Spurs stay in the hunt

Tottenham ensured the bid to win the Premier League remains a three-horse race after beating Leicester City 3-1 at Wembley.

The Foxes contributed much to an entertaining game and Jamie Vardy should have equalised from the penalty spot shortly after coming on, but Spurs made the points safe with a last minute goal from Son Heung-min.

Mauricio Pochettino's side took the lead just after half an hour when Davinson Sanchez scored his first goal for the club.

Leicester had a glorious chance to draw level, Vardy coming off the bench to take a penalty but Hugo Lloris made the save.

It was to prove a costly miss as Spurs doubled their lead just minutes later, Christian Eriksen scoring the goal.

Vardy made amends by getting on the scoresheet, converting Ricardo Pereira's cross and that left the Foxes with a quarter of an hour to try and force an equaliser.

However, despite late pressure they couldn't get a second and the home side made the game safe just before the end, Son getting the goal to continue the fine form he's shown since returning from Asian Cup action.

It was a fourth successive league win for Spurs who remain third in the Premier League table, five points off joint leaders Liverpool and Manchester City.

They are back at Wembley on Wednesday night for the first leg of their Champions League round of 16 tie with Borussia Dortmund.

They are 13/10 for the win with the German side 19/10 and the draw is 5/2.

Having been knocked out of the FA Cup Spurs then have 10 days off before returning to the Premier League, away to Burnley on 23rd February.

Spurs are 10/1 to reach the Champions League final this year with Manchester City 13/8 and Liverpool 4/1.

View all Soccer betting

Eriksen needs ‘freedom’ to play

Mauricio Pochettino retains his faith in Christian Eriksen and insists he allows the Tottenham playmaker 'freedom' to play as he chooses.

Eriksen has yet to agree a new deal with Spurs, though his manager is still of the opinion that he may commit his long-term future to north London.

Eriksen has 18 months left on his Spurs contract and chairman Daniel Levy is typically keen to secure his signature on an extension. As yet Eriksen has not put pen to paper.

"We hope that Christian can commit to the club with a long-term contract – but in football business it is about timings and negotiations," said Pochettino.

"He is ready to wait. Maybe sign this week, maybe sign in six months.

"For me, it is not a point to discuss. He is very committed with us and he is playing so well. He is a great player and I am so happy with him."

Spurs are 11/10 to beat Manchester United at Wembley on Sunday. The in-form Red Devils are 13/5 to maintain their perfect record under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, while the draw is 27/10.

Spurs are looking to win three consecutive top-flight meetings with Manchester United for the first time since 1960.

Eriksen, 9/1 to score first against United, will play without restraint, something Pochettino feels is vital to a player of his ilk.

"He is a special person and you need to give him some freedom on the pitch," he added.

"You cannot put him in a box to play, you need to give freedom and trust in him."

View all Soccer betting

Pochettino uncertain on Eriksen deal

Mauricio Pochettino has revealed he cannot be certain that playmaker Christian Eriksen will ink a contract extension to stay at Tottenham.

The Denmark international has just 18 months remaining on his contract and has been touted for a move away from north London.

Spurs have offered Eriksen new terms but, with the likes of Barcelona said to be interested, no new deal has been agreed.

Eriksen has scored six times and assisted nine more goals this season but his manager cannot be sure what the future holds.

"No news is good news. Who knows? I am not a person who suffers too much in this type of situation, because football is dynamic," said the Spurs boss.

"Football is about interests that sometimes as a manager we cannot manage. It depends on many things. Different parties have interests.

"Of course Christian Eriksen is so important for us and you would like to have this kind of player with you. But it's a negotiation with different parties, with different interests."

Spurs are 25/1 to win the Champions League this season while they can be backed at 7/2 to hoist the Carabao Cup.

Spurs have not won a trophy in 11 years but, according to their manager, silverware isn't the only proof of progress.

