Tottenham look to shake White Hart Lane woes against Everton
Tottenham, 5/4 favourites for victory with Coral, host Everton knowing that a rare home win could propel them within touching distance of a Champions League spot.
That is precisely what both these clubs want, and are rated equal 6/1 shots for a top four finish in the Premier League.
However, the travelling Toffees, who are one league place above their rivals due to goal difference, are unbeaten in eight games, and will feel confident considering Spurs’ poor performances on home turf.
After failing to win their last two duels at White Hart Lane, Tottenham are 23/10 to capitulate again and hand adventurous Everton their first victory in Spurs’ backyard since 2008.
Battles between these two teams have resulted in draws on two of the past four occasions, making this game an excellent 12/5 chance of ending with honours even.
Even if Spurs split the spoils with their guests, the duo’s recent rearguard woes mean there are still likely to be goals galore (with both sides 11/1 to net in both halves).
An open game would certainly suit Roberto Martinez’s men, who have notched up six more this season than their north London hosts, with Spurs often struggling to be on target.
Mauricio Pochettino has kept faith with misfiring Spaniard Roberto Soldado, but the forward continued to fluff his lines last time out against Partizan Belgrade, with a series of unbelievable misses.
This may see the attack-minded Argentine coach finally lose patience and plump to give England Under-21 star Harry Kane a chance to plough the lone furrow, supported by a magnificent midfield trio of Nacer Chadli, Christian Eriksen and Erik Lamela.
Eriksen (7/1 to draw first blood), Kane (6/4 to strike anytime) and Chadli (15/2 to fire home last) have been responsible for 12 of Spurs’ 16 Premier League goals, whilst the Toffees have instead benefitted by sharing the scoring burden.
Everton initially struggled to get into top gear this term, after dazzling neutrals with their swashbuckling displays last season.
The Merseysiders have now built up a head of steam, however, and are unbeaten in their last eight outings.
Martinez may yet pay the price for his decision to send many of his starting XI to Wolfsburg, though, while Spurs rested most of their first string against Partizan.
Midfield orchestrator James McCarthy’s ability to shield the defence and start attacks from deep will be much-missed, after the Republic of Ireland international was sidelined midweek.
Everton’s strikeforce should still see them through, however, with club record signing Romelu Lukaku finally finding form. The powerful frontman has scored two in his last two, making him a stupendous 6/4 to net anytime.
Brilliant Belgium international Lukaku is the Toffees’ top Premier League marksman, but defenders Leighton Baines, Seamus Coleman and Phil Jagielka, along with attacking midfielder Steven Naismith, have also been chipping in.
This team spirit should give the visitors an advantage, but under-pressure Pochettino will have roused his side, knowing that more than just three points could be at stake in this battle between two potential top four crashers.