CARDS specialist Chris Goodwin (@CGeorgeGamble) picks out his favourite fancies from Wednesday evening's showdown between Spurs and Fulham.
Tottenham vs Fulham | Wednesday 30th December 2020, 20:00 | Amazon Prime
We end the calendar year with a London derby as Spurs welcome Fulham to The Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Wednesday evening.
Overall, Spurs have had a good opening 12 months under manager Jose Mourinho, but having failed to win any of their last four league matches, they have slipped down the table.
At the beginning of December, Spurs were top of the league and wondering if they could sustain a title challenge. However, the jury is out as in just a few weeks, they find themselves outside of the top four.
Fulham have improved in recent weeks but still come into this one firmly in the relegation zone.
The Cottagers have become much more difficult to beat after drawing their last four in the league – including an excellent 1-1 with champions Liverpool.
Manager Scott Parker will be hoping he can sign off 2020 with a win, causing a huge upset and providing a potential springboard going into the new year.
- Commit on average 14.4 fouls per game when playing at home (most in the league).
- Receive on average 11.3 fouls per game when playing at home.
- Averaging just 1.29 yellow cards per game when playing at home this season.
- Opponents have seen 4, 2, 0, 1, 2 yellow cards in their last FIVE EPL games.
- Have won eight of their last nine matches against Fulham in all competitions.
- Have seen under 2.5 goals land in 7 of their last 8 EPL games.
- Are unbeaten in their last seven EPL London derbies.
- Have lost their final league game of a calendar year just once in the last 11 years.
- Spurs lost at home last time out against Leicester City, Mourinho has never lost back-to-back home league games in his entire career.
- Have scored at least 2 goals in 8 of their last 9 meetings with Fulham in all competitions.
- Jose Mourinho questioned the ambition of his Tottenham players after they conceded yet another late goal last time out to drop two points.
- The likes of Erik Lamela, Serge Aurier, Moussa Sissoko and Toby Alderweireld are all pushing for starts against Fulham.
- Gareth Bale has been ruled out for a few weeks with a calf strain, while Lucas Moura and Carlos Vinicius are fitness doubts.
- Commit on average 12.6 fouls per game when playing away this season (fourth-most).
- Receive on average just 9 fouls per game when playing away (second least).
- Have the second worst disciplinary record in the EPL, but tend to see more cards at home than they do away.
- However, in their last five away EPL games they have seen 4, 0, 2, 2, 2 cards.
- Have faced other London sides on three occasions so far this season, they have seen 20+ booking points in each one.
- Mario Lemina is available for selection having missed the 0-0 draw with parent club Saints and he should return to the starting XI here.
- Fulham have confirmed Kenny Tete is back in the squad after training well. He could go straight into the starting XI to give Bobby Reid a rest.
- Aleksandar Mitrovic may rotate into the side at the expense of Ivan Cavaleiro to partner upfront with Ademola Lookman.
Referee: Robert Jones
- Averages just 2.67 cards per game this season.
- In his previous 20 games officiated, the away side has picked up 20+ booking points on 12 occasions (60%).
My first pick is for there to be Under 3.5 Cards in the game overall.
My reasoning for this is referee Robert Jones has an exceptionally low average this season of just 2.67 cards per game and he has already taken charge of a Fulham match this campaign at Craven Cottage – where they’ve seen the majority of their cards. That was against Brighton, another side who’ve been amongst the cards, and that fixture saw him produce just one card overall despite 26 fouls in the game.
This has landed in two of Spurs’ four games against other London sides this season, however, the other two were reffed by Paul Tierney who has the second-highest average of cards awarded per game.
My second bet is for Over 26.5 Free Kicks on Bet365. Bet365 count offsides as free kicks and Spurs opponents have regularly been finding themselves offside so far this season. With these two sides sitting high in the fouls per game charts, I really like this line.