Why Three is the Magic Number

It’s simply because all my betting tips favour home triumphs this weekend.

All three backing sides pushing for European berths.

The betting odds have once again been studied carefully ahead of this weekend’s programme of football games.

Burnley vs Brighton & Hove Albion (April 28, 22:00 GMT+8)

Can this proud Lancashire club reach the promised land of European football for the first time since the mid-1960s?

Yes, of course, they can! I’ve said before that, if achieved, Sean Dyche deserves the manager of the year accolade.

Seeing off Brighton, whose own boss Chris Hughton has done a terrific job, won’t be easy, but I’m expecting the Clarets to edge it.

My 🌟🌟🌟 tip is Asian Handicap -0.50 Burnley @ 2.21.

Crystal Palace vs Leicester City (April 28, 22:00 GMT+8)

Both these clubs began the season with different managers at the helm.

Both have benefited from the subsequent change, although in both cases (particularly Frank de Boer), the early season dismissals of Roy Hodgson’s and Claude Puel’s predecessors were harsh.

In what could be an entertaining encounter, this is a more important game for Palace and I expect them to triumph.

My 🌟 tip is Crystal Palace First Half 1X2 @ 2.70, and a 🌟🌟 bet on Crystal Palace again Asian Handicap -0.50 @ 2.12.

Tottenham Hotspur vs Watford (May 01, 03:00 GMT+8)

After an FA Cup semi-final defeat to Manchester United, Mauricio Pochettino and his players will be hurting.

The club’s eighth straight semi-final defeat and wait for silverware goes on. However, it can’t be forgotten this season was always going to be tough as the north Londoners left home and took over a 12-month tenancy of Wembley.

They will return to the new White Hart Lane next season back in the Champions League, and this victory will help secure it.

My 2 x 🌟🌟🌟 tips are: Spurs First Half Asian Handicap -1.00 @ 2.09 and Asian Handicap -2.25 @ 2.03.

I’m also going to add a 🌟🌟 prediction into the mix of Total Goals 4-6 @ 2.33.

A short explanation on how our (🌟) bets are worth:

🌟🌟🌟 = £20
🌟🌟 = £10
🌟 = £5

Head over to the betting tips section and see how our writers perform in their predicted bets.

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Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

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Spurs the only focus for Pochettino

Tottenham Hotspur head coach Mauricio Pochettino is focused on his own job and is not concerning himself about what might happen next season.

Ahead of a Tuesday evening Premier League trip to Brighton, Pochettino was asked if he was worried that champions Manchester City could move further ahead of the chasing pack next term, having wrapped up the title with five games to play.

He told reporters: "I am not concerned. Yes, of course, if they invest money and bring in players that can improve their squad, of course they are sure to compete to be the best team in the Premier League again.

"Today my concern is to try to win on Tuesday, after that I am not thinking about what Man City is going to do. It is nothing to worry about, because it is still so far until next season."

Meanwhile, Pochettino also confirmed that he will rest a number of senior players for the clash with the Seagulls, with one eye on the FA Cup semi-final against

That seems likely to mean a major role for January signing Lucas Moura, who has yet to start a league game since his arrival from Paris Saint-Germain on transfer deadline day.

Central defender Toby Alderweireld also looks set to be involved, although Pochettino was non-committal on whether that would be as a starter or a substitute.

He added: "Yes, Toby is going to be in the squad. Tomorrow I will decide whether he's going to play or not."

Having won 2-0 against Albion at Wembley earlier this season, Spurs are 1/2 to claim all three points on Tuesday evening and are 6/5 to keep a clean sheet, with Fernando Llorente available at 10/11 to score at any time.

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Poch cool over Alderweireld role

Tottenham Hotspur head coach Mauricio Pochettino has dismissed suggestions that defender Toby Alderweireld may not play for the club again this season.

The 29-year-old Belgium international centre-back has found first-team opportunities limited since returning to full fitness after hamstring problems, with Alderweireld having not featured at all in the Premier League since late October.

However, ahead of a Saturday evening Wembley showdown with Manchester City, Pochettino has cooled talk of Alderweireld having possibly played his last game for Spurs, having also been linked with a summer transfer.

Pochettino told reporters: "We make a drama sometimes over small things. After 14 games unbeaten there is no point talking about the player that has not played and has had an injury.

"Toby is still our player on a two-year contract. I am sure he is going to be play before the end of the season. He is doing well, he is training, but he has to wait for his opportunity.

"Today there is no point talking about this type of situation."

Jan Vertonghen and Davinson Sanchez are the current preferred central defensive partnership at Tottenham, who are unbeaten in their last 14 Premier League games.

