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The Big Match Tactical View: Tottenham v Everton

Mauricio Pochettino will expect his side to get all three points
Mauricio Pochettino will expect his side to get all three points
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Everton haven't won against Tottenham in their last 10 attempts - and are huge outsiders ahead of this clash at Wembley. Michael Cox looks at the tactical battle and Alan Thompson assesses the odds...

"With a free midweek both before and after this game, Mauricio Pochettino is likely to field his strongest side"

Tottenham v Everton
Saturday 17:30, BT Sport 1.
Match Odds: Tottenham [1.3], Everton [14.0], The Draw [6.2].

Everton looking to end poor record against Spurs

Everton have struggled to defeat Tottenham in recent years, having recorded five draws and five defeats in their last 10 fixtures. Having only taken eight points on the road this season, it's difficult to make a case for Sam Allardyce's side getting anything from their trip to Wembley, where Spurs are unbeaten in their last 10 in all competitions.

Mauricio Pochettino has few injury problems coming into this contest. Toby Alderweireld is still out, Danny Rose has joined him on the sidelines, while Harry Winks is doubtful - but hasn't been a regular in recent weeks anyway. With a free midweek both before and after this game, Pochettino is likely to field his strongest side.

What constitutes his strongest side is usually up for debate, but there are few questions here. Davinson Sanchez and Jan Vertonghen will probably start at the back, with Eric Dier playing in midfield, probably alongside Mousa Dembele. Serge Aurier is probably favourite to get the nod over Kieran Trippier at right-back, while Rose's injury means Ben Davies will start on the left flank. Victor Wanyama is back in full training, which is a big boost for Pochettino, but is unlikely to be fit enough to start.

In the final third, things seem pretty settled. Harry Kane will lead the line, with support from Dele Alli, Christian Eriksen and Son Heung-min. It's difficult to see how Pochettino could deviate from this approach: it's not a game for Moussa Sissoko, Fernando Llorente is very much a plan B, and Erik Lamela will probably be given minutes from the bench rather than start.

Everton to play on the break

Sam Allardyce is likely to pick a defensive-minded side that seeks to contain and frustrate Tottenham - in much the same manner Everton nearly did against Liverpool in the FA Cup last weekend. Phil Jagielka and Mason Holgate largely defended well against the Reds, despite a couple of incidents involving Holgate suggesting he played somewhat aggressively. Jonjo Kenny is a tough tackler and will play on the right, while Cuco Martina has improved in recent weeks, and is enjoying being protected better by the midfield.

Allardyce will probably use a midfield trio of Idrissa Gueye, Tom Davies and Wayne Rooney, although the need to use a combative and mobile trio means Morgan Schneiderlin might be a better bet, with Rooney the obvious man to drop out - but Allardyce more likely to leave out Davies, and go for experience.

Out wide, Gylfi Sigurdssson is likely to drift inside from his left-sided position but also must be wary of Aurier's overlapping in behind him, while on the opposite flank Yannick Bolasie looked very dangerous against Liverpool and certainly has the speed to break past Ben Davies regularly.

Too soon for Tosun?

Upfront, Cenk Tosun is available for selection following his move from Besiktas, and Everton desperately need extra penalty box threat. But, in a game where they're likely to spend the majority of time on the back foot, and against Spurs' high defensive line, the pace of Dominic Calvert-Lewis might be very useful. Tosun could be an impact sub.

Tottenham are clearly strong favourites here, but I'm struggling to back them as low at [1.29], and other markets involving the result are similarly unappetising.

Instead, I'll go for a more specific bet, and back Spurs' Dembele to be booked at [5.0] - he looks to have lost a yard of pace following his injury struggles, and because he'll be forced to stop counters here, I think he's vulnerable to a yellow.


The Betfair Trader's View - Alan Thompson

The Toffee’s have hit a bit of a sticky patch, with three straight league losses, two of those defeats against top four teams, but I still don’t think that justifies their hefty price of [14.0] in the Match Odds, I had them at [10.0].

Spurs are three points away from the top four before this weekend’s games and anything less than a win here would be a major disappointment. They dropped points at home again last time out and knowing that Liverpool face Manchester City this weekend might just provide an opportunity to get back in touch with the top four.

All the pressure is on the hosts here and while Sam Allardyce’s side are by no means away from the relegation dogfight just yet (seven points ahead of third bottom Stoke City). I am sure they will go to Wembley looking to frustrate their way to a point which they will view as a good result.

Spurs have a very good home record against Everton, having won four and drawn two of their last six meetings but they are absolutely no value in the markets and despite expecting them to win I can’t bring myself to back them.

I was hoping to see Everton +1.5 & +2.0 closer to even money but it is trading around [1.86] and that is a bit too short for me. Therefore, my main bet (80% of stake) will be on Everton +1.5 @ [2.1] but I will have a cheap saver (20% of stake) on Tottenham to win 2-0 @ [7.0].

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