"For many people it's so important for us to win. For me, of course it's important, like for the players and the club, to win a trophy," he added.

"But I'm not sure whether winning the Carabao Cup or FA Cup is going to change the character of the club."

View all Soccer betting

Eriksen pleased to make impact

Christian Eriksen said he was delighted to make an impact late on to keep Tottenham in the Premier League title race.

At home to Burnley at Wembley, the match looked to be ending in frustration for Spurs with the Clarets on course to earn a hard-earned point.

However, in stoppage time Eriksen, on as a substitute, scored the only goal of the game, Harry Kane passing for the Dane to strike past Joe Hart.

Earlier the Burnley keeper had been at his best to deny Erik Lamela but Spurs found chances at a premium, Sean Dyche's side retricting them to few clear-cut chances.

In the end though Burnley were left pointless and remain in a struggle at the foot of the table, two points above the bottom three.

Spurs meanwhile stay in the hunt for the title, the three points keeping them third in the table, five points behind leaders Manchester City.

Eriksen afterwards said he was delighted to have scored the decisive goal. He said: "Every time you come on you want to make an impact. To score in extra time was extra nice!

"Any goal if it is your first or number 20 is always very important and it is nice to score. The games are so close if you drop any points… getting in a flow like we are now feeds confidence.

"We try to win every game not just at Christmas! We are in a good situation and feel confident going into any game."

Other games on Saturday saw Crystal Palace pull clear of trouble with a victory at home to Leicester.

Huddersfield remain in the bottom three with a home defeat at the hands of Newcastle, while Cardiff lost away at Watford and Wolves beat Bournemouth 2-0.

Earlier in the day Manchester City went back to the top of the table after beating Everton 3-1.

Spurs are in action in midweek, making the short journey to Arsenal with the north London rivals playing in the quarter-finals of the EFL Cup.

Spurs are 19/10 for the win with Arsenal 11/8.

Tottenham are 11/1 to win the game 1-0 while they are 6/1 to win the EFL Cup next year.

View all Soccer betting

Champions League: Spurs Must Dare to Dream in Barcelona

Barcelona vs Tottenham Hotspur

Mauricio Pochettino’s Spurs has looked out of the 2018/19 Champions League for most of the campaign but somehow is still in it.

A last-gasp win against Inter has kept Spurs hopes alive, and a win in Barcelona could see them through to the last 16 against all odds. Spurs need to match Inter Milan’s result, against PSV Eindhoven, to guarantee a passage through to the last 16; and that more than likely means beating the La Liga champions in their own backyard.

The Champions League 2018 betting markets have Ernesto Valverde’s team in amongst the favourites to win the trophy, while Spurs are understandably outsiders. But as all us football fans know; you can only write off the underdogs at your own peril. After all, in this case, Spurs are fighting for their European lives while Barcelona has already won Group B, six points clear on 13 while their visitors and Inter are tied on seven.

With Inter hosting PSV, another side with nothing to play for and with only one point from five games, Spurs must dare to dream.

There will be a carnival atmosphere at the Camp Nou and we might just see one of the Champions League 2018 results of the round.

Talking Points

Barca is firing on all cylinders

If Spurs is to win and progress, then they have to overcome one of Europe’s form sides as Barcelona aims for another win at the Camp Nou. In a one-sided Catalonia Derby, Leo Messi was on target twice as Barca blew Espanyol away 0-4 to stay at the top of La Liga.

Champions League: In-form Lionel Messi ready to face Mauricio Pochettino's Tottenham Hotspur

Lionel Messi dribbling past defenders during their La Liga clash against city rivals Espanyol

Winning four of the last six league games, Barca’s big guns have been in great form. Messi heads up the La Liga top scorers list with 11 and Luis Suarez is just behind with ten. They work well together with eight and four assists respectively and have more than a capable back-up in the form of Ousmane Dembele. The former BVB player and France international has six goals of his own, alongside three assists.