Indeed their last league reverse came against the Citizens just before Christmas, when the Londoners were swatted aside 4-1 at the Etihad Stadium.

Spurs are 8/5 to exact revenge with a win on Saturday, with the home side 10/1 to win the game 2-1, while Harry Kane can be backed at 5/6 to score at any time.

Tottenham have won their last two home league meetings with City – 2-0 last season and 4-1 in September 2015.

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Pochettino eyes second spot

Mauricio Pochettino is targeting second place for his Tottenham side this season as they prepare to face relegation-threatened Stoke City.

Pochettino is set to have Harry Kane in his starting line-up as the striker has fully recovered from an ankle injury. The England international came on as a late substitute at Chelsea last weekend – his first appearance since he picked up the problem on 11th March.

Kane has scored 24 goals in the Premier League this term and is 8/15 to net at any time against the Potters, 2/7 to be relegated this season.

Tottenham are fourth in the table with 64 points after winning 3-1 at Stamford Bridge, four points behind second-placed Manchester United and two adrift of Liverpool in third.

"We want to finish as high as possible, we are in a good position but there are still a lot of games to play… if we can finish second, it would be better than third or fourth," said Pochettino.

"Our focus [against Stoke] must be 200 per cent. For me it will be a tougher game than at Stamford Bridge.

"Harry Kane is okay after playing nearly 20 minutes against Chelsea. This week was good, he is working hard. Of course, the expectation for him is to score goals. He is hungry to score."

Spurs are 10/11 to keep a clean sheet against Paul Lambert's struggling Stoke team and 7/1 to win the match from behind.

Kane’s recovery going well

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino is pleased with the progress striker Harry Kane is making from an ankle injury.

Kane damaged ligaments in the 3-0 victory at Bournemouth earlier this month and, although he looks set to miss Sunday's London derby against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, he could return to action at Stoke City on 7th April.

"He is doing well and improving every day," said former Southampton boss Pochettino.

"It is difficult now to say if he will be involved this weekend – I cannot say no and I cannot say yes – but maybe next weekend.

"We are positive about his recovery and we are happy. After Bournemouth, everyone thought it would be a long period out."

Meanwhile, Inter Milan's interest in Erik Lamela could cool now that Walter Sabatini has quit as the Serie A club's sporting director.

Sabatini had been particularly keen to bring Lamela to the San Siro this summer and his departure could scupper any proposed deal.

Lamela is 7/2 to score at any time for Tottenham at Chelsea while Pochettino's team can be backed at 21/10 to earn a rare victory at Stamford Bridge.

Spurs have not won at Chelsea since February 1990 – a sequence of 27 games under 16 different managers.

Pochettino hails “deserved” win

Mauricio Pochettino said he was delighted that a changed team beat Swansea to progress through to the FA Cup semi-finals.

A 3-0 win away at Swansea sees Spurs back at Wembley, their temporary home this season, aiming for a place in their first FA Cup final since 1991.

Christian Eriksen scored twice with Erik Lamela getting the other and, with talk before the game concerning the absence of Harry Kane, out until next month with an ankle injury, Pochettino was pleased that his side responded well.

The Spurs boss said after the match: "It was a very good performance. I'm very happy and very pleased. Now, Wembley for the semi-final!

"We full deserved the victory. We played very well. Of course when you score early it makes it easy to control the game.

"For me the most important thing is that we deserved it and the team [Spurs] played much better. We are in the semi-final because we deserve it."

Pochettino went on to express his delight that, despite having to change personnel in the last three matches, the team dynamic has not been affected.

Spurs are 7/4 to win the FA Cup this season with Manchester United priced at 2/1.

With an international break next weekend, Spurs are back in action on 1st April with a visit to Chelsea in the Premier League.

They are 5/2 for the win with Antonio Conte's side 11/10.

Spurs are third in the table with a five-point cushion over Chelsea who sit fifth and Pochettino's side are 1/6 to finish in the top four and claim a Champions League place for next season.

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Tottenham can cope without Kane

Mauricio Pochettino is confident his Tottenham Hotspur side can cope successfully with the absence through injury of striker Harry Kane.

England frontman Kane has been ruled out for the foreseeable future by an ankle ligament problem, although head coach Pochettino expects his star forward to return to action before the end of the domestic season.

But the Argentinian believes he has plenty of options at his disposal to cover for Kane being sidelined, starting with the FA Cup sixth round trip to Swansea City on Saturday.

He told reporters: "For me it's always about the collective effort and skills to win or lose the games.

"Of course we are going to miss Harry because it's obvious that he is one of the best, but in the same way we are calm and relaxed, because we have quality enough to play and win games.

"It's not an excuse that Harry is now out for a few weeks that are not going to have the same mentality and try to win the games like we do with him."

