Spurs v Vitesse: Focus on Europe After a Distracting Week
It’s deja vu all over again as we begin the week looking for a pick up following another toothless display in the league. Tottenham succumbed meekly to Manchester United on Saturday and, while we’re only ten games into the EPL season, it’s already looking as though the cups offer our only chance of success in 2021/22.
There is, of course, one key difference between this week and last week. Nuno Espirito Santo has paid an inevitable price for a poor run that has seen Spurs lose five of their last league games.
More about the manager situation later but, as far as the Europa Conference League is concerned, the club has it all to do following a 1-0 loss to Vitesse in the Netherlands two weeks ago. This is a must-win in terms of progression to the next phase and, assuming the club wants to go further, Spurs may need to win all three remaining group matches.
This is the conundrum for the interim coaching staff ahead of kick off. In earlier defeats to Pacos and Vitesse, Nuno discovered the lack of depth within this squad. Whoever selects this side wll want to keep first teamers in reserve for the Everton game on Sunday but, if we are to win those final three group games, we can’t rely on the second string.
In terms of definite absences, Bryan Gil and Ryan Sessegnon are the ones likely to miss out. Ahead of the Manchester United game, it was said that Gil was being assessed but the injury, picked up at Burnley last week, looked to be a significant one at the time.
As for Sessegnon, we’ve yet to see him since the very start of the Europa League Conference campaign and there’s still no date set for his return.
The bookmakers must be expecting Tottenham to put their entire first team out as they’ve made us hot favourites for the win. Victory for Spurs is on offer at best odds of 3/10 with Betway and QuinnBet while the draw follows at a top price of 19/4 with MansionBet and SportNation.
A win for Vitesse can be backed at 17/2 with 888Sport and there could well be some interest in that figure.
We’ll say it again and much depends on the starting XI that Tottenham put out. If we are at full strength or, at the very least, have a competent bench, those odds will look justified. The relative qualities of the two squads would give us an edge but if we offer Vitesse a chance through weak team selection, they are well equipped to take it.
Team selection will also have a bearing on the individual goal scorer markets and most of us would prefer to wait until we see the team sheets before getting involved. Another issue that we weren’t expecting is the fact that we don’t know who’s picking the team. It could be Ryan Mason, it could be Antonio Conte or maybe David Pleat will make another appearance.
Based on all of those unknowns, it’s not really surprising that we can’t find any first goalscorer options at the time of writing this on Tuesday morning. Potentially, they could arrive ahead of kick off but that’s the position right now.
Moving on, Both Teams to Score is available for Thursday night’s game at 23/20 with QuinnBet and 888Sport. This market rarely gets above Even Money and, while the bookies are probably basing those prices on a suspected weak Vitesse side, maybe it’s Spurs’ lack of cutting edge that we should be concerned about.
The Overs and Unders markets show short odds of 4/6 with Betway and MansionBet to go Above the 2.5 line. We can push that further with a relatively generous 7/4 on offer from SportNation to back Over 3.5.
On to the Correct Score market and, based on the odds that we’ve seen so far, there may just be interest in a 4-1 home win. If that’s not too optimistic, 888Sport and QuinnBet are quoting odds of 18/1. Alternatively, if you have a bad feeling about Thursday night, the 1-1 draw is listed at 9/1 with VBet.
Vitesse Arnhem’s goal in that reverse game was scored by Maximilian Wittek 11 minutes from time. A left back, Wittek was an unlikely scorer and that’s his only strike of the campaign to date.
None of Vitesse’s front men are exactly prolific so they do need some help from other areas of the pitch. Lois Openda is the leading scorer in the league so far with five goals from his first 11 games.
Since that game in the Netherlands, Vitesse have played twice – losing 2-1 to Go Ahead Eagles before defeating Heerenveen by the same scoreline.
The match was one to forget: Ahead of the game we were worried about the strength of our bench and, while the starting XI should have been strong enough to get a positive result, there were no tangible reinforcements if things went wrong. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what happened.
It’s been another strange week at the new White Hart Lane and hopefully we’ll end it with a more positive view for the future. I really feel for Nuno – a decent guy but just the wrong man at the wrong time. The worry was that the club would just let things drift but at least the owners acted and we can just hope that they make the right appointment this time.
Back to the task in hand and we’ve the usual confused picture regarding a Thursday night game. If we start with a strong XI or, at the very least, we have some depth to the bench, it should be a comfortable 90 minutes.
With the bookmakers not expecting Vitesse to get on the scoresheet, there are some interesting odds in the goals betting. Both Teams to Score looks hard to turn down at 23/20. Vitesse aren’t the most potent side but they’re certainly better than NS Mura who got on the scoresheet when they travelled to North London previously.
Over 3.5 goals also has a reasonable price and it doesn’t require the opponents to contribute. Overall, these are side bets and side issues to what has been an interesting week and one that will hopefully leave us feeling slightly more optimistic about our club.
- Both Teams to Score at 23/20 with Quinnbet
- Over 3.5 Goals at 7/4 with SportNation