Bolton were unable to make the most of home field advantage and a sluggish first half from Spurs and may have missed out on an opportunity to progress. With survival the sole goal for Owen Coyle between now and May, the FA Cup may be more of a distraction, though it does offer Wanderers the chance to play without the sword of relegation dangling over their heads. The problem for Coyle is that itâ€™s not an easy job to change the playersâ€™ mindsets, especially after the manner of their defeat away to Blackburn. Cahillâ€™s absence was painfully noticeable as the defence looked disorganised whilst all over the pitch confidence was low.
Jermain Defoe – 7/2
Roman Pavlyuchenko – 9/2
Tom Huddlestone – 18/1
Kevin Davies – 12/1
Matt Taylor – 16/1
Sam Ricketts – 66/1
Spurs made harder work of beating Wigan than it should have been but in the end they wrapped up a good away win. With a brace from Pavlyuchenko of all people. The result will breed confidence and you sense that Redknappâ€™s side are on the verge of putting in a great performance. Slightly more accurate passing in the final third and slightly better finishing is all thatâ€™s required. Bolton looked tired at Ewood Park and if the home side get their passing game going early on and make the visitors do plenty of chasing, the rewards will be waiting for them in the second-half when bodies and minds start to tire. As predicted, Kevin Davies proved Boltonâ€™s most effective attacking threat at the Reebok but we can probably expect an even more defensive tactical set-up from Coyle, especially after the weekend. In which case, weâ€™ll see a lot of quick, long balls from back to front and a long gruelling day of battling for scraps and chasing balls into corners for Davies. One goal in their last six games is the reason why itâ€™s 5/6 for no Bolton goals in this game.
On the attacking front for Tottenham, Pavlyuchenko has put himself forward for a start with his double against Wigan and after doing a lot of talking in the press, heâ€™ll have something to prove if given the opportunity. Something which can only have a positive effect on those around him. Defoe got himself back on the scoresheet and his speed and the runs he makes will test Boltonâ€™s defensive organisation, with Modric looking for those defence splitting passes. He hasnâ€™t scored this year himself and if Bolton sit back and pack the defence, Spurs may have to take on some shots from distance. At 9/1, Modric wouldnâ€™t be a bad shout to score first. Nor would Huddlestone at 18/1.
Tottenham 2-0 – 5/1
Tottenham 2-1 – 7/1
Tottenham 3-0 – 15/2
If conditioning is to prove a factor for Bolton then itâ€™s well worth looking at the second-half goal markets. 3 or more second half goals is a healthy 7/2, Spurs are 4/6 to win the second half, while itâ€™s even money for there to be more goals in the second half than the first.
Bolton are always a potentially tricky side but at White Hart Lane and considering the recent form of the both sides, itâ€™s hard to make a case for Bolton, beyond the intervention of the magic of the FA Cup. A home win which is given a gloss in the second half.
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