Tuesday’s Premier League action seems like some form of ugly undercard for the Manchester derby on Wednesday evening, but even still, there’s a lot at stake.
The entire viewership might be keen on who wins the league title, but Spurs need to get into the top four to justify that stadium they won’t fill going forward again and Southampton and Brighton are in big danger of the drop.
With that being said, let’s find some best bets ahead of these two clashes.
Spurs have been through the ringer lately. They exhaustedly hung on with their old pal VAR against Manchester City, as Raheem Sterling looked to have secured one of the best moments in Champions League history.
Ironically, one was still produced and with it came the best contrast of elation and dismay seen in quick succession among a particular set of fans in my lifetime.
They even ran after Man City again for another 90 minutes while going full-strength. We’re not sure exactly what dear Mauricio was trying, but there’s no way he can keep this up with a squad who already struggled to deal with the post-World Cup fatigue bug.
There’s every chance he rests players here and there’s even more of a chance that if he doesn’t, all eyes will be on Ajax.
For that reason, there’s plenty of value in Brighton here. Chris Hughton may not be the flashiest of managers in the league, but he does not slack in the motivational department.
As much as you like home advantage, there’s a lot to be said for a road trip to a brand-new stadium for revitalising and refocusing your group ahead of an important run-in.
This one was banana skin written all over it.
There’s a couple of teams that you really can’t rely on at this time of year because they’re not focused on any goal in particular. Those teams are usually slightly higher than midtable but who are out of the reach of European qualification.
Add in that Troy Deeney will miss this game through suspension and their price looks very skinny. Southampton, for the same reason as above, will be chomping at the bit to secure safety especially as Brighton have gone and beaten Spurs as you read above.
The thing about Southampton is that their parts should equal a better output than the collective performances are producing.
That luck can only go on so long, and while they’re way below their expected points totals, this type of game is where you see teams making up the differential on those projections.
Southampton has also scored as many away goals this season as Wolves, they just can’t keep it tight at the back. Luckily for them, Deeney is out and the boy from Barcelona whose name nobody can spell is due a quiet stretch after living up to his premature Lionel Messi comparisons over the last weeks.
All hail predictable trends.