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That bloody Conference League play off is a funny one, isn’t it? For so many reasons, you’d rather not even make it into a competition where the prize money wouldn’t cover Harry Kane’s supply of left socks for the first half of the season, but on the other hand, you really don’t want to give Arsenal anything to beat you with as they continue to mortify themselves at every possible opportunity.
So Spurs land in Portugal on a Thursday. Very much to do business like a chap selling vending machines rather than your divorced aunt who likes happy hour and flashing her toenails to the waiters. But each to their own.
Thursday 7.30pm: Pacos Ferreira v Tottenham
BT Sport 2
There’s certainly a narrative here that Spurs could send their youth players and have a ready-made excuse for being dumped out. That possibility does exist and I’m sure countless others would almost err on the side of caution when it comes to tipping this game up.
But remember one thing – Nuno Espirito Santo was the eighty-fifth-choice hire among Spurs fans and if he thinks he can take any game easy in any competition, he’s got another thing coming. So here’s a Bet Builder to give you reason to watch this glorified Intertoto Cup shootout.
The below picks in a Paddy Power Bet Builder will give you odds of around 15/1. CLICK HERE TO ADD IT TO YOUR BETSLIP.
I feel happy for Nuno. He has actual squad depth now rather than having to rely on a guy his uncle knows’ second cousin who had trials with Benfica B when he was nine and who works on cranes in Aveiro now. Wolves may have made Nuno, but the accents and the lack of anything resembling the 21st century would have eventually gotten to him.
Now, while I accept the Spurs team that faced Manchester City wasn’t full-strength, that can be seen as a positive because the inverse is now true – game time for the would-be starters. This one will be a foregone conclusion as Spurs Win.
Even if Spurs don’t mean to score, the fact they’re now being allowed to keep possession means that the squad which features more two-footed players than any other in the English top flight can let loose when Pacos sit back in their droves.
Spurs didn’t shoot enough under Jose Mourinho and this change will be best seen in Portugal this week as player after player tests a goalkeeper whose last club play on the Azores Islands. Expect Over 2.5 Goals.
My biggest insight into Pacos de Ferreira’s goal threat relates back to Irish football. It was when Podge Amond – the only man named Podge to ever step foot on foreign soil to play football at any level – signed for Pacos from Shamrock Rovers and everyone thought the exotic nature of the move was exciting.
Except he went on to score semi-regularly over there and nobody ever took them seriously again. They got slapped by Boavista at the weekend with an xG of just 1.31 – and losing 3-0. Don’t expect Both Teams To Score here.
It seems the logical point in which to unleash him. It also seems like the moment when Spurs fans realise they gave up measly Erik Lamela to acquire the best dribbler the Premier League has seen since Ryan Giggs. I think we’ll see Bryan Gil Score Anytime in this one.
Thursday’s Bet Builder
Spurs to Win
Over 2.5 Goals
Both Teams To Score? No
Bryan Gil to Score Anytime
The above picks in a Paddy Power Bet Builder will give you odds of around 15/1. CLICK HERE TO ADD IT TO YOUR BETSLIP.
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