ADAM Goodwin (@agjournalism) takes a view on the Super Sunday's contest between Tottenham and Crystal Palace.
Tottenham v Crystal Palace | Sunday 5th November 2017, 12:00 | BT Sport
Roy Hodgson will be wondering what he has to do to catch a lucky break as Crystal Palace manager. His side will be playing Tottenham at the worst possible time as Mauricio Pochettino’s team head into Sunday’s game full of confidence after they demolished European champions Real Madrid 3-1 at Wembley on Tuesday.
Crystal Palace were nearly inflicted to their ninth loss from 10 games, before Wilfried Zaha’s late equaliser earned a point for the Eagles. It looks like Zaha will continue to play as a striker this weekend as forwards Christian Benteke and Connor Wickham still recover from their injuries.
Despite Madrid looking a shadow of the side that won the Champions League in June, Spurs were magnificent and capitalised on the Spanish sides lacklustre defending and poor finishing. Dele Alli, who has started the season uncharacteristically quietly, looked on the top of his game and added to his superb performance with a brilliant brace.
Most people (including me) were sceptical about Tottenham’s title chances due to their relocation to Wembley, but they’ve continued to play free-flowing, attacking football and retained their defensive sturdiness.
Watching the game on Tuesday, the sky could be the limit for this side and, if they can continue these impressive performances on a weekly basis, there’s no reason why they can’t compete with Manchester City at the very top of the table.
In their last Premier League game, Tottenham were beaten 1-0 by Manchester United at Old Trafford. They were without Harry Kane that day, but fortunately he’s fit to start this game on Sunday.
The England striker has scored eight goals in the league so far this season – all of which were in pairs. He’s scored braces against Everton, West Ham, Huddersfield and Liverpool and when you look at his stats from the nine games he’s played this campaign, I can see him doing it again on Sunday.
Kane is averaging more shots per-game than he’s averaged over the last two seasons, and whilst his shooting accuracy seems fairly low at 37%, if the likes of Christian Eriksen and Dele Alli can keep supplying him with decent service, he’ll continue scoring.
Along with his eight goals this season, Kane has hit the woodwork FIVE times, which would’ve made this season’s tally even more impressive.
Roy Hodgson seems to have steadied the ship slightly since he took over from Frank de Boer but the former Liverpool and England manager has long way to go.
Away from home Crystal Palace have lost all five of their Premier League games and failed to score a single goal in the process. Spurs have conceded in just one of their last four league games against Crystal Palace and the visitors haven’t scored a goal away to Tottenham since 2004.
To make matters worse, Palace haven’t scored an away goal against a Mauricio Pochettino side in any of their four meetings. With no Benteke and James McArthur, and potentially no Mamadou Sakho, it could be a long Sunday afternoon for Crystal Palace.
The betting angles
Despite not being 100% fit, Harry Kane is still capable of scoring goals. The stats show he’s an absolute goal machine and I like the 15/8 on him to score a brace with Paddy Power.
Tottenham got into the habit of comfortably sticking three and four past some of the weaker teams last season, but when playing against the likes of Burnley and Swansea at home this campaign, they’ve struggled to do the same.
However, I’m confident they can do what they did against Liverpool, Huddersfield and Everton, and cover the -2 handicap. It’s 9/4 with Betfair.
Tottenham v Crystal Palace – Harry Kane to score a brace (15/8 Paddy Power)
Tottenham v Crystal Palace – Tottenham -2 handicap (9/4 Betfair)