Brighton vs Tottenham | Sunday 31st January 2021, 19:15 | Sky Sports
José Mourinho will look for an instant response from his Tottenham side after Thursday’s defeat against Liverpool. Not only did they lose ground in the race or a top-four place, they saw talisman Harry Kane limp off at the break after taking whacks on both ankles.
Kane is likely to be out for a couple of weeks and that’s a huge blow for Spurs. It means the likes of Gareth Bale, Steven Bergwijn, Lucas Moura and Carlos Vinícius are all going to have to step up and fill the void.
Thursday’s defeat leaves Spurs in sixth, four points off Liverpool in fourth place, but just three points separates them and north London rivals Arsenal in ninth – that’s how compact the top-half of the table is.
At the other end of the table, Brighton are in 17th, five points above the drop zone, but it’s just one win in their last 11 league games.
The Seagulls struggle at home. The two sides they’ve beaten at the Amex are both in League One – Blackpool (FA Cup) and Portsmouth (League Cup). Their home league record is bleak: P10, W0, D6 L4.
Their underlying data is quite positive in contrast. Their expected goals (xG) would have them in the top-10 at 30.9xGv (Infogol). However, they fail to take those chances with just 22 netted in contrast.
To highlight how strong their performance data is, Understat’s expected points metric sees Brighton in seventh-place at 31.57xPTS compared to their actual tally of 18. So, while their metrics look good, Graham Potter’s men need to start being ruthless if they want to pull away from danger.
The Betting Angles
Where do I begin? It’s a head-scratcher that’s for sure.
Without Kane, Spurs’ win rate drops by around 12%, and part of my concern is where do the goals come from without him. The 27-year-old has 23 goals involvements to his name in 19 league games (12 goals and 11 assists). If my maths is correct – it’s not a strong point – Kane has had a hand in 68% of Spurs’ top-flight goals.
Part of me thinks it’ll disrupt Spurs, especially in the final third. Son and Kane seem to have built that understanding, so Son will now have to build that with whoever comes in to replace Kane – it sounds likely to be Bale.
I looked down the route of it being level after 45 minutes. That’s been the outcome in seven of 10 Brighton home games, while it’s been the case in five of nine Spurs away league games. Although, if points were handed out based on first-half performance, then Spurs would sit second in the table, just behind Man City.
The 11/9 (SBK) on it being a draw at half time was something I can see. No Kane partly the reasoning for Spurs, and in Brighton’s case, they’ve squared just 10 first-half goals all season, even Blackpool were level with them at the break in their recent FA Cup tie.
That does look a solid angle, but here are my two proposed plays. First up is a Bet Builder, which looks perfectly reasonable at 10/11 with Bet365. It’s Under 4 Goals and Both Teams Over 0 Cards.
In 10 home league games, Brighton average one goal scored, with seven of them seeing three or fewer goals in the 90 minutes. Spurs average 2.1 goals per away game, but that figure is inflated by the games against Southampton and Man Utd where they scored 11. Since those opening two away trips, Spurs have netted eight in seven (1.14 pg), which looks a truer average.
In terms of cards, the Seagulls have picked up one in every home game this season, and overall, have seen at least one card in 18 of 20 top-flight matches. If you’re looking for a player angle, then Dan Burn has been booked in two of his three appearances v Spurs.
On the road, Spurs have had at least one card in six of nine, while it’s 15 of 19 overall. And, in head-to-head’s, since Brighton were promoted to the top-flight, both sides have seen at least one card in six of seven.
Peter Bankes has the whistle, and he’s shown 30 yellows and two reds in eight Premier League outings. One of those reds came on his last visit to the Amex when he sent off Sheffield Utd’s John Lundstram.
Only Stuart Attwell (4.27) and Paul Tierney (3.77) have a higher yellow cards per game figure than Bankes’ 3.75. While he whistles for around 21 fouls per game. He’s not one to dish out the discipline when necessary, and I’m going to dip my toe into another cards-related market.
Brighton Most Booking Points appeals on the bare data. In eight of their 10 home league games, the Seagulls have collected more than their opponents. It was a 30-30 tie v Southampton and Sheffield United picked up 75 to 10, but otherwise, it’s been about the hosts collecting cards.
That’s slightly surprising given the way they tend to play. You wouldn’t say they were a physical side, but the data paints a slightly different picture. And, with the dynamic of this game likely to see Spurs playing on the counter-attack, that opens it up for a few cynical challenges from players in blue and white.
The home side have picked up more booking points in seven of Spurs’ nine away games as well, making this an even-more appealing wager. Just their trips to Selhurst Park (10-10) and Anfield (0-20) saw Spurs tie or pick up more cards.
When facing sides towards the bottom of the table on the road, then it’s a bet to watch. Burnley picked up 20 unanswered booking points, West Brom was 10-0 to the Baggies, while Sheffield United finished 40-0 to the Blades.
If you’re new to Booking Points, a yellow is worth 10, a straight red is 25 and two yellows followed by a red is 35.