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Tottenham Hotspur v West Bromwich Albion Betting Preview – Saturday 23rd April, 2011

Fri, Apr 22, 9:17am by Kevin Pitstock

This game really matters for Tottenham after their harem-scarem draw with Arsenal. They are in 5th still, two points behind Manchester City with each having six games left. City have that 4th place and Champions League football that Spurs crave after their great run to the last 8. They also have to play City, away from home. West Bromwich Albion look to have done enough to make sure they stay up after promotion, something they have traditionally found extremely difficult since the Premier League came into being. They are 11th, with a six point cushion over the bottom three. This one gets underway at midnight AST.

Spurs draw with Arsenal on Wednesday night was certainly breathless and hectic, and surely has taken something out of the players physically and emotionally going into this game. They are in decent form league wise, with 13 points out of a possible last 15 and they still remain unbeaten at home since August, where they lost unexpectedly at home to Wigan after one of their early European adventures. They could be without Niko Kranjcar and definitely without Wilson Palacios, so they may look a little lightweight in midfield. After a quiet spell in front of goal, they have at least found goalscoring form, with 3 in the win over Stoke before matching that total in the Arsenal draw. They know they really have to win to keep their season going.

West Bromwich Albion’s impressive start under Roy Hodgson came to an end last week, as they had a decent crack at Chelsea before finding the gap in class a little too great. That was a first loss in 8, and 7 since Hodgson took charge. As ever, there is the mysterious incongruity between the perception of the former Liverpool man as a defensive coach and the fact they still haven’t kept a clean sheet since the team sheet was a cave painting – well, 31 matches anyway. The question is whether their fairly conservative approach will see them get enough possession and be able to release the impressive Peter Odemwingie, who may not be a bad shout for first scorer.

A difficult one to call, given Spurs energy levels. We expect them to edge home here in slightly nervy style, 2-1., but we like the over 2.5 goals here at $1.70 with Sports Alive as our best bet, with Spurs attacking intent and the Baggies dodgy defence. This is a 4/5 rated bet.

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