Tottenham Hotspur v Chelsea: Back Spurs to strike first leg blow to Blues

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After a weekend of FA Cup action, TOM LOVE (@TomLove_18) focuses on tonight's Carabao Cup Semi-Final 1st Leg between Spurs and Chelsea.

Tottenham v Chelsea | Tuesday 8th January 2019, 20:00 | Sky Sports

This fixture always sets the pulse racing. High drama, excitement and a feisty approach are usually staples when these two London rivals meet.

Both managers have a great chance of securing their first piece of silverware with their respective clubs. For both sides, a top 4 finish along with a domestic cup would be seen as a successful season, it’s likely that whoever comes out of this tie victorious will play Manchester City in the final though which is a sticking point.

There’s been argument and counter-argument over whether Mauricio Pochettino needs a trophy under his belt to rubber stamp his success at Spurs. It’s not something I subscribe to, but if they go another season without a major honour then players could get frustrated and there will be plenty of suitors for their top stars.

Maurizio Sarri has settled in well at Chelsea overall, they’ve lacked conviction for a while now though and I think odds as long as 11/5 are justified for them here. Sarri chopped and changed for the Blues FA cup match with Nottingham Forest at the weekend and we should see the big guns out for this trip to Wembley. A lot will depend on how Eden Hazard performs, the world class Belgian attacker has recorded 10 goals and 9 assists this season and poses a major threat for the hosts.

Plenty has been made of Spurs’ inability to beat top 6 opposition over the last few years, however I think we can resign that thesis to the bin. They’ve shown they can play with confidence and belief to put the best teams to the sword. They’ve beaten Chelsea at home earlier this season as well as going to the Emirates in the last round of this cup and Old Trafford in the league and won.

I fancy Spurs to take a lead into the second leg, they’ve won 8 of their last 10 in all competitions and have Heung Min Son in frightening form. Their front 4 of Son, Dele Alli, Christian Eriksen and Harry Kane have clicked wonderfully and they can once again test this Chelsea rearguard that’s failed to fully convince thus far.

Looking blindly at this game I’d of been happy to back Spurs at anything odds-against and we can get 5/4 with Betway which makes appeal.

I’m also keen to explore the shot markets. Something stood out to me when looking at SkyBet’s request a bet market and that’s for Harry Kane and Eden Hazard to have 4+ shots on target between them at 2/1.

We know how much Kane likes to get shots off and the majority of them hit the target. As mentioned Hazard is the Blues chief threat and I expect them to utilise him more than anyone, he’s also been playing a more central role of late. Both players are also on penalties which is a bonus when looking at these markets. If one of the pair get 4 or more shots on target and the other 0 we still get paid out, it looks a tempting alternative angle.

Best Bets

Tottenham Hotspur to win – 5/4 (Betway)

Harry Kane and Eden Hazard to have 4+ shots on target between them – 2/1 (SkyBet – Request-A-Bet)

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