Tottenham lost that winning feeling last weekend and face a dangerous opponent in Swansea on Sunday afternoon. Lee Dixon expects an entertaining game at the Lane...
Both Spurs and Swansea suffered strange defeats last weekend and will be desperate to return to winning ways in the early Sunday kick-off. The market makes Tottenham warm favourites but Swansea have been surprising plenty of high-profile teams and they will have their backers at 6.05/1.
Tottenham must have thought they had Everton beaten last time out only to concede twice in injury time as David Moyes' men showed admirable never-say-die spirit to grab all three points.
Swansea showed similar pluck at home to Norwich, but to no avail. The visitors raced into a three goal lead at the Liberty Stadium but the home side scored twice to set up a dramatic comeback. It wasn't to be though with the Canaries hitting a fourth and, although Michael Laudrup's side scored a late third, they nevertheless registered a second home defeat in the Premier League.
Both teams had been in good form before that and I expect an entertaining game at White Hart Lane - these are passing sides and it should be a great advert for Premier League football.
And we could be in for an upset. Before the Norwich defeat, Swansea had put away Arsenal and a then in-form West Brom in an impressive run of form that also saw Newcastle beaten and Liverpool and Chelsea held.
I was particularly impressed with Swansea's display at Arsenal the other week. They pressed and harried, but also passed the ball extremely well to deny Arsenal in what was a superb away performance.
And after doing that to the Gunners, it doesn't take a grand leap of imagination to see them giving Spurs - who go off at just 1.684/6 to win - a shock. There's no real difference between Swansea's home and away records after all, with 10 points from seven away games and 13 from nine at the Liberty.
Spurs have been denied a couple of times at home already this season with Wigan and Chelsea leaving the Lane with all three points. The Tottenham rearguard has conceded 10 goals in eight games at White Hart Lane and you have to fancy Michu and co getting on the scoresheet at least once. Then again, you have to fancy goals from the home side too, even if Gareth Bale will be missing for the second game in a row.
I fancy Spurs to edge this, but the match odds price is not of interest, and it wouldn't surprise me if Swansea kept it very competitive so, after coming so close with my Manchester derby bet, I'm going to dutch a few Tottenham wins in the correct score market - 2-1 @ 9.417/2, 3-1 @ 15.014/1 and 3-2 @ 28.027/1.
And let's take a chance on Steven Caulker to get on the scoresheet against the club where he spent last season on loan.
The Tactical View: Michael Cox
I agree with Lee on two counts – Spurs are deservedly favourites, but they’re too short. Swansea won 2-0 at the Emirates a fortnight ago, showing how dangerous they can be away from home, and I can’t see the logic in backing Spurs at around 1.68. Instead, I’d be looking at both sides to score, at [1.7] – Spurs will dominate possession and should break through the Swansea defence, but will be vulnerable to quick counter-attacks, and keep on conceding late goals. With that point in mind, backing Tottenham/Swansea in Half Time/Full Time also makes sense, at around 18.0.
The Betfair Trader's View: Alan Thompson
I like Lee’s dutching strategy on the correct scores as I can also see both teams scoring. Tottenham after all have scored in all but one game this season and have conceded 10 times at home (more than anyone currently in the top six). However, four of those conceded goals came in one game (Chelsea). Apart from that game though no team has scored more than once this season at White Hart Lane, but Tottenham have only kept one clean sheet. I think Swansea are more than capable of getting on the score sheet here but it might be late.
Tottenham are the only team in the Premier League not to concede in the opening 15 minutes of a game and have only conceded twice in the opening 30 mins. However, Tottenham have conceded more than anyone in the final 15 minutes (10 goals). Swansea also play it tight with four of their seven away games being 0-0 at half time.
I think I will be a little more conservative than Lee and go 2-1 Spurs at 9.4 but also look to back over 2.5 IF there isn’t an early goal, but let that price drift out a bit and ask for over 2.5 goals at 2.4 to get a bit more value. That way 2-1 gives us both bets but any of Lee's other correct score bets are also covered for profit.