Tottenham v Southampton – White Hart Lane at 14:15 live on Sky Sports 1
My second Asian Handicap preview of the weekend focuses on North London, as Tottenham host Southampton on Sunday afternoon.
The hosts are locked in a fierce battle with Manchester City and Liverpool, the three of them covered by just 1 point.
Unfortunately, this battle is only for bragging rights and to avoid an early start to next season, because Chelsea are 13pts clear at the top.
Finishing fourth means having to play the final qualifying round to reach the Champions League group stage proper.
Mauricio Pochettino has to figure out a way of coping without his star striker for the next few weeks. Harry Kane damaged ankle ligaments last time out and looks like he will miss 4-6 crucial weeks of the run in.
With summer signing, Vincent Janssen looking a total bust at this point in his Premier League career. Pochettino could well turn again to Heung-Min Son to play up front in Kane’s absence.
Spurs will also be without full back Danny Rose and with doubts over Kyle Walker & Victor Wanyama. The squad depth will now be needed to show its worth over the coming weeks.
However, Spurs have been nothing short of magnificent at home so far this season and their record at White Hart Lane reads, W12 D2 L0 and GF33 GA7!
Over the past four seasons they average 1.81 goals per game, while conceding just 0.97 goals. During this period, Tottenham have only lost 14 of 71 home games in the league.
Although they are performing well above their normal levels, this is not a fluke, it is a result of continuous improvement in recent years.
Claude Puel has really had his managerial skills seriously tested this season.
With the loss of Jose Fonte to West Ham and Virgil van Dijk to injury at the back, plus Charlie Austin’s continued absence up front. He really needed other players to step up and they have done so.
James Ward-Prowse, Dusan Tadic, Nathan Redmond and of course new signing Manolo Gabbiadini, have all risen to the challenge in recent weeks.
Their previous two away games have seen the Saints score eight goals, which almost doubled their away goal tally for the season.
However, trips to Sunderland and Watford do not compare to what is in store for them at White Hart Lane today.
Overall, their away record is not terrible with, W4 D3 L7 and GF18 GA20 looking about right for a team sitting in mid table.
Also, as you might expect their record when playing teams above them in the table is not good at all. Just two points from five away games against top half teams and only four points at home against teams above them as well.
Historically away at the top six teams, their record is understandably even worse, P21 W5 D5 L11. In terms of goals they scored 19 and conceded 31 in those 21 matches, with the last win coming 10 months ago.
Asian Handicap Prices…
Obviously the home team are favourites to win, but Spurs are available at 2.02 with a -0.75 Asian Handicap line.
That price looks like an overreaction to Harry Kane’s absence and based on both team’s historical and present records, it looks like good value.
The Asian Total Goals market is currently at 2.5 with Overs priced at 1.94 and Unders at 2.01. I would lean towards Unders on this market, especially with Kane missing for the hosts.
Looking at Spurs games with and without their star striker, it demonstrates that they are not a one man team.
With Kane in the team they have won 59% of matches, while drawing 21% and losing 21%. But without him playing, they won 50%, drew 33% and lost just 17% of the time.
Of course the strength of opposition has a significant impact, but their wins without him include 2-0 over Manchester City and 1-0 at CSKA Moscow.
They have enough quality in the side to win this match, and with value on their side of the market I am happy to back them today.
Asian Handicap Recommendation: Tottenham -0.75 at 2.02
Prices correct at time of writing.
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