Tottenham still need a point to guarantee their place in the UEFA Europa League next season and Lewis Jones thinks they can finally bag their first goal in the opening 15 minutes of a Premier League match this season against a sleepy Aston Villa...
"Spurs are the only team not to have scored a goal in the first 15 minutes of a Premier League game this season. It’s a real strange statistic for a top-half team as on average a top-10 side has scored an average of seven goals this season in the first 15 minutes of all games.
"This looks the perfect opportunity to catch Spurs to bag an early goal as Villa are notoriously very slow starters in the Premier League, conceding nine this season in that time period."
Back the first goal to be scored before the 10th minute @ 4.57/2 or bigger
Tottenham v Aston Villa
Sunday 11 May, 3pm KO
Live on Sky Sports
Not that Spurs fans would want to admit it, but the north Londoners have plenty in common with near neighbours Arsenal.
Both are hugely consistent in terms of European qualification. Spurs just need a point from their final encounter to assure UEFA Europa League qualification for a fourth consecutive season.
Like the Gunners, they are a reliable side for punters that like to play the European qualification markets at the start of the season.
The only way Spurs can fail to get into Europe is if they lose and Manchester United win at Southampton.
Tim Sherwood's men could have guaranteed sixth place last week as Man Utd's defeat to Sunderland opened the door but a rejuvenated West Ham put Spurs in their place as a betting.betfair tipster predicted, calling it "one of the bets of the season." Wink, wink, nudge, nudge.
That result rather summed up Sherwood's tenure as boss: disappointing.
Slip-ups against West Brom (3-3), Norwich (1-0) and Hull (1-1) added to poor showings against the big boys has made up Daniel Levy's mind that Spurs once again need a reshuffle moving forward.
For over £100m worth of investment, Levy would have wanted his club to be closer than the 17 points they are off Man City at the top of the pops.
Younes Kaboul is suspended for the clash following his red card last weekend, but Jan Vertonghen and Etienne Capoue should both be back in contention.
Much like Tottenham, there are clouds surrounding the future of Aston Villa with chairman Randy Lerner allegedly contemplating selling the club over the summer.
Paul Lambert has been making noises along the line that Villa need to spend if looking to move forward but its job done in terms of this season as last weekend's 3-1 victory over Hull keeping their Premier League status intact for another season.
Lambert and his men will be looking to end the season on a high and perhaps send a reminder out to Lerner about the potential of this young side but Villa have not beaten Tottenham in the league in their last 10 attempts.
Villa's progress has been dented by injuries to Christian Benteke (Achilles) and Libor Kozak (broken leg) but Gabriel Agbonlahor should return from a knee problem here, while Marc Albrighton (groin) also is back in the fold.
The hosts are very strong in the market despite last week's disappointing showing in east London.
Sherwood's men, who have won five of their last six league games at home, including their last three, can be backed at 1.528/15.
Aston Villa put up a sound defensive showing for 60 minutes against Manchester City in midweek but you'd expect Lambert to play a more expansive style here and they can be punted at 7.613/2 to improve an away record which has seen them win at Southampton and Arsenal this season.
However, they haven't won on the road since beating Sunderland at the start of January and have lost their last five away games. The draw is a 4.67/2 chance.
Time Of First Goal
Regular readers of my Tottenham preview work (hi mum) will be well aware of my fascination regarding the fact Spurs are the only team not to have scored a goal in the first 15 minutes of a Premier League game this season.
It's a strange statistic for a top-half team as top-10 side's have scored an average of seven goals this season in the first 15 minutes of all games.
I'm a big fan of finding trend enders and this looks the perfect opportunity to catch Spurs to bag an early goal as Villa are notoriously very slow starters in the Premier League, conceding nine this season in that time period. Only West Brom (11) have let slip more.
This has led to me to belief that the time is now for Spurs to strike early.
The Time Of First Goal market has yet to be fully liquidated but my advice is back an early goal (so you have an Aston Villa goal covered too as Spurs have conceded nine early goals themselves this season) at 4.94/1 or bigger.
One man that won't be scoring the Tottenham early goal is Emmanuel Adebayor, who after blitzing most defences when Sherwood first got the job and since failed to find the net in over a month - or 364 minutes - since scoring Tottenham's fourth against Sunderland at the start of April.
This is a common trait in the frustrating striker's make-up. When he's hot, he's very hot, and when he's cold, he's freezing. Lay him to score at any time at 2.01/1 or less.
Back the first goal to be scored between 0-10 minutes @ 4.57/2 or bigger
Lay Emmanuel Adebayor to score @ 2.01/1 or shorter