Spurs must belie recent away form in Florence for Europa League tie
Tottenham have worryingly won away from home just once since Boxing Day, and have to score to stand a chance of clearing the first knockout hurdle in the Europa League. Coral make Mauricio Pochettino’s men 6/4 to advance from their last 32 tie with Fiorentina, which is poised at 1-1 on aggregate.
Coached by former Fulham loan forward Vincenzo Montella, the Viola start as odds-on favourites both for victory in the second leg in 90 minutes (10/11) and to qualify for the next round (1/2). It suffices to say this is going to be a stern test of Spurs’ credentials.
A draw, 1-1 in normal time (6/1) and then victory via a penalty shoot-out, or 2-2 (14/1) would actually be enough to see Tottenham progress. It’s 12/5 for this match to end level in 90 minutes, but that does create the aforementioned complexities of going into an additional half hour in the former case, or sneaking through on the away goals rule for the other.
To put it simply, should Spurs win in the culture vulture’s paradise of Florence (3/1), then they will be in the last 16 draw. To guarantee them progression, Pochettino will surely select Harry Kane from the start.
Widely quoted and impressive goals to games return of 24 in 37 outings across all competitions, and six in the last five, for England call-up hopeful Kane is all punters need to know.
They also explain his anytime scorer odds of 6/4, enhanced to 9/4 with a maximum stake of £20 here, while Kane is also better at 11/2 to grab the opener.
Spanish striker Roberto Soldado staked his claim, however, to lead the line by scoring in the first leg. He is longer in those respective markets to repeat scoring first at 8/1, and an 11/4 anytime chance.
For Fiorentina, Egypt winger Mohamed Salah, on loan from Chelsea, is a threat Tottenham should know only too well. He scored against them when playing for Basel a couple of seasons back, and has two in his last three for Montella’s men.
At a tasty 10/3 to net again anytime, Salah is a superb scoring shout, and both of his two goals in Viola colours have been first, so a nifty 9/1 on that happening once more must be considered too.
Don’t discount half-German half-Spanish striker Mario Gomez either. Formerly of Bayern Munich, he has five in as many appearances. That illustrates why Gomez has short 5/4 odds in the anytime market.
Goals from defenders have also been a recent feature for Fiorentina. Argentine pair Jose Maria Basanta (7/1), who has two in three, and Gonzalo Javier Rodriguez (6/1) proved set-piece threats, which means Spurs shall have to be on their guard from corners and free-kicks.
If Pochettino can translate memorable home wins over London rivals Arsenal and Chelsea over to this European away game, then Tottenham look awesome value at 11/2 to win with both teams being on target.