TOTTENHAM host Southampton on Wednesday night in an FA Cup 4th Round replay. We asked Tom Love (@TomLove_18) to source the best bets.
Tottenham v Southampton | Wednesday 5th February 2020, 19:45 | BT Sport
Serial trophy hunter Jose Mourinho will no doubt be targeting the FA Cup as a genuine piece of silverware to get his Spurs career off to a solid start.
For all Spurs seemingly overachieved under the tutelage of Mauricio Pochettino there was a distinct lack of trophies and that could well have been a contributing factor in Daniel Levy choosing to cut ties with the Argentine. Mourinho has a CV that is brimming with honours but there’s been some scepticism as to whether on not he has been left in the past as to regards his tactical approach.
I have to admit I am party to that thesis. It’s not going to be an easy task for the ‘Special One’ – Southampton are a team to be reckoned with who should also be looking at this cup as a potential one to target.
Ralph Hassenhuttl came under some pressure as a poor run of results culminated with an embarrassing 9-0 home loss to Leicester, many would’ve pulled the trigger but the Saints hierarchy were fully justified to stand by their man. Since 23rd November his side have a highly commendable W8-D3- L4 record in their last 15 fixtures across all competitions.
Saints are one of a cluster of clubs packed in mid-table on 31 points but they are just six points of 5th place which is currently occupied by, yes you guessed it, Spurs.
I’ve personally backed the Saints for the top-six at a juicy price as they’re one of few clubs that still have the distraction of European football and their underlying performance data currently has them as second only to Everton in terms of Expected Points (xP) when taking out those currently still in continental competition.
The bettng angles
Spurs are going off as 8/11 favourites for this one and I suppose with home advantage that is fair but it’s not an attractive price to get involved with. The first match ended all-square and I wouldn’t be surprised if the same occurred here and it is quite handsomely priced at 29/10 (Marathon) given both teams are giving full concentration to this cup.
I really don’t think there’s much to choose between these two and given Mourinho’s pragmatic nature he will be more keen to stay in the tie, his sides rarely blow teams away, especially in cups when there’s always the option of extra time and penalties.
Sticking with that obsession to be well structured off the ball and it makes the player passes market of intrigue. At the time of writing only Bet365 have priced this up and they only have four options to bet on, however, I think the lines of Southampton full back Ryan Bertrand look quite generous at 29.5.
Full backs don’t tend to have as many passes as centre halves or holding midfielders but that caveat is included in the said line. With Spurs used to playing with a narrow midfield given their lack of natural wingers the Saints full backs could get an ample amount of time on the ball. Mourinho teams aren’t like Man City or Liverpool with their pressing, they’re happy to close off the spaces and sit relatively deep.
Spurs only had 40% possession in the reverse leg and they just don’t tend to dominate the ball. Bertrand specifically saw this bet land in the home game. He’s also seen this line beaten in 13 out of 17 games this season when he has played the full 90 minutes.
Sticking in the player props markets one that looks too big if he plays in midfield/attack is Ryan Sessengnon to attempt 2+ shots which is a bulbous 3/1 (Betfair). I’m not expecting Mou to make wholesale changes but I do expect three or four to come in and should Sessengnon start on the left hand side of a front three it does look too big a price.
Admittedly he hasn’t played much in this position this season but the time he did was at Bayern Munich away where he managed two shots. With Cedric Soares leaving Southampton, the visitors a bit light at right back and it could be a game where the former Fulham youngster thrives. For context the same bet is as short as 8/11 on SkyBet!