Whoever makes the start up front for Barca will surely stretch the Spurs defence to its limits. This is not the tie Pochettino would ask for at this moment, but if you are going to play in a tournament with serious intent, you have to be prepared to beat whatever comes your way.

Pochettino’s Espanyol loyalties

Make no mistake, a win for Spurs would be oh so sweet for their head coach. Mauricio Pochettino was a former player and manager at Barca’s city rivals, and he would love nothing more to avenge his old team’s 0-4 thumping with a shock win on Tuesday. And he’s used to being the underdog in this Stadium with the capability of springing a surprise.

He earned his first Derby win as a manager at the Camp Nou back in 2009 when Espanyol was bottom of La Liga and Barcelona was top. His team was given no chance, certainly bigger outsiders than his current crop at Spurs are. Poch will draw on that memory and his loyalty to Espanyol when his players cross the white line on Tuesday night.

Pochettino knows he must get his defence set up to frustrate Barca’s stars and he will probably go for the tried and tested centre-back pairing of Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen. They came together to shut out Leicester City in a 0-2 win on Saturday and if they can keep the Catalans quiet then maybe, just maybe, his strikers can get the goals they desperately need to win.

History

Messi scored twice in Barcelona’s 2-4 win at the Wembley Stadium in October which gave Spurs an uphill battle in Group B, and he’s the Catalan’s top scorer with six goals in the competition. The Lillywhites’ main man Harry Kane has four of his own, while the excellent Christian Eriksen has weighed in with two, including the dramatic late winner against Inter which put Spurs’ destiny in its own hands.

But the visitors have to break a Barca sequence of five games unbeaten and a winning streak of four matches in which Messi and Co have scored 12 goals and conceded just two.

Spurs have recovered from a 4-2 North London Derby defeat with back to back wins over Southampton and Leicester City, which have lifted them to third in the Premier League table.

Betting Tip

??
Barcelona vs Tottenham Hotspur Barcelona 1X2 @ 2.10
December 12, 04:00 (GMT+8)

Unfortunately, for Spurs, I think a dream is all they will have by Wednesday morning. They were simply blown away by Arsenal a couple of weeks ago and this Barca side is more frightening than Unai Emery’s improving Gunners.

Spurs is at 3.15 and while the draw is 3.55, a win is what the visitors need.

Seven of the ten Champions League games played by these two teams have yielded over 2.50 goals and Spurs must go for it. So for an alternative, 4-6 goals at odds of 2.45 could pay dividends.

A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR (??) BETS ARE WORTH:
?? = €20 (Highly confident) ?? = €10 (CONFIDENT) ?? = €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)

Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

●●●

CHECK OUT OUR BLOG FOR MORE FOOTBALL STORIES & ODDS

Stay updated with everything sports and betting.

Follow us on social Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Bet NOW!

Good Christian Men Rejoice in the Champions League!

Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 Inter Milan

There are usually plenty of goals when these sides meet.

And with qualification from Group B on the line, this renewal of acquaintances promised to deliver some of the Champions League 2018 highlights.

Just a matter of weeks after many of the Champions League 2018 betting odds had Mauricio Pochettino’s side dead and buried, a last-gasp victory over PSV Eindhoven got them believing again.

However, the position was still against Spurs and anything but victory in the final day would see them drop out of the Champions League.

Highlights of the game

us fans had some surprising team news to digest.

After their dominant dismissal of Chelsea, the return of Jan Vertonghen was a boost—the loss of Christian Eriksen (to the substitutes bench) potentially a major blow for the hosts.

Inter boss Luciano Spalletti made four changes to his line-up with Ivan Perisic, Marcelo Brozovic, Matias Vecino and Mauro Icardi all returning.

Given Inter, the last Italian team to win the UEFA Champions League (2010), only needed a point, we may have expected a classic Italian defensive display.

