Tottenham Hotspur host Chelsea in the Premier League on Thursday in a 8pm kick-off at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Spurs are looking to bounce back after successive defeats against Liverpool and Brighton last week, with the absence of Harry Kane clearly significantly hurting them in attack.
Chelsea, meanwhile, have moved level on points with their forthcoming opponents after taking four points from two home games against Wolves and Burnley under their new manager Thomas Tuchel.
As such, it’s perhaps not too surprising to see the Blues installed as 21/20 favourites by the bookmakers, with the draw 12/5. Tottenham are 13/5 to win the match.
These two sides have already met twice this season, drawing both times (1-1 in the EFL Cup and 0-0 in the league).
Given Spurs’ attacking lethargy without their talisman Kane and Tuchel’s safety-first approach in the early stages of his tenure, another 0-0 looks good value at 9/1 (bet365).
Both sides are likely to deploy 3-4-3 formations, albeit Chelsea’s is likely to offer more attacking thrust with Callum Hudson-Odoi and Marcos Alonso down the flanks, so it could be a cagey encounter.
Neither side has scored more than two goals in each of the last five meetings between the two clubs, so I’m happy to back Under 3 Goals for each side given their problems going forward and the way I see this game going.
This has been a particularly fiery London derby in recent years, perhaps stemming back to the infamous “Battle of the Bridge” when Chelsea ended Tottenham’s hopes of winning the Premier League in May 2016 with an astonishing 12 players yellow carded on the day.
I can’t imagine this will be anything approaching that level of madness, especially with Andre Marriner officiating, although the 50-year-old has rediscovered his cards a bit lately.
His season average of 2.67 cards per game remains pretty low, but Marriner has shown exactly four cards in five of his last six PL games, with each of those seeing each team receive at least one card each.
As such, I’m happy to back each
team to receive 1+ card each and Over 2 Cards for Both Teams Combined, with this Bet Builder landing in each of these sides’ last four meetings:
I’m also quite keen on 2+ cards each team at 12/5 as this has landed in nine of the previous 14 meetings between these sides in all competitions.
As an alternative, you could back BTTS No, 1+ card each team, 4+ cards overall and 7+ corners overall at 4/1.
In terms of player cards, Antonio Rudiger, Toby Alderweireld, Matteo Kovacic, Alonso and Jorginho have each been booked multiple times within the last 10 H2H’s.
Alderweireld was booked in Spurs’ last game against Brighton, making four fouls and generally looking quite exposed as a right-sided centre-back in a three, so looks a fantastic price at 7/1 (bet365). You can partner him with the tempestuous Rudiger at 33/1 (bet365).
If N’Golo Kante is fit then there may only be room for one of Jorginho or Kovacic alongside him, with Kovacic and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg both to be carded a great price at 20/1 (bet365). All four players mentioned would make a fun 650/1 longshot!
If Alonso does start at left wing-back, I’m fully aboard him to have 1+ shot on target at 9/4 (Betfair). The same bet is only 4/6 with Sky Bet, with the Spaniard always representing a serious threat in the opponent’s box with his aerial prowess and powerful left foot, as he showed by scoring last time out against Burnley.
He’s also scored three times in the last 10 H2H’s, including a brace in a 2-1 win for the Blues 2017, so 9/1 (bet365) for him to score anytime appeals, with 35/1 (Betfair) a great price on him scoring a header.
I wanted to back Hudson-Odoi to have an assist, too, with the winger looking superb in a Victor Moses-esque right wing-back role, but the price looks a bit skinny at around 2/1 given my general feeling there won’t be many goals in this game. If anyone finds something around 4/1, give me a shout on Twitter!