Stick with win-to-nil experts Spurs against Sheriff
After their first goalless draw of the season against Everton in the Premier League, Spurs are back in Europa League action at home to Moldovan champions Sheriff Tiraspol.
The Lilywhites’ 2-0 win at the Sheriff Stadium was not as comfortable as many predicted, with Andre Villas-Boas’ men nervously protecting a one-goal lead before Jermain Defoe’s 75th-minute deflected strike sealed all the points.
The Portuguese will put out a side capable of seeing off Sheriff with something to spare, but Spurs’ sheepishness in front of goal this season suggests another low-scoring night is in store.
Tottenham to win to nil @ 8/13
Spurs have won 12 of their 17 matches in all competitions this term and all of those victories have been achieved without conceding a goal.
Five Europa League matches are included in that run, with Villas-Boas taking no chances in a competition he won with Porto in 2010/11.
Mousa Dembele, Sandro, Christian Eriksen and Hugo Lloris have all appeared in Spurs’ three Group K matches so far this term and the former Chelsea boss will field another strong lineup tonight.
Goalkeeper Lloris – whose collision with Everton’s Romelu Lukaku in Spurs’ last Premier League match left him out cold – may start against the Moldovan’s after passing a fitness test.
Eriksen to score the first goal @ 5/1
The Dane arrived from Ajax over the summer with a big reputation and an £11.5m price tag, but has struggled to adapt to English football thus far.
Lewis Holtby is currently occupying his number 10 role in Premier League matches, pushing the 21-year-old down the White Hart Lane pecking order and into the cup competitions.
Eriksen has not started a top-flight game for over a month and needs to show his worth in midweek matches to get back on the main stage.
He curled in a peach of a goal from 25 yards in his first Europa League appearance for Spurs against Tromso and can stay in his manager’s thoughts by striking first in this fixture.
Under 3.5 goals in the match @ 19/20
Spurs’ long-suffering fans will be reasonably happy with 20 points and fourth place 10 games into their 2013/14 Premier League campaign.
However, the White Hart Lane faithful would have expected a few more goals from their £70m of new attacking talent.
Roberto Soldado finally managed a league goal from open play against Aston Villa recently, but Erik Lamela has shown little so far to suggest he is worth the £25m-plus Spurs paid Roma for him.
Six of the north Londoners’ last seven games have produced three goals or less and only three of their 17 games this season have seen more than that number scored.
Spurs could only breach Sheriff twice in Tiraspol and their recent record of misfiring suggests they won’t score many more here.