Meanwhile, Pochettino also confirmed that central defender Toby Alderweireld could be involved against the Swans, having returned to training earlier this week after hamstring problems.

Belgium international Alderweireld has made just two appearances since early November, both of which came in the FA Cup, with Pochettino adding: "I need to decide. I still haven't decided if he will be involved or not in the trip to Swansea."

Spurs have claimed five wins and two draws on their seven top-flight visits to Swansea and are 9/20 to win in 90 minutes on Saturday, with the visitors 5/1 to claim a 2-0 victory.

Former City striker Fernando Llorente is priced at 20/21 to score at any time.

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Kane boosted by scan results

Tottenham Hotspur expect star striker Harry Kane to be absent for weeks rather than months after confirming he has sustained ankle ligament damage.

The England international was forced off after 34 minutes of the 4-1 weekend Premier League win at Bournemouth, amid fears that the injury could jeopardise his World Cup finals hopes.

However, Spurs have announced that the problem is not too serious, which will come as a relief with Kane having twice before suffered significant injuries to his right ankle.

A short statement from the London club read: "Preliminary assessments have confirmed that Harry Kane has damaged lateral ligaments in his right ankle.

"He sustained the injury following a challenge in the 4-1 win against Bournemouth on Sunday and is expected to return to first-team training next month."

Spurs head coach Mauricio Pochettino had said after full-time against the Cherries: "Of course I worry about him, his ankle. We hope it is not a massive issue for him and the team.

"We hope as quickly as possible he can recover and be available. He's positive, he is always positive."

Kane has scored 35 goals in all competitions so far this season for Tottenham, including 24 in the Premier League, making him the joint leading scorer in the English top-flight with Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah.

Salah is now available at 1/2 to be the leading scorer in the Premier League this season, with Manchester City ace Sergio Aguero, currently on 21, 5/1.

Minus Kane, Tottenham are in action on Saturday when they head to the Liberty Stadium to take on Swansea City in an FA Cup sixth round tie – with Spurs 2/1 to go all the way and lift the trophy this season.

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Poch positive for the future

Mauricio Pochettino believes Tottenham are in a "very good position" to move to the next level.

The Lilywhites were accused of naivety in the aftermath of Wednesday's Champions League exit to Juventus and the Argentine and his players have faced a number of questions in the last couple of days.

Pochettino struggled to adapt to the tactical changes made by opposite number Massimiliano Allegri, while some of his big guns also failed to deliver on the night.

It means they must now focus on domestic matters, with a top four finish in the Premier League and the FA Cup still up for grabs.

Sunday sees Spurs travel to Bournemouth and they are 11/20 to win at the Vitality, while the draw is 7/2 and the Cherries 11/2.

Despite being dumped out of the Champions League, these are exciting times at Tottenham as the board continue work on their new stadium, as well as upgrading their training facilities.

Pochettino is adamant they are heading in the right direction and is backing the club to prove they can compete at the highest level once all the pieces have fallen into place.

"The club is doing a fantastic job trying to finish our new stadium and our facilities at the training ground," he said. "The club will be in a very good position in the next few years to start to compete in the last level.

"Last season we complained a lot about not being able to compete in the Champions League, but this year we showed in the group stage against Dortmund, Real Madrid and then Juventus that the club is ready to compete. With the new facilities, the new stadium, the club will be stronger.

"The basis is there. Now it's to keep going and try to be clever and work hard."

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Poch feels Spurs deserved more

Mauricio Pochettino felt his Tottenham side were very unlucky to be knocked out of the Champions League by Juventus and miss out on a quarter-final spot.

Head coach Pochettino saw Spurs lose 2-1 to Juve at Wembley on Wednesday evening to miss out 4-3 on aggregate to the Italian champions, with the visitors scoring twice in four second-half minutes to secure their progress.

And Pochettino believed his team had deserved better, while admitting that they had learned a harsh lesson in being punished by one of European football's elite outfits.

He said after a disappointing evening: "I am very proud. Against a very good team like Juventus we dominated – overall in the two games we were much better, – but at this level in three minutes the tie went for Juventus.

"In less than three minutes we conceded two goals – two big mistakes – and that is why we are out. In both legs we deserved more.

"We are very disappointed, but it is part of growing, we will keep going. In football it is not about deserving, you have to score goals and not concede.

"It was tough, but very positive for the future. You need this type of game and experience to build you as a player to compete at this level.

"They only came to our goal two or three times – not much – but they have quality, so if you make a mistake they will score."

Juve can now be backed at 9/1 to win the Champions League this season, with Manchester City available at 3/1 and two-time defending champions Real Madrid 4/1.

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