Tottenham v Sunderland: Spurs can win but it won't be easy

19May 2013

England - Premier League


Tottenham's vital match against Sunderland is destined to end either in jubilation or misery. Dan Fitch fancies a home win, but thinks that Spurs will ultimately end  up disappointed...


Tottenham v Sunderland

Sunday, KO 16:00, Live on Sky Sports 2


We end the season with a battle for fourth place between two North London rivals. In the red corner is Arsenal, who take their point advantage on the road with them to  Newcastle and in the white corner are Spurs, who host Sunderland at White Hart Lane.


It promises for a nervous atmosphere, with the crowds at the respective matches being just as interested in the news from elsewhere as they are in the action on the  pitch in front of them.


Tottenham have endured a long season due to their European exploits but they go into this game missing only their long term absentees Younes Kaboul and Sandro. Moussa  Dembele should be fit to play having failed to start the last two games and could replace Scott Parker.


Sunderland have far more problems. The on-loan Danny Rose has returned to Spurs with injury and would have been ineligible anyway. Stephane Sessegnon and Craig Gardner  are suspended, while Lee Cattermole and Steven Fletcher are both injured.


This could have been a potentially tricky game for Tottenham if Sunderland were in need of a result, but the midweek relegation of Wigan has left the Black Cats with  nothing much to play for.


Yet it's still hard to recommend odds of 1.31 on a Spurs win. Andre Villas-Boas' side have often struggled to break down teams that they should beat at home, even when (like Sunderland) they have nothing much to play for. The recent 1-0 home loss to Fulham can count as painful evidence of that.


Under such circumstances the logic is to look for more value in other win markets. The Tottenham half-time/full-time result at 1.9 doesn't provide it. If you look back at Spurs' last 12 Premier League wins, they have only lead at half-time in two of them. The draw/Tottenham at 4.7 is a better bet.


Another market that you'd perhaps go for when the home side is a very short price, is for them to win to nil. Spurs can be backed at 3.05 to win without conceding, but statistically it looks unlikely.


On paper Sunderland's attack might seem more toothless than a bald man's comb, but they have managed to score at least one goal in their last six outings. Tottenham  meanwhile, have only kept one clean sheet in their last 12 Premier League games.


Spurs are defending terribly from set pieces at the moment and the 1.98 for both teams to score appeals, while the 8.2 for AVB's team to win from behind looks over generous. Tottenham have conceded the first goal in six of their last nine games.


Ultimately I expect Tottenham to prevail but as is often the case with the club, there are bound to be nervous times ahead and they are likely to make things difficult  for themselves. 2-1 to Spurs at 10.0 is my correct score pick.


Spurs are now out at 3.2 to finish in the top four, with Arsenal at 1.42. I think Arsenal will also win, but there could be some trading opportunities in-play, with the market overreacting as the goals fly in.


Recommended Bets

Back both teams to score at 1.98

Back the draw half-time/Spurs full-time at 4.7

Back Tottenham to win from behind at 8.2



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Keywords: Tottenham, Sunderland, Spurs, Dan Fitch

Source: Betfair

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