Tottenham v Cardiff: Set-plays the route to profit
Andy Schooler believes a tighter game than many expect lies in store at Wembley on Saturday and he's got 10/1 and 11/1 tips for Spurs v Cardiff...
"Only Liverpool have scored more goals from set-pieces than Spurs' four in this season's Premier League, while no team have conceded more this way than Cardiff (4)."
Tottenham v Cardiff
Spanish league leaders Barcelona came to Wembley and conquered on Wednesday. Three days later and Wales' top-ranked club are the visitors to the same stadium at considerably longer odds.
Cardiff will certainly take heart from Spurs' recent problems with some shaky form now compounded by a lengthy injury list.
Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen are big misses going forward while at the other end, Jan Vertonghen, Serge Aurier and Mousa Dembele are also still out and make a Tottenham defence which is lacking clean sheets this season (just two so far) look even more vulnerable.
It certainly was sliced apart on Wednesday when fit-again keeper Hugo Lloris hardly helped matters.
Of course, that was against one of Europe's best sides. Cardiff are certainly not that - they are yet to win in the Premier League and have collected just two points from seven games - but they did find the net at Chelsea a few weeks ago and can count themselves unfortunate to have lost to Burnley last week having had the better of the game.
They can take some confidence from that display and with Spurs struggling on that front, this game could well be closer than the odds suggest.
Cardiff have two clean sheets themselves, albeit against sides further down the table than Spurs, but with the hosts now having won just two of their last seven games, the Welsh should not be entirely ruled out at odds of [15.5] to win this one.
The draw is [6.8] with Spurs looking short enough at [1.26]. The double-chance market offers you the draw and the away win at [4.7].
Trends suggest goals
In terms of goals, nine of Spurs' 10 games in all competitions this season have seen over 2.5 goals, as have Cardiff's last four. You can get [1.48] about the trend continuing.
With no side having prevented Tottenham from scoring, eight of their 10 have also seen both teams score. Cardiff's stats on that front are less compelling but both teams have netted in four of their last five and given Spurs' injury problems there may be a spot of value in the Sportsbook's even money about both teams scoring here.
I had hoped for a bit of odds-against though so instead I'm going to turn to the goalscorer markets for my best bets and I'm going with a couple of big prices.
Only Liverpool have scored more goals from set-pieces than Spurs' four in this season's Premier League, while no team have conceded more this way than Cardiff (4).
Admittedly Tottenham will miss the injured Eriksen in these situations, although that will simply mean Kieran Trippier (who takes more corners anyway) gets more chances to deliver and we all know he's no mug when it comes to crossing the ball accurately.
Another injury absentee, Alli, is strong in the air but obviously won't be around to connect in this game so I'm turning to centre-backs Davinson Sanchez and Toby Alderweireld, both of whom are double-figure prices to score at any time.
Preference would be for the former, the Colombian having netted six times in Eredivisie games for Ajax in 2016/17 before joining Spurs, although Alderweireld has shown his threat in recent games and he really should have scored from a corner against Brighton.
In Lucas Moura, Erik Lamela and Heung-Min Son, Spurs still have players capable of getting wide and winning plenty of corners and Cardiff have conceded plenty of those so far.
They gave up 10 against Manchester City and nine against Arsenal (both in home games), while on their travels they've conceded seven at both Huddersfield and Bournemouth.
In short, Spurs should get chances from set-plays.
Sanchez and Alderweireld hardly have sparkling goalscoring records, but I'm not basing my bet on long-term trends, rather current circumstances and recent stats. Both players offer threat in such situations and warrant a small interest on this occasion.
Same Game Multi
If we're going for long shots this week, how about this? Sanchez to score in a 2-1 win for Spurs - as I've said I think it could be close. That pays at close to 150/1.
Tottenham striker Harry Kane has scored against 26 of the 27 different sides he's faced in the Premier League. The only side he's yet to find the net against are Cardiff - he played just 16 minutes against them across two games in the 2013/14 campaign.
Andy Schooler's P/L 2018/19