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Tottenham Hotspur v Crystal Palace: Defensive absences offer visitors a chance

Spurs have serious attacking talent throughout the side
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Five days after beating Real Madrid, Spurs are back on the Wembley turf up against the Premier League's bottom-ranked team. With Hugo Lloris and Toby Alderweireld missing might Palace have more of a chance than the odds suggest?

"Zaha adds to the Palace threat significantly, too. The Ivory Coast international has two goals in his last three appearances since returning from injury. Palace may well score on Sunday."

Tottenham Hotspur v Crystal Palace
Sunday November 5, 12:00
Live on BT Sport 1

Tottenham Hotspur on a high

Spurs enjoyed a legendary result in midweek when humbling European champions Real Madrid 3-1 at Wembley. Tottenham's attacking stars were in superb form throughout. Although Harry Kane did not score, his hard running and pressing ensured the Madrid backline never had a pause for breath. Dele Alli helped himself to a double and a Christian Eriksen breakaway strike sent Spurs to a 3-0 lead and the fans into dreamland. A Ronaldo effort with 10 minutes remaining ensured there was a spot of late nerves but the home team held on.

The result will have come as a tonic after a week that saw Spurs beaten twice to seemingly lose the momentum built up during an 11 game unbeaten streak; first an inexplicable defeat to West Ham in the League Cup when two goals to the good; the second to a soft, late Manchester United goal when a draw looked likely at Old Trafford.

Mauricio Pochettino will probably have to do without two totems of Spurs' super defensive unit with keeper Hugo Lloris and Toby Alderweireld looking very doubtful. He is also without long-term injured pair, Victor Wanyama and Erik Lamela.

Powered by Zaha, Palace's form is on the up

Crystal Palace picked up the fourth Premier League point of the Roy Hodgson era with last weekend's dramatic draw at home to West Ham. While it has clearly not been easy for the England manager to turn it around, there are signs he is getting there. The defeat of Chelsea is the obvious starting point, but though they lost next time out at Newcastle they were just minutes from what would have been an impressive away point. A thumping loss at Bristol City can be discounted as that was a second string team in a competition Hodgson clearly wanted nothing to do with.

Statistically, Palace were by far the better side against West Ham and struck the woodwork twice as well as scoring twice. The return of Wilfried Zaha has been the catalyst for Palace's improved play and he will be a danger to Spurs in Wembley's wide open spaces.

Hodgson is still without Christian Benteke, while Mamadou Sakho and Patrick van Aanholt are doubts.

Spurs to justify short match odds quote?

Real Madrid-conquering Tottenham are understandably short to win this, available to back at [1.3] on the Betfair Exchange although money traded at [1.21] before the slightly gloomy injury bulletin.

Crystal Palace are the longest price in the Premier League match odds this weekend at [12.5], though they have been as high as [16.5] and as low as [10.5]. The draw is [6.4].

The obvious starting point for those looking to play in the match odds is that Spurs have thrown in a few stinkers at home in the league, and particularly against supposedly 'lesser' sides - witness draws against Burnley and Swansea and a skin-of-the-teeth 1-0 defeat of Bournemouth. That [1.3] looks pretty short when viewed against those results.

Yes, this is a team that has put seven past Liverpool and Real Madrid but Roy Hodgson's Palace are not likely to play the expansive attacking football of that pair of Champions League outfits. I don't think it'll be as one-sided as the odds suggest, but the best way of profiting from that may be to factor in goals to your match odds bet...

Spurs defensive reshuffle makes goals more likely

Given Tottenham's struggles against Burnley, Swansea and Bournemouth at Wembley, overs looks a short price at [1.53] but provided Hodgson's gameplan isn't too defensive it should land.

Palace's chances of scoring against a defence that has blanked the opposition in half its 10 top-flight matches have improved significantly now Lloris and Alderweireld miss out.

Zaha adds to their threat significantly, too. The Ivory Coast international has two goals in his last three appearances since returning from injury. Palace may well score on Sunday.

Of course, if they do that, then Tottenham will need at least two of their own. That shouldn't be a problem for the division's third highest scorers, who will have Harry Kane back alongside their other attacking talents, but the first goal is crucial as Tottenham have struggled against teams that sit back at Wembley. A Spurs win with both teams scoring is [2.7] on the Sportsbook and there's just enough juice in that price to tempt me in.

Ref Watch

Kevin Friend seems appropriately named as he is reluctant to upset the Premier League's finest, averaging just 2.6 yellows per game and zero reds. A low card count seems likely as these two teams are not among the dirtier sides in the top-flight.

Recommended Bet
Back Spurs win/BTTS double @ [2.7]

Joe Dyer's Premier League P&L 2017-18

Staked - 5pts
Returned - 6.15pts
P/L - +1.15pts

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