Tottenham Hotspur v Norwich City: Conte to end Smith's unbeaten start

Antonio Conte
Antonio Conte will be looking to beat a second promoted team this week.
  • Tottenham Hotspur vs Norwich City
  • Sun 5 Dec, 14:00

After a busy mid-week schedule Norwich City travel to face Tottenham looking to build on their recent good form. However, Ben Steele expects them to struggle...

"Only Wolves and Norwich have scored fewer goals than Tottenham this season and with that in mind I'm surprised to see Under 2.5 Goals at a price above Evens (6/5)."

New men pushing change in fortunes

The arrival of Antonio Conte at Tottenham and Dean Smith at Carrow Road has seen a new air of positivity at both clubs. Spurs' form has been inconsistent but there are certainly signs of improvement, most notably a come from behind win over Leeds.

Norwich have been impressive, albeit helped by a beneficial schedule, unbeaten in four and starting to tighten up their defence as they go. Sunday will be Norwich's first game under Smith that sees them play a team who finished in the top half last season so will be seen as a benchmark for where they stand going into the busy Christmas period.

Under Daniel Farke the 2020/21 Championship winners lost seven games to teams from last season's top 10 conceding 22 goals and scoring just twice.

While Spurs will be expecting a win, they are well backed at @ 1.444/9, the newly appointed Norwich staff will be looking for positives on a potentially tricky afternoon for their side.

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  • Chelsea 2 0 Tottenham Hotspur
  • Leicester City 2 3 Tottenham Hotspur
  • Tottenham Hotspur 0 0 Arsenal
  • Tottenham Hotspur 0 1 Chelsea
  • Tottenham Hotspur 3 1 Morecambe
  • Chelsea 2 0 Tottenham Hotspur
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  • Watford 0 3 Norwich City
  • Norwich City 2 1 Everton
  • West Ham United 2 0 Norwich City
  • Charlton Athletic 0 1 Norwich City
  • Leicester City 0 0 Norwich City
  • Crystal Palace 3 0 Norwich City

Tottenham Hotspur vs Norwich City Sunday 05 December, 14:00

Full stats

Profligate front lines won't trouble the scorers

One of the biggest problems both new managers must deal with is a lack of goals. Norwich are the lowest scorers in the league with just eight goals and have been heavily reliant on Teemu Pukki.

The Finn, who is 23/10 to score anytime, has scored five of his sides' goals this term and is sure to lead the line again on Sunday will be heavily relied on. Spurs have also struggled for goals, Harry Kane has found the net with regularity for England, but only has one Premier League goal and the majority of his teammates have had similar problems.

Kane_and_Son.jpg

Son Heung-Min, evens to score, is the only Spurs man in any sort of form, with five goals of his own but overall Conte's side are yet to find their shooting boots. Conte's system, while defensively very sound, sometimes lacks creative options and will rely on full backs, Emerson Royal and Sergio Reguilon to shoulder some of that load.

Only Wolves and Norwich have scored fewer goals than Tottenham this season and with that in mind I'm surprised to see Under 2.5 Goals at a price above Evens (6/5). It looks like a good bet.

Tactical fouls bodes well for OddsBoost

In a game that looks like it could be low on goals the midfield battle will be key and Conte's relatively defensive midfield pairing of Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Oliver Skipp will be right in the middle of it. You would expect Spurs to have a lot of the ball with Norwich looking to hit their opponents on the break, and that is where Conte's midfield comes into play.

The two men, both robust in the tackle, will be asked to break up attacks and that could put both of them at risk of going in referee Jarred Gillett's notebook. Skipp, who spent last season on loan at Norwich, has already been booked six times this season and I'd expect him to run the line of another yellow on Sunday while his more senior partner is perhaps a bit smarter about getting away with the darker side of the game.

Hojbjerg has only been booked once this term but over his years in the Premier League has developed a reputation as someone who loves to get stuck in. Chelsea loanee Billy Gilmour will be called upon to try and create for Norwich and it will be Tottenham's Danish midfielder who he has to contend with in what could well be an interesting battle.

An OddsBoost of Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Oliver Skipp both to be carded has been boosted from 11/1 to 14/1 and with Gilmour's smooth style and Norwich set up for the break it could well be worth a look. Alternatively, a Bet Builder of Spurs to win, Under 2.5 goals and the combative Skipp to be carded is priced at 14.75.

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Ben Steele 2021-22 Premier League P/L

Points Staked: 12
Points Returned: 13
P/L: +1 Point

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