ANALYST Daniel McCulloch (@danmcc84) takes a look at Saturday's evening kick-off between Newport and Tottenham.
Newport v Tottenham | Saturday 27th January 2018, 17:30 | BT Sport
The state of Newport’s pitch at Rodney Parade has been the subject of much scrutiny in the last few days, with many seeing the condition of it – the Welsh side share it with two rugby sides – as a potential leveller.
The Ironsides certainly used it to their advantage when dispatching Championship side Leeds in the 3rd Round. Newport thoroughly deserved victory in front of a partisan crowd that day and fans won’t be short of confidence this weekend, especially given that they have endured just one defeat in their last 12 matches in all competitions.
With all due respect to Leeds, facing a Tottenham side who will take this tie seriously is a far tougher proposition. In the last round against Wimbledon, Spurs started with several first-teamers, including Jan Vertonghen and Harry Kane.
However, despite showing key respect to the opposition, Tottenham struggled to break their opponents down and the game was still goalless after an hour. It took the introduction of Son Heung-min and Delle Alli for Spurs to look more dangerous and in the end, they ran out fairly comfortable winners.
The fact that it may take time for the Londoners to adjust to said pitch coupled with the defensive rearguard the home side will doubtlessly show did lead me to consider backing over 23 minutes in the time of first goal market. However, it is not a market I generally trade in so I would rather make a prediction that I am more comfortable with.
That is for Tottenham to win and for Under 3.5 Goals to be scored in the match, which is available at 5/4 with BetVictor. While I clearly believe Tottenham will play a strong side, there are likely to be several starters who rarely play together. Additionally, if they are 2-0 up with half an hour to go they are likely to rest players, which works in our favour.
I believe that Newport will put up a strong fight but ultimately there are 71 league places between these two and eventually I expect that to tell. Come Saturday evening, I will probably dutch the 1-0 and 2-0 scorelines on the exchange but for now I will simply take BetVictor up on their offer and recommend you do the same.
Newport v Tottenham – Tottenham to win and Under 3.5 Goals (5/4 BetVictor)