Spurs v Olympiakos: Jose Begins Champions League Quest
Tottenham can confirm their passage into the Champions League knockout stages on Tuesday night as they host Olympiakos. A win will be enough to secure progression but a draw would also be sufficient if Bayern Munich were to beat Red Star Belgrade in Group B’s other fixture.
The game marks a return to UCL football for Jose Mourinho who was enjoyed much success in this competition but can the new boss guide us safely through in his second game in charge?
In his first post match interview, Jose Mourinho mentioned that Danny Rose and Moussa Sissoko were struggling at the end of Saturday’s win over West Ham. Early team news on Monday morning makes no reference to the pair so we will need to wait until the club confirms any updates on those two.
What we do know is that Erik Lamela and Hugo Lloris are on the sidelines while Jan Vertonghen and Tanguy Ndombele are in contention in some capacity. Ben Davies is a concern after he went off against West Ham but once again, there is no confirmed news on the Welsh international left back.
These two sides drew 2-2 when they met in Greece on matchday one but the bookmakers aren’t expecting a repeat. Spurs head the result market by some margin and you can pick up the home side at best odds of 3/10 with Betway and SportingBet. The draw is your next available option at a top price of 5/1 with Unibet while a win for Olympiakos can be backed at a best of 11/1 with VBet.
Form is identical in both camps with the two teams recording two wins, two draws and a defeat in their last five but the greater depth of quality in Spurs’ squad, helps to make them favourites. Home advantage is also a factor but will Jose’s men convert at that short, odds on figure?
Other Side Bets
Harry Kane registered his 11th club goal of the season in Saturday’s win over West Ham and the striker is a clear favourite to open the scoring on Tuesday. Harry gets us underway at best odds of 5/2 with 888Sport while the same two bookmakers quote Son Heung-Min at a top price of 17/4.
BetFred have Troy Parrott as their third favourite at a best of 9/2 but Mourinho’s first squad suggested there will be no room for the young Irishman. Instead, you should consider Lucas Moura at the same best odds of 9/2 with 888Sport and SportingBet or Dele Alli at a top price of 7/1 with BetFred.
Tottenham players are clearly dominating at this point and you can also claim Christian Eriksen at 15/2 with Unibet while Giovani Lo Celso is even further back at 8/1 with 888Sport.
Finally, we come to Olympiakos whose first representative is Guerrero at best odds of 13/1 with 888Sport and Unibet. The former Leganes striker is scoring at a rate of around one in three for his new club and seems the most likely option for the away side.
Our round up of other common side bets continues with Both Teams to Score which is available at 4/5 with Betway and Black Type. This is a tight market with some sportsbooks offering the same odds of 10/11 on the ‘yes’ or ‘no’ options here. With the Greek side scoring just five in their last five, you may want to vote No on BTTS and take the top industry price of 19/20 with Black Type.
In the Overs and Unders market, you can go Over the 2.5 line and claim best odds of 8/15 with SportNation and RedZone. Considering that the bookies aren’t expecting too much input from the away side that seems short so you might want to push to Over 3.5 to get better value at 5/4 from William Hill and Coral.
As for correct score betting, if we’re basing any of our thoughts on the bookmaker suggestions, we may want to look at a 4-0 home win at a top price of 13/1 with 10Bet.
We mentioned Guerrero as the most likely option to open the scoring for Olympiakos. That’s what the bookmakers are saying and with a reasonable return of ten goals in 33 games for the Greek side, Spurs will certainly need to have him watched.
Ahead of the original fixture between these two sides, we mentioned that Olympiakos had picked up the diminutive Frenchman Mathieu Valbuena. The midfielder duly levelled the scores from the penalty spot and much of their positive play comes through him.
Head to Head
There’s just one update to add to the small selection of head to head results between these two teams and that draw in Piraeus gives us perfect symmetry. In three overall games, Spurs have won one, Olympiakos have won one and there is that one draw from the start of this Champions League campaign.
Who knows when we will meet again but let’s aim for Spurs to be one step in front when we next come to analyse head to head stats.
Regular readers of this column will know that we rarely tip Spurs to win and let’s face it, for much of 2019 that’s been a wise decision. The Champions League has, however, been a welcome break from dismal league form at times and we expect that pattern to continue. Even in the last days of Mauricio Pochettino, the team were demolishing Red Star Belgrade and we’re looking at a similar outcome on Tuesday.
There’s little value in those 3/10 odds on the straight home win so we’ll start by taking Spurs to win to Nil which is on offer at 23/20 with Betway and William Hill. We’re a little tentative on that one but we’re more confident on the Over 3.5 goals bet at that 5/4 price with William Hill again.
In terms of goalscoring, Son Heung-Min has nine in 16 games this season. We know that Sonny likes European competition and with five in four across the current campaign, he’s our pick to find the net first in what we hope will be a comfortable 90 minutes.
- Son Heung-Min to score the first goal at 17/4 with 888Sport
- Over 3.5 Goals at 5/4 with William Hill
- Spurs to win to Nil at 23/20 with Betway