Tottenham on the up

November 7th, 2015 | Ian Carnaby's Sports News

There are times to bet heavily when the value is there and we cleared 60 points last week by backing Tottenham at 4/9 to beat Aston Villa and Southampton to beat Bournemouth.

In fact, neither game was quite as cut and dried as I thought likely. Southampton were much too good for their neighbours in the first half and deservedly led 2-0 at half-time. But, as against Leicester, they lost the thread after the break and looked a different team. If Bournemouth had scored late in the day it is distinctly possible that panic would have set in, which is ridiculous, given how many quality, experienced players the Saints have. Leicester made it 2-2 at St Mary’s from a similar position but, of course, they have Jamie Vardy.

Winning the Europa League guarantees a place in the Champions League and Tottenham have to go for it. But there are a heck of a lot of games and they are still only at the group stage. They followed the 3-1 victory over Villa with a late winner against Anderlecht, who have very powerful, pacey attackers and look a very decent side to me. Still, Spurs are on their way and approach the north London derby against Arsenal in a better frame of mind than their neighbours.

It is very difficult to know what to make of the Gunners, who were comprehensively outclassed by Bayern and repeatedly fall short at this level. Of course, Bayern are a world-class side but Arsene Wenger will not regard his work as complete unless Arsenal win a top European trophy and it seems as far away as ever – not that they are entirely without hope in their section. This is a bad time to play Spurs, who have the South Korean Son available again and look a team about to hit the heights. The 4/1 with two or three firms looks too big to me and I’d risk a small wager.

Southampton may outclass Sunderland but accepting odds-on about the away team is generally to be avoided. Sunderland made dreadful defensive errors against Everton but Sam Allardyce will put that right before too long and my guess is that they will cling on and give themselves a chance of missing the drop, with new faces arriving in January. I think the Saints may win this but there is no value.

One can feel for Bournemouth, who have an excellent coach in Eddie Howe but are battling away without at least three key players. You can be in serious trouble very quickly in this league and they will need something against Newcastle in the Saturday lunchtime match. Steve McLaren seems to be ageing visibly to me but Newcastle hit their stride against Norwich and were most unfortunate to lose 3-0 to Sunderland. They may well force at least a draw here.

Bristol City’s defence went walkabout against Fulham last week but everything looked much better in the narrow victory over Wolves a few days later. I am confident they will end up in mid-table in the Championship and you’d certainly be more relaxed about their chances than those of Bolton, who are in acute danger. City are better than the table suggests and they can win at the Reebok, though it’s important to get the 7/4 with Betfred.

TOTTENHAM 10 units at 4/1 to beat Arsenal

15 units both teams to score in that game

Bournemouth v Newcastle 15 units THE DRAW at 13/5

BRISTOL CITY 15 units at 7/4 to beat Bolton

Rotherham v Ipswich both teams to score