However, this was not the case even if they were on the backfoot as Spurs started on fire.
Harry Kane was kept out by a combination of post and goalkeeper Samir Handanovic before the Englishman played in his teammate Dele Alli whose shot grazed the crossbar.

The passage of play in the early stages suggested Inter were content to let Spurs have possession. They try to catch them on the counter though, with the in-form Mauro Icardi—a popular figure in the dressing room—threatening at one point and was only caught by Toby Alderweireld.

If Spurs thought they were third time lucky, they were wrong. Promising young midfielder Harry Winks kept his balance and fired in a shot which bounced back off the bar.

Belgian midfielder Radja Nainggolan was clearly struggling, so it was no surprise when he was replaced just before the break.

The start of the second half was as lively as the opening period, but it was not one-way this time around.

Inter seemed to be building momentum and a Matteo Politano free-kick under the wall had to be superbly blocked by Ben Davies.

Then Vertonghen headed narrowly wide at the back post as the contest switched from one end to the other.

Eriksen had now entered the fray to try and probe a winner for Spurs, themselves wary of the threat of Inter who have scored 10 of their 25 league goals this season in the final 15 minutes.

Hugo Lloris kept out Perisic’s shot from a tight angle when a visiting goal would surely have deflated the north Londoners.

With 10 minutes remaining, it seemed the late show from September had come back to haunt Spurs. But then came the goal the majority inside Wembley craved.

Moussa Sissoko burst down the right, Ali expertly flicked the ball on and there was Eriksen to smash it into the roof of the net.

Every result Inter have earned in the Champions League this season has come after conceding the opener, and they were far from deterred as Lloris was called into action again to deny Danilo D’Ambrosio.

But this time, there was to be no fightback and Spurs will now go to Barcelona for the final group game in control of their own destiny.

Key statistics

Inter Milan failed to upset Tottenham Hostpur in their recent Champions League game

Inter Milan’s Mauro Icardi and team mates applaud their fans after their Champions League loss to Tottenham Hotspur

Inter have lost on six of their last seven visits to England (won once), and their record overall is four wins, one draw and 11 losses.

Kane has scored 13 goals and assisted a further two in his 15 Champions League appearances.

Turkish official Cuneyt Cakir has been a heart of controversy involving English clubs before when Nani and Manchester United were victims of his decision-making against Real Madrid five years ago. Nonetheless, he seems to be a lucky omen for Spurs. He was also the official in their 3-1 victory over champions Real Madrid in the competition last season.

What’s next?

The big games keep on coming for Spurs. They travel to Arsenal this weekend for the north London derby before entertaining Southampton in the Premier League a week tonight.

Inter’s programme of matches is slightly less frenetic but no less difficult.

Back-to-back away trips now follow in Serie A against rivals AS Roma and reigning champions Juventus—matches which will go a long way to determine how the Nerazzurri fare domestically this term.

 

●●●

CHECK OUT OUR BLOG FOR MORE FOOTBALL STORIES & ODDS

Stay updated with everything sports and betting.

Follow us on social Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Bet NOW!

Premier League: Super Spurs Give Maurizio the Blues

Spurs 3-1 Chelsea

Spurs ended Chelsea’s unbeaten Premier League record tonight in spectacular fashion, leapfrogging the Blues into third place in the process.

We are safe enough making a promise that we’ll see good football in our Spurs vs Chelsea predictions, and that’s never going to be in doubt with the talent on show at Wembley. But it’s fair to say it was Spurs who stole the show with three goals, the pick from Heung-Min Son and a world-class performance from Christian Eriksen.

Highlights of the game

Spurs found it hard going in their last game before the international break, beating Crystal Palace 0-1, and I bet they couldn’t believe just how easily they swept the Blues aside in the opening exchanges to go 2-0 up after 16 minutes. Chelsea defender David Luiz didn’t cover himself in glory with either. First, he fouled Harry Kane just outside the box, giving Christian Eriksen a good chance to whip a dangerous ball in. That’s exactly what he did, and Dele Alli did the rest by getting the faintest of flicks on the ball to make sure keeper Kepa was beaten.

