Tottenham host Fulham in this rescheduled fixture and Jake Pearson has previewed the match, picking out his two bets.
For details of advised bookmakers and each-way terms, visit our transparent tipping record
Before we delve into the specifics of this match from a betting perspective, it would first be beneficial to try and get our heads around exactly why this game is taking place on this Wednesday evening.
Originally, Tottenham were scheduled to face Aston Villa on January 13, but due to an outbreak of Covid-19 at the club, Villa appealed to the Premier League to have the match postponed.
The Premier League agreed, and then asked Fulham, who were scheduled to play Tottenham on December 30, only to be struck down by their own Covid issues, if they could face Spurs on Wednesday instead.
Fulham don't seem too happy about the rearrangement, and possibly wouldn’t have fielded such a strong team in their 2-0 victory over QPR in the FA Cup - which went to extra time - had they known about an upcoming fixture just four days later.
Apparently, the Cottagers were given just two days’ notice, potentially leaving Scott Parker’s side a little underprepared; the Fulham manager has called the decision to bring the fixture forward “scandalous”.
Jose Mourinho on the other hand had no issues with the match going ahead, in fact quite the opposite.
In such a busy period, the Tottenham boss is happy to be getting this fixture out of the way, calling the solution a “positive” one.
Spurs are clearly the happier of the two teams about this game going ahead, and though they are very short in the betting, there is an argument to suggest they still represent a bit of value. We are not in the business of tipping up 4/11 shots however, so we must go in search of value elsewhere.
Tottenham have been incredibly fast starters this season. In fact, no team would have amassed more points than Spurs had football matches been 45 minutes long. Mourinho’s team have been leading in nine of their 15 matches when the half-time whistle was blown, trailing on just one occasion.
They have scored the joint-most first-half goals, while no team can boast a better first-half defensive record, particularly at home, where Spurs have conceded just once in the opening 45 minutes.
All four of Tottenham’s home victories have come when leading at the break, so if you are looking to side with a Spurs win, which we are, you would be best served to back them to be leading at half-time, and to win the match, which is exactly what we are going to do, and at an appealing price of 11/10.
There is more to betting however, than just predicting the score. Stats markets now feature heavily among bookmakers’ offerings, and there could also be value in card betting in this match.
Over 3.5 cards to be shown can be backed at 11/10 with Bet365, while Paddy Power and Betfair have over 30 booking points at the same price, but the true probability for such an occurrence may be closer to the 4/6 mark.
While value is difficult to argue against, there are more reasons than sheer numbers to suggest this is a decent bet, and a lot of those centre around Pierre-Emile Højbjerg.
The Dane has been a hugely important addition to the Tottenham squad this season. His ratty, robust nature has paired extremely well with Moussa Sissoko’s equally ratty, robust nature, certainly in the eyes of Mourinho anyway.
Højbjerg’s yellow card count is astonishingly low, the former Southampton man being cautioned just three times this season, but that number should surely be much higher.
He is in the Premier League’s top 20 for fouls committed, and his combativeness in the centre of midfield will surely see his yellow-card tally rise sooner or later.
Fulham are by no means saints when it comes to discipline, either. In fact, the Cottagers have been shown the second most yellow cards this season, while also seeing two players sent off.
Card averages have dropped overall this term, but only for away sides, and that can be attributed to the fact that, without the crowd, there is far less bias towards a home team.
This should not be the case here however, with everything pointing towards Tottenham domination, meaning Fulham will need to dig in and show plenty of grit to hang on, which could possibly lead to a fair few bookings.
Score prediction: Tottenham 2-0 Fulham (Sky Bet odds: 6/1)
Odds correct at 1530 GMT (12/01/21)
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