TOTTENHAM welcome Brighton to White Hart Lane on Boxing Day. Jack Lambden (@_JackL_) analyses the encounter.
Tottenham v Brighton | Thursday 26th December 2019, 12:30 | Amazon Prime
Tottenham will want to quickly put to bed their nightmare Sunday afternoon defeat to rivals Chelsea when they play host to Brighton on Boxing Day.
Not only did a poor display result in a 2-0 loss to Frank Lampard’s men, but the red card to Heung-Min Son and alleged racist abuse of Antonio Rudiger compounded a day that the Lilywhites will want to forget in a hurry.
Although Son’s red card is being appealed, it looks unlikely that an on-field decision overturned by VAR will be reversed again so Jose Mourinho will be forced into a change of personnel. The South Korean kicking out perhaps signifies a move to a more aggressive approach under the experienced manager than Spurs adopted with predecessor Mauricio Pochettino.
The stats underline this too, with Tottenham recording 17 or more tackles in all 6 of Mourinho’s Premier League games in charge of the North London outfit and the same outcome on Boxing Day can be backed at Evens with SkyBet.
These odds suggest a 50% probability of something that has resulted in 100% of the Portugese’s domestic matches and, with Spurs needing to come out and show a lot more fight than they did in the meek Chelsea performance, the price is too hard to ignore especially if they persist with the 4-2-3-1 formation which will contain two defensive midfielders.
Spurs may have fallen victim to VAR in that match (although Chelsea looked good for three points regardless) but Brighton manager Graham Potter was probably thankful for the system, without which they may have lost by even more against Sheffield United. Potter has encouraged his troops to show much more of what they are all about when visiting the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium although the club’s record away at top sides doesn’t make good reading for Seagulls fans.
When looking at Albion’s form on these type of grounds, a common theme stands out. The team, although rarely suffering big defeats, have been trailing at half-time in seven of their 9 trips in 2019 to last season’s top six.
The South Coast club have now only won one of their last seven games which coincidentally came in the red half of North London but I simply cannot see Spurs (who have scored 19 of their 32 goals in the first 45 minutes) being as incompetent as the Gunners were in that match so Spurs to be leading at half-time will be my second selection at 11/10 with Coral.
Mourinho will surely freshen things up here in terms of their starting eleven, which may mean the likes of Jan Vertonghen and Moussa Sissoko make way for Danny Rose and Tanguy Ndombele. A bet that could come into play should Sissoko remain in the team however is the Frenchman to register a shot on target with Coral, priced at a rather large 14/5.
The same bet is Even money with SkyBet so if the 30 year-old repeats his goalscoring feat of the last two home games against bottom half sides (Burnley and Bournemouth) then it would bring home a nicely priced winner.
The Coral price likely factors in that Sissoko will probably start from the bench so it may be worth holding off for the team news before staking on that one but, if he isn’t involved from the off and you take advantage of the bet pre-match, it should be at worst a void.