Spurs could spring Anfield surprise
Ben Coley previews Sunday's games in the Barclays Premier League and thinks Spurs are value to beat Liverpool.
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First up, Everton travel to Fulham in a bid to keep up their Champions League push with a fifth straight win, but while fancied to do so they don't appear to offer a great deal of value at odds-on across the board.
Liverpool are even shorter to beat Spurs and while there's plenty of evidence to suggest they will, our man thinks bookmakers have gone overboard in their quotes about another away win for Tottenham.
Check out his match-by-match verdicts:
It's quite possible that come kick-off here, Everton will remain six points behind fourth-placed Arsenal but with two games in hand and the opportunity to edge their goal difference column ahead of that of their rivals. With a game against the Gunners to come at Goodison Park, opportunity knocks for Roberto Martinez and his side who travel to face Fulham with Phil Jagielka back in the squad having missed five games including their midweek win at Newcastle. That victory ended a run of four consecutive away defeats for Everton but they were all at the hands of top-six opposition and they're probably deserving of odds-on quotes to win at Craven Cottage. There's still something tempting about Fulham when they reach prices as big as 4/1 at home but the fact is they've underperformed for six months now and if Everton win this game it'll mean that all of the league's tops seven have done so at Craven Cottage this season. That's a telling fact and suggests that a 1-0 win over Newcastle - despite the fact they lie eighth - isn't form that can be expected to stand up against the Toffees. All this being said, on balance it's too early to be steaming into Everton at odds-on away from home as we've seen at Crystal Palace, Cardiff, Norwich and West Brom that their primary objective on the road is often to avoid defeat and see where that gets them. Everton's rejuvenation has come hand-in-hand with that of Romelu Lukaku and for those who must have a bet, I'd rather be taking a shade of odds-against about him finding the net for the fifth time in six matches particularly given how poor Fulham have been at the back for much of the campaign. Ultimately, though, it's no bet.
Verdict: Fulham 0 Everton 1
Fulham have won just four of their last 19 Barclays Premier League matches at Craven Cottage (W4 D1 L14).
Everton have won six and lost none of the last eight Barclays Premier League games against Fulham.
Everton have won four Premier League games in a row for the first time since March 2008.
Romelu Lukaku has scored in three of his last four Premier League games.
Having been very keen on Liverpool covering a two-goal handicap during the week, I'm going to make an about turn here. Because while most of the facts noted then were only strengthened by another home win against Sunderland, their performance over the last 40 minutes was most unconvincing and while they've gained praise for 'winning ugly', that they did so owed as much to their guests and their profligacy as it did Liverpool's nous and attitude. This doesn't mean I'm in a rush to write them off and it wouldn't surprise me were they to bounce back and produce 90 minutes of fluent, effective attacking football, but taking 1/2 about a home win looks extremely risky. Spurs aren't exactly flavour of the week with punters nor indeed pundits but they still have plenty of quality about them and nine away wins is a total no side in the division can better at the time of writing. That they lost the reverse fixture 5-0 may serve as extra incentive although with Arsenal faltering, there shouldn't be any need for that and I'm sure the excitable Tim Sherwood won't relent in his demands. Of course, Spurs were down 2-0 early on against Southampton last week and it took a last-minute stunner for them to win, and I'm under no illusions that a similar first-half display would see them beaten out of sight by Brendan Rodgers' marauding side. However, just as possible is that they turn in a performance like those which saw them win 4-0 at Newcastle, 2-1 at Old Trafford and 3-2 at Southampton and if they can do that, 13/2 about an away win will look much too big. This is a tip based solely on price but in my view Spurs should be around the 7/2 to 4/1 mark and not nearly twice that, so the decision is simple even if all the build-up will focus on how impressive Liverpool are and how far clear of Spurs they appear to have moved. The more cautious can take close to 5/1 in the draw no bet market but Tottenham's gung-ho approach may mean this is an all or nothing wager.
Verdict: Liverpool 1 Tottenham 2
Liverpool v Tottenham has seen more own goals than any other fixture in Barclays Premier League history (8).
Tottenham haven't lost three Barclays Premier League away games in a row since January 2009.
Liverpool have won 11 and lost none of their last 12 Premier League games at Anfield.
Daniel Sturridge has scored 11 goals in 11 Premier League appearances at Anfield this season.