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Tottenham Hotspur v Birmingham City Betting Preview – Sunday 22nd May, 2011

Sat, May 21, 8:02pm by Kevin Pitstock

This game is one of those where both sides do have something to play for. Spurs can confirm a second season of European football, albeit in the Europa League, while Birmingham are only sitting outside the drop zone on goal difference – and could so easily fall into the bottom three. Only a win guarantees Spurs that Europa League place, while any result could send Birmingham down, or keep them up, such are the ridiculously narrow margins between the teams at the bottom. It means there will be a tense atmosphere, though more so for Blues fans, who might be preparing to enjoy the combination of Europa League and Championship football. This match begins at 01:00AST.

Spurs season had really tailed off, until they went to Anfield and produced a win at Liverpool. That was just their second victory in 11 games with the season having been very flat after their Champions League exit. Manager Harry Redknapp has got to the point of challenging striker Jermain Defoe to prove he’s worth a place in the team. Although Spurs have a strong home record, having lost just once there – to Wigan early on – they do draw a lot, one area where they have really fallen down is getting results against the perceived lesser teams. They have just three wins from 11 games so far in matches with sides in the bottom six. Rafael van der Vaart is one of several injury worries for Spurs.

There are real fears about Birmingham going into the game, which are mainly based on the fact they looked so flat in their last match against Fulham, which was a very limp 2-0 defeat. They do have two important players coming back from suspension in the shape of goal-scoring midfielder Craig Gardner and defender Liam Ridgwell, but Lee Bowyer is struggling and David Bentley is ineligible to play. Birmingham do have a good record against Spurs though, with just 1 defeat in their last 5 meetings. However their form is similar to Spurs with 2 wins in 12, and they are the most goal shy team in the EPL with 36 goals in 37 games.

We’re prepared to take a risk here and overlook Birmingham’s poor performance last week and back them to get a 1-1 draw. Their need is urgent, and Spurs do struggle against the poorer sides. The draw is worth a go at $4.10 with Sports Alive in a 3/5 bet.

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