Tottenham’s top four ambitions will be thoroughly tested this weekend as they welcome Manchester United to the capital.
Jose Mourinho’s men are just three points off the top four however, they’re taking on a side which is yet to lose away from home this season in the Premier League. Kevin Hatchard, Mark O’Haire and Jake Osgathorpe previewed the fixture on the latest edition of Betfair’s Football…Only Bettor podcast.
Mark began by giving his take on Spurs saying: “Since beating Man City, it’s been treacherous more than anything. They’ve beaten teams they were expected to [beat] and fallen short in the games where the pressure has come on.
“Last weekend was really damaging in terms of their season but also in terms of morale. To concede 17 shots in the box against Newcastle is unforgivable really. They didn’t even have Callum Wilson and Saint-Maximin was on the bench. That’s really really concerning.
“The saving grace from my point of view, is I’m always a little bit sceptical about results and performances immediately after the international break. There’s scope for a few shockers in there, I think we saw that across Europe.
“The wider picture is that Mourinho has started to graze on his players. I think his conduct post-match was quite alarming really. Throwing players under the bus. I know he’s frustrated but behaving that way and to do it so often is not really advised in today’s age. We saw Frank Lampard do it and that didn’t end too well.
“I also looked at the XIs when they were announced, and I looked at the back four of Spurs and I thought there was an opportunity for Newcastle to get at them if they could.
“I guess Son being back available is a plus. Between him and Harry Kane they’ve scored or assisted 40 of the 51 goals that Spurs have scored which is pretty mad really.
“But apart from Kane, none of that side looked confident or composed. Højbjerg potentially. I think there are fractions behind the scenes. I think we learned as much by Alderweireld’s absence and mixed messages going out in the press about why he wasn’t involved.
“Whilst the top four isn’t out of the equation, do you have any faith in Spurs who won eight of 21 domestically? Lost seven of 11 against the top eight? They scored one or zero goals in eight of those 11 games against the top teams. It’s just not good enough for a top four chasing team.
“United were involved in Europa League commitments on Thursday night. I think they’ve proved pretty capable of juggling those. I think at some point, United do deserve respect and I’m not sure they’re getting respect in the market to be fair.
“Chelsea and Liverpool were even money to win away at Tottenham in January and February. United are 2.5 ish which is a significant difference, and I don’t think there’s that big a difference between those three teams.
“United have lost four league games all season. They’ve lost once since the 1st of November, they’re unbeaten away, they’ve lost once in 11 against the top eight. Kept six clean sheets in that spell too.
“I like United a lot. I think the ‘draw no bet’ at 1.83 is absolutely fair enough but you can get a little bit more on side by taking United double chance and under 3.5 goals at 1.86. So you’re getting United to avoid defeat and under four goals.”
You can hear more tips and more insight from Kevin, Mark and Jake on the latest edition of Betfair’s Football…Only Bettor podcast.