Wolves v Tottenham: Underestimate the hosts at your peril

Wolves manager - Nuno Espírito Santo
Can Nuno Espírito Santo take Wolves into the Champions League?

Tottenham travel to Molineux to take on Wolves on Sunday and Paul Robinson is expecting the North Londoners to struggle.

Wolves, meanwhile, have only been beaten twice in the league all season, and since a 2-0 loss to Crystal Palace on January 2nd, they have only been beaten at Molineux on more occasion in the league - and that was against a then in-form, Chelsea.

Back Wolves Draw No Bet @ 2.3811/8

Wolves v Tottenham
Sunday December 15, 14:00

Wolves deserve more recognition

The job that Nuno Espírito Santo has done at Wolves this season hasn't quite received the praise that it deserves, in my opinion.

The second season in the Premier League can often be a difficult one for a promoted side, as can a Europa League campaign.

Nuno didn't even splash a whole wadge of cash during the summer either, so the fact that they are comfortably through to the knockout rounds of the Europa, and sitting in sixth place in the league, is quite the achievement.

Wolves extended their unbeaten run to nine matches in all competitions with their 4-0 win over Besiktas on Thursday, and their only defeat since a 1-0 loss to Braga on September 19th, was a 2-1 reverse at Aston Villa in the Carabao Cup.

The manager made plenty of changes for the Besiktas game on Thursday, but the likelihood is that he will play the same side that drew at Brighton last Sunday.

Defending still an issue for Spurs

Tottenham were beaten at Bayern Munich on Wednesday, but it was a dead-rubber and the likes of Harry Kane, Dele Alli and Son Heung-Min didn't start the game - only the last named was in the match-day squad.

Prior to that, Spurs had put their Old Trafford defeat behind them by thumping Burnley 5-0, with the clean sheet possibly pleasing the manager more than the five goals - it was their first since his arrival.

How the team defend as a whole is still a bit of a work in progress, as the volume of goals conceded this term can't solely be blamed on the back four and goalkeeper.

Even before Wednesday's trip to Germany, Mourinho indicated that the team for this fixture was already decided. Harry Winks' fitness was still in the balance at that point, so one would assume that Dier and Sissoko will rake the two berths in centre midfield, with the rest of the XI practically picking itself.

Wrong favourites at Molineux

The visitors are the 2.3811/8 favourites for their trip to Molineux, but for me, that is far too short. Ignore the name of the teams, and just look at the stats for a minute.

Tottenham have won one Premier League away game since a 2-1 victory at Fulham on January 20th. Admittedly it did come under Mourinho, but it was also against an abject West Ham team - and they only scraped over the line in the end.

Opta also tells us that Spurs have lost 10 of their last 14 Premier League away games (W1 D3) - their previous 10 defeats on the road came across a 44-game spell. Indeed, Tottenham last suffered more away league defeats in a single calendar year back in 2006 (11).

Wolves, meanwhile, have only been beaten twice in the league all season, and since a 2-0 loss to Crystal Palace on January 2nd, they have only been beaten at Molineux on one more occasion in the league - and that was against a then in-form, Chelsea.

The home win is trading at around the 3.39/4 mark, but my enthusiasm is slightly tempered by the fact that they do draw a lot of their matches.

So far this term, the draws outnumber the wins at Molineux - four to three - however it is worth noting that all three of those successes came from their last five appearances here.

The draw is actually the outsider of the market at 3.55, and while I am tempted by that too - especially at the bigger price - I think that the best bet is actually Wolves Draw No Bet, which is available to back at 2.3811/8 on the Betfair Exchange.

Goals odds a pick-em

According to the Betfair Layers, the Over/Under 2.5 Goal market is a coin toss. Both outcomes can be backed at even money 2.01/1, and a quick look at the stats backs up that non-opinion.

Spurs are seeing their matches average 3.31 goals each time, with a dozen of their 16 ending with the ball in the net on three occasions or more.

Wolves are at the opposite end of the scale though, as only five of their 16 have seen Over 2.5 backers collect - which explains why their games are only averaging 2.63 goals per 90 minutes - an average skewed by a 5-2 defeat.

As boring as it may sound, this is absolutely a no-bet market for me.

2019/20 P/L (1pt each bet)

Wagered: 32pts
Returned: 34.04pts
P/L: +2.04pts

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