Tottenham v Qarabag – White Hart Lane at 20:05 on BT Sport Europe
Tottenham welcome the Azerbaijani Premier League champions Qarabag to White Hart Lane tomorrow night as they open there Europa League campaign. Spurs go into the match as 1.34 favourites but face a side who haven’t lost domestically this season.
Mauricio Pochettino picked up 3 points for the first time this season away to Sunderland on Sunday, but it was another unconvincing performance from the North Londoners. An opening day loss to Man Utd was followed by 3 draws, scoring just 4 in their 5 matches they are struggling to find the back of the net.
The Europa League can be a very taxing tournament and can affect clubs performance domestically just as it did to Everton last season. The Spurs boss will need to find the right balance if they are to compete in the Premier League and in Europe.
Pochettino cut a lot of ‘deadwood’ from his squad but added attacking options Clinton N’Jie, Son Heung-min and strengthened his defence with Kieran Trippier, Kevin Wimmer and Toby Alderweireld. Not all have European experience but if Tottenham are to reach their perennial target of a top 4 finish in the BPL and mount a challenge in Europe then the whole squad will need to be utilised.
The Asian Handicap betting line is -1.5 for tomorrow’s match, a line that Spurs only managed to cover once in their 8 Europa League matches last season, a 5-1 win over Asteras Tripolis.
Backing Spurs this season on the Asian Handicap, you would have only picked up on one occasion, Sunday’s victory over Sunderland. They will be looking to kick-start their season with a convincing home win tomorrow night and if they are to qualify out of a group with Monaco and Anderlecht, 3 points is a must.
Qarabag sit at the top of the Azerbaijani Premier League having won it comfortably last season. If it wasn’t for Celtic, they could be playing UCL football instead this season but a 1-0 aggregate defeat left them with the chance of entering Euope’s second tier competition.
The Baku based club are not expected to make it to the knock-out stages of the competition, although they are not to be under-estimated. They impressed in the Europa League qualifying round, beating Young Boys Bern 4-0 on aggregate and could pull off a couple of shocks, especially on home turf.
Spurs haven’t started well and are not firing on all cylinders but shouldn’t have too much trouble picking up a win at home tomorrow. There is a chance Qarabag may make a game of this as they have won 3 out of 5 of their away match in this competition and their confidence will be high from their domestic results.
I can’t see any value backing either side on the Asian Handicap market but the 1.96 on offer to see 3 or more goals is the value bet.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Over 2.5 goals at 1.96
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