Christian Eriksen along with Harry Kane, Heung-Min Son and Dele Alli produced a fine offence in the Premier League

Tottenham’s Christian Eriksen and Eric Dier trying to stop Chelsea’s Eden Hazard

Eriksen is such a key player for Spurs with admirers across Europe, notably at Real Madrid. Minutes later, he played a great return pass to Heung-Min Son who blasted over when he was clean through. But Spurs were two up soon enough when Harry Kane took a pot shot from all of 25 yards. Luiz inexplicably stepped away from the shot and Kepa stayed rooted to his spot as it flew into the net.

Eriksen continued to be at the heart of Spurs’ attacking threat and he crossed for Juan Foyth, but Kepa made the save this time. And after Eden Hazard had forced Hugo Lloris into a smart save, Eriksen was there again, playing a beauty of a ball to Son, who saw his first-time volley brilliantly kept out by the Chelsea stopper.

Maurizio Sarri has made a fine start of his coaching career at Chelsea, but he was maybe starting to regret his jibes at Spurs’ inability to win a trophy by half-time, saying Chelsea would never put up with such a lack of success.

Heung-Min Son sealed their win and earns his 50th goal for Tottenham in their Premier League match against Chelsea

Tottenham Heung-Min Son celebrates scoring the third goal for his team

Spurs seemed intent on making the former Napoli boss eat his words. Despite the Blues coming out for the second half with greater intent, the Wembley crowd was on its feet again on 54 minutes when the hosts made it 3-0. And it was an absolute beauty. Dele Alli started a counter-attack with a sweeping ball, and Son outpaced Jorginho before turning Luiz inside-out and unleashing an unstoppable shot that curled past Kepa and into the far corner of the net.

The Spurs fans were in dreamland.

Harry Kane had a chance to send them into further delirium, but he skied his effort from just six yards when everyone in the stadium expected the net to bulge.

Chelsea did have something to cheer for on 85 minutes when Olivier Giroud nodded home, but it was just a consolation.

Key Statistics

We predicted a tight game in our us tips, but hey; we can’t be right all of the time!

Spurs have responded well to defeats to Liverpool and Manchester City and have gone on a five-match winning run. Harry Kane made it nine goals in his last 11 games for Spurs as the hosts ended Chelsea’s unbeaten run.

This is the Blues’ first away defeat in nine games, and they had won the last four games against Spurs at Wembley. In fact, the last time Spurs beat Chelsea here was in the 2008 League Cup final.

Heung-Min Son’s brilliant goal was his 50th in all competitions for Spurs to round off a perfect day for the hosts.

What’s next?

These two teams have a responsibility to fly the flag for London, and Spurs certainly did that!

The Whites now have two massive games over the next week, mouth-watering for fans and potentially season-defining. First, they face Inter Milan in the Champions League. Pochettino’s men desperately need a win to keep up their hopes of progress. Then it’s the North London derby at the Emirates where Unai Emery’s Arsenal are on an excellent run of their own.

Meanwhile, Chelsea have two rather less glamorous games to look forward to. First, they have a Europa League tie with PAOK Salonika to contend with. Claudio Ranieri’s Fulham visit the Bridge next, fresh from the new boss’ opening-match win. Will Claudio come back to haunt his old employers? Who knows? But you can get all your Premier League 2018 updates as they happen right here at us.

 

●●●

CHECK OUT OUR BLOG FOR MORE FOOTBALL STORIES & ODDS

Stay updated with everything sports and betting.

Follow us on social Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Bet NOW!

Sarri talks up Eriksen impact

Chelsea head coach Maurizio Sarri has highlighted Danish playmaker Christian Eriksen as the man who makes Tottenham Hotspur tick.

