The TV cameras head to Wembley for this Saturday’s evening kick-off. Fifth host ninth, separated by a 14-point chasm. Everton are only seven points clear of the relegation zone ahead of this weekend’s fixtures. Tottenham are equidistant between Manchester City and the bottom three.
Ambitions for this season were similar at the beginning of this campaign. Tottenham were targeting another top four finish, and Everton were ready to prove they belonged in the top six. Spurs’ goalposts have not really moved, but the Toffees’ greatest concern is now a top half finish.
Spurs added a gloss to their FA Cup win over Wimbledon late on. It was no walkover against for Mauricio Pochettino’s side, but they avoided the sort of upset that their north London rivals suffered. To start the Cup weekend, Everton suffered a painful derby defeat to extend their winless run to five.
Sam Allardyce brought immediate improvement when he was appointed. The former England manager now faces a tough task to correct the path of the ship again. This is a no-lose match for Allardyce and his side, who will set up in a typically pragmatic way as we have seen on several occasions since his appointment. Everton are understandably at a very short 4/6 to fail to score on Saturday evening.
Spurs were frustrated by West Ham in their last Premier League outing. David Moyes’ side had a game plan similar to what we will see from Allardyce, and it worked. It was a pretty drab affair in truth, aside from two wonderstrikes in the second half. Breaking teams down has been an issue for the Lilywhites.
There’s little value to be found in Spurs’ goal scoring. The 6/5 on the home side to score over 2.5 is tempting, but this is against an Allardyce side after all. It’s not going to be goals galore, and I think it’s best to stay well away from Spurs’ goal scoring as a result. Unless, of course, it’s about Heung-min Son to score. He’s 19/5 to net first.
This could be a fairly turgid match. The midfield will be a crowded place, with Gylfi Sigurdsson drifting narrow from the left flank, and Christian Eriksen doing the same for the hosts. The full-backs carry a lot of responsibility for the attacking play for both sides as a result. Son against Jonjoe Kenny is the key battle for me, and Kenny – who has two yellows in 13 league starts this term – is good value at 13/4 to receive a card.
Given that I have tipped Everton to fail to score, it’s pretty tricky to suggest that the visitors will win this one. Spurs’ downturn in home form has been nowhere near as dramatic as was suggested in the opening weeks of the season, and Everton have won just one league match on the road all season, scoring a mere eight goals in the process.
I don’t recommend changing your Saturday evening plans to watch this one. Spurs fans, though, should be quietly confident about their chances of going level on points with Liverpool.
Tip: Spurs to win 2-0 at 5/1
*Odds subject to change - correct at time of writing*