Spurs to Kick-start Season
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2pts Tottenham to beat Reading at 11/10 (BetVictor, William Hill).
Early-season signs suggest Tottenham fans will have to be patient with Andre Villas-Boas as the club head to Reading on Sunday still searching for their first Premier League win of the season.
But time is certainly not a luxury many managers are afforded these days so it's fair to say the pressure is already starting to build on the Portuguese, who some would say wasn't given enough of a chance at Chelsea.
To put a positive spin on Spurs' opening three games, they could have easily notched up seven points instead of two.
During the 2-1 defeat at Newcastle on the opening weekend, Villas-Boas' men looked sharper than the Magpies, with Jermain Defoe and Gareth Bale both hitting the woodwork, and it was really only Rafael van der Vaart's clumsy challenge on Hatem Ben Arfa inside the box with 10 minutes remaining which cost them a share of the spoils.
They followed that result up with back-to-back 1-1 home draws against West Brom and Norwich in which they conceded agonisingly late equalisers in both encounters.
The disgruntled supporters made their feelings known by booing the team off after a largely uninspiring performance against the Canaries and they've had to live with that frustration throughout the international break.
Sure, the inability of Tottenham's defence to withstand late pressure in the consecutive games is a cause for concern as well as their failure to really excite their fans but once some of the growing tension is released with a win, they'll surely put themselves on course to mount a top-four challenge.
Summer signing Moussa Dembele scored on his debut in the clash with Norwich and we can expect much more from him in weeks to come while Clint Dempsey, who also joined from Fulham, could make his Spurs debut this weekend.
It's far too early for doom and gloom to descend, especially with the expensively-assembled quality at AVB's disposal, and I'm backing them to get their campaign up and running at the Madejski Stadium.
Reading are also yet to taste victory although to be fair they've only played twice so far after their fixture at Sunderland was postponed due a waterlogged pitch.
Before that the Royals opened the season with a 1-1 draw against Stoke - in which they equalised from the spot in stoppage time - before falling to a 4-2 defeat at Chelsea while an unchanged line-up then struggled to a 3-2 home victory against Championship outfit Peterborough in the Capital One Cup.
Brian McDermott has refuted suggestions his players will be lacking match sharpness against Spurs but if they produce similar performances from the last two home matches then it shouldn't be too taxing for the visitors to come away with all three points.
Tottenham can be backed at 11/10 with BetVictor and William Hill and that's a price well worth snapping up.