Striker Harry Kane is seen by many as the talisman of the Spurs line-up, but Sarri, whose side head to Wembley to take on their London rivals at teatime on Saturday, believes that midfielder Eriksen is the man to watch.

The Italian told reporters: "Of course, Harry Kane is the best English striker at the moment, so he is a very important player, but I have to say another name.

"I like Eriksen very much because he is very smart player. He is a very technical player.

"He is able to play in midfield and score eight or nine goals a season. I think he is a very important player.

"I like him very much, but I don't want to talk about a player of Tottenham for the transfer market, of course, I am only answering a question."

Chelsea are 8/5 to win on Saturday and are 5/2 to claim a draw at Wembley, with the Blues 10/1 to triumph by a 2-1 scoreline.

Meanwhile, Spurs head coach Mauricio Pochettino was calm about the prospects of Eriksen agreeing a new contract with the club, with his current deal running out at the end of next season.

He added: "He knows we know what we're doing and of course we're working hard. The club's working to try to take the best decisions.

"Christian is going to take I think the decision that is best for him. We're not worried, in football I'm never worried.

"But I prefer that he's going to sign the new contract and spend a long time with Tottenham. It will be fantastic."

View all Soccer betting

O’Neill seeks Hendrick improvement

Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill says he wants to see Jeff Hendrick contribute more against Denmark on Monday.

The Burnley midfielder was one of the stars of the team's Euro 2016 campaign but has struggled for form since.

He is fighting for his place with Sean Dyche's side in the Premier League but is still one of the first names on O'Neill’s teamsheet, though his international boss is hoping for more from him.

O'Neill said: "Jeff has not reached the heights that he did with us a couple of seasons ago and, at this minute, he's lost his place at Burnley.

"I still think Jeff can and should do better for us in the middle of the field, which I feel is his proper position."

Monday night's match in the Nations League is a dead rubber with Denmark confirmed as group winners following their win over Wales on Friday, a result that relegated the Irish.

So there is only pride to play for, though O'Neill anticipates a hard game, especially with Christian Eriksen in the Denmark side after scoring a hat-trick against the Irish in last November's World Cup 2018 play-off.

"World-class players can deal with situations and Eriksen is a world-class footballer, he will be hard to deal with," O'Neill added.

"I think that regardless of some sort of plans you might make, players can extricate themselves from those positions.

"We gave him a bit of space (in the play-off), particularly in the second half, which he exploited pretty well – he's a top-class player."

Denmark are 8/13 to win Monday's game with the Republic of Ireland 13/2 and the draw 27/10. Eriksen is 9/2 to score the first goal of the game.

The Republic of Ireland have been relegated to League C for the next Nations League tournament. while Denmark will be in League A.

England meanwhile have qualified for next summer's Nations League finals and are 5/2 to win the tournament with hosts Portugal 10/3.

View all Soccer betting

Eriksen sets his sights on starts

Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Christian Eriksen is content that he is totally over his recent abdominal injury and is ready to play a greater role for his team.

The 26-year-old Denmark international schemer has yet to start a Premier League game since being sidelined for around a month between late September and late October.

However, having done so in both the League Cup and the Champions League, Eriksen is ready to step back in in the league set-up and help Spurs challenge towards the top end of the Premier League table.

He told Sky Sports: "I feel very good, very fresh. It had been a while since I have played that many games in such a short time.

"I think for my body it's been good with a bit of a build-up going into every game. My body needed it, it said take a rest.

"It's never fun to be injured, it's always boring being on the sidelines when you want to be able to help the team."

Tottenham are currently priced at 1/2 to finish in the top four in the Premier League this season, with Arsenal 6/4 and Manchester United 7/2.

Meanwhile, Eriksen gave little away about how talks over a new contract were progressing, with his current deal running out at the end of next season.

He told BT: "I have my agent to take care of it so I can play football, then we see where it ends.

"There have been talks with Tottenham many times. I cannot say if it’s over just yet, you must ask them."

View all Soccer betting