Tottenham Hotspur v Pacos Ferreira: Time to Cover the Embarrassment
The one blot on Nuno Espirito Santo’s brief Tottenham Hotspur CV is the 1-0 reverse in Portugal last week. Against a Pacos Ferreira side who we were comfortably expected to breeze past, we went down after fielding a mix of development players and fringe first teamers.
Spurs have a chance to rectify matters with a home second leg this Thursday. It should still be a comfortable passage into the next phase as long as the game is treated seriously.
When we say that much will depend on the side that the manager picks, we don’t quite expect the type of line up that was paraded last Thursday. It was similar in nature to the starting XI that took on Marine in the FA Cup last season but it turns out that a Portuguese top flight club is much stronger than lower level English opponents.
Of course, there could be a lot of advantages in terms of dropping out of this competition but surely Nuno will go in stronger this time. At the very least, we should see more regular first team players on the bench in case anything goes wrong again.
In terms of doubts and confirmed absentees, the real concern is over Son Heung-Min who was subbed off during Sunday’s win over Wolves. Sonny was walking with some discomfort after the game and, while there is no confirmed news, it seems unlikely that he will be risked.
Elsewhere, Cristian Romero could play some part as he returns to full fitness. Cameron Carter-Vickers is ruled out through injury but otherwise there are no suspensions or concerns within the confirmed European squad.
The sportsbooks expect Spurs to undo the damage from the first leg. The best odds on the home win currently stand at just 1/4 with MansionBet and RedZone while the draw is out to a top price of 21/4 with 10Bet.
Completing the result betting is a win for Pacos Ferreira which is quoted at 12/1 with Unibet. Since last Thursday, Pacos went down 1-3 at home to Estoril after taking a first half lead. They are 12th in the Portuguese Primeira Liga and should really be there for the taking.
We’ve been unable to find any To Qualify prices at the time of writing but these should appear closer to kick off.
While we expect the team, or at least the bench, to be stronger this Thursday, it’s still wise to wait before committing to any of the individual goal scorer markets. As yet, those options are unavailable in the run up to the game. This is being compiled some 48 hours before kick off so check back closer to the time.
There are some regular side markets listed and Both Teams to Score can be backed at 31/20 with Unibet. Those odds are as high as we can remember for BTTS and you can bet on ‘No’ in this market at 18/35 with 10Bet.
In the Total Goals betting, a stake Above the 2.5 line currently brings best odds of 8/11 with BetFred. A push to Over 3.5 takes that figure to 9/5 with MansionBet while Over 4.5 is quoted at 4/1 with RedZone.
If Over 4.5 is to drop, it would probably need Pacos to contribute. With that in mind, anyone who is hopeful of a 3-1 home win can claim odds of 21/2 with Unibet in the Correct Score betting. Alternatively, a complete disaster on the night and a 1-1 final outcome would bring a top price of 13/1 with MansionBet and 10Bet.
There’s not much to say in this section other than I feel sorry for anyone who upgraded to Premier Sports just to watch it. I must say I was tempted but eventually declined having already paid a fortune for TV sports’ subscriptions – don’t get me started.
Anyway, Lucas Silva proved to be the dangerman. The 23 year old, wearing number 23, missed out on a goal in the 23rd minute before making the difference at the end of the first half. As you now know, I didn’t watch it but the fact that Spurs did not have a single shot on target says it all.
There is a little conflict and it would be interesting to see how the club could fare in the Premier League without these Thursday night distractions but a stronger side, or at least a stronger bench, is likely to feature this time. This is a ‘winnable’ trophy after all and it would represent some welcome silverware.
A confirmed verdict very much depends on who lines up and the fact that many of the regular betting markets are missing shows us that the bookies are also unsure as to how this will develop.
If you’re hoping for a safe passage then a few first choice players will turn things around against a side who are struggling for form in their own division. However, if we leave it to the fringe players and development squad, we’ll be in trouble.
Wait until closer to kick off if you are having a bet. Over 3.5 goals is our sole tip in the meantime. Giovani Lo Celso to score in 90 minutes would be a second – once those markets open up.
- Over 3.5 goals at 9/5 with MansionBet