth Bale, Spurs are on the crest of a wave, and Kevin Hatchard expects them to win a heavyweight clash with Inter Milan.


Tottenham Hotspur vs Inter Milan, Thu 20:05 BST, Live on ITV1

Match Odds: Spurs 1.814/5, Inter 5.39/2, the draw 4.03/1

There can be few teams in Europe with more confidence than Spurs at the moment. In their last three games they have displayed the qualities that have put them on the path to what could be a glorious season. First they battled hard to overcome a stubborn Lyon side in the Europa League's last 32 - Mousa Dembele's wonder goal with just seconds to go in France kept Andre Villas Boas' men in a competition the Portuguese boss is desperate to win.

There was then further late drama in the Premier League, as Spurs once again showed their grit and determination to come back from 2-1 down at West Ham to win 3-2. Gareth Bale scored a scarcely believable stoppage-time winner at Upton Park, and he also scored the opener in Sunday's 2-1 North London derby win over bitter rivals Arsenal, a game that showcased Tottenham's ability to shred defences with pace and clever movement.

It's impossible to discuss Spurs without referring to Bale, their jewel in the crown. The Welsh wonder has scored 20 goals and managed six assists in 34 appearances this season. He has scored two goals and set up two more in the Europa League, and Thursday's opponents Inter have every reason to fear him - he scored a stunning Champions League hat-trick against them at the San Siro in 2010.

That's not to say that Spurs rely too heavily on Bale. Striker Jermain Defoe, who is back after injury, has scored four Europa League goals in six games. If Defoe replaces the injured Emmanuel Adebayor, it will surely be an upgrade, as the Togolese striker has looked ponderous and frankly disinterested in recent weeks. Brad Friedel should prove a capable deputy in goal for the excellent Hugo Lloris, and in midfield Scott Parker has been in fine form. In defence Jan Vertonghen was impeccable against Arsenal, while Michael Dawson is also close to his best.

While Spurs are brimming with vim and vigour, Inter are struggling. Before the weekend's 3-2 win at Catania (Inter came back from 2-0 down), Andrea Stramaccioni's men had suffered a run of six defeats in seven Serie A away games. Their away form in the Europa League is better, as they have won five out of six games. That said, they were drubbed 3-0 at Rubin Kazan in the group stage.

The Opta stats suggest that Inter will carry a goal threat at White Hart Lane - the Nerazurri have scored more goals from open play (16) and more goals on fast breaks (four) than anyone else in the tournament. Striker Rodrigo Palacio scored twice at Catania, and he has contributed to 23 of Inter's goals this term.

Given the incredible momentum Spurs have built up (they are unbeaten in the Europa League, and on their longest ever PL unbeaten run) and Inter's inconsistent road form, I think 1.814/5 is a chunky price for the home win. I'm pleasantly surprised to see Over 2.5 Goals trading at 1.981/1 - five of Spurs' last six home games have seen that bet pay out, and I can see Inter grabbing an away goal.


Recommended Bets

Back Spurs to win at 1.814/5
Back Over 2.5 Goals at 1.981/1
Back Gareth Bale to score at 2.186/5


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06 March 2013

Europa League

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