The excitement has been building for months now and the first day of the new season is finally here. Spurs have been handed what looks a pretty favourable opening day fixture with an away trip to Crystal Palace but will they justify their odds of 5/6 to win the match?
It has to be said that 5/6 looks pretty big based on Tottenham’s away record last season. Before AVB took the reigns, Spurs had never won more than 7 games on the road in the Premiership season yet last season Spurs were victorious in 10 away matches and were just one point away from having the second best away record in the entire league. That improvement is no coincidence as Spurs have been far more solid under AVB and he takes a much more tactical approach to management than many of his predecessors. Palace will be keen to start their season on a high but they are 4/7 favourites for relegation this season for a good reason and have lost their most talented player last season, Wilfried Zaha, to Man Utd whilst their top scorer Glenn Murray is out injured.
Palace had trouble scoring goals towards the end of last season with blanks drawn in 6 of their final 9 games in the season regular so the odds on a Spurs win can be boosted somewhat by backing them to win to nil (win with a clean sheet) and that looks a value bet at 9/4.
Spurs are without Gareth Bale, he missed Wales’ midweek international with a foot injury and it remains to be seen if he has played his last game for the club. In Bale’s absence Roberto Soldado looks by far the most likely goalscorer. He looked sharp against Espanyol and with Aaron Lennon (rarely scores) and Nacer Chadli (might still be a bit low on confidence in a new team) likely to start wide there will be plenty of pressure on the Spaniard to open his account. Soldado is 9/2 to score the first goal in this match and 6/5 to score at anytime and both of those outcomes look worth covering
If Soldado doesn’t score, then it really looks as though the most likely goalscorers will be Gylfi Sigurdsson or Paulinho. Sigurdsson scored 7 goals in all competitions last season and has looked more settled in the team in pre season whilst Paulinho has averaged a goal every four games for club and country in recent years. Siggy is 8/1 to score first and 11/4 to net anytime whilst Paulinho is 11/1 for the first goal of the game and 4/1 to score on his debut.
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