Each of Tottenham’s last five English Premier League matches under Andre Villas-Boas went over two and a half goals and it is worth betting on the trend continuing when Spurs play Southampton at St Mary’s in their first top-flight game since they decided to part company with the Portuguese.
Admittedly it was more by accident than design that each of Tottenham’s last five English Premier League matches under Villas-Boas went over two and a half goals. Villas-Boas did not make many friends among Tottenham’s supporters because of the cautious, negative style of football that he oversaw, an approach that made him loved by punters who like to bet on under two and a half goals. It was only when the wheels started to come off Tottenham – one can only describe its 6-0 loss to Manchester City and 5-0 defeat versus Liverpool as catastrophic – that Spurs started going over two and a half goals and, more often than not, for the wrong reasons.
Like Tottenham, Southampton’s English Premier League season is in severe danger of coming off the rails. Southampton has slipped to ninth on the top-flight ladder after going five games without a victory and, while the Saints still have the division’s joint stingiest defence, the days of them topping the defensive chart seem numbered. Southampton has not kept a clean sheet since beating Fulham 2-0 at St Mary’s at the beginning of November and the Saints have had a mixture of tough and soft fixtures since defeating the Cottagers.
It is reasonable to expect that Tottenham will play a fair bit more aggressively now that Villas-Boas has departed and that opens the door for a bet not only on the Spurs against Southampton match going over two and a half goals at odds of 2.11 with Bet365 but also both teams to score at odds of 1.85 with Unibet. If anything, betting on both Southampton and Tottenham to score is the better play.
Both sides have scored in seven of Southampton’s last eight games across all competitions, with the exception being its 0-2 loss at Arsenal in which Saints goalkeeper Artur Boruc attempted a Cryuff Turn and ended up having his pockets picked by Gunners striker Olivier Giroud in a moment that will attract millions of YouTube hits for years to come. And both teams have scored in five of Tottenham’s last half a dozen matches across all tournaments, with even Russian Premier League crisis club Anzhi scoring versus Spurs.
Lazio’s Italian Serie A away form is such that it does not deserve to be the favourite against Verona. Lazio has not won on the road in the league this season, with its record reading four draws and four losses. Furthermore, Lazio has beaten only relegation-threatened Livorno in its last four games across all competitions going into its match versus a Verona that has been almost perfect on home soil this term.
Verona has won seven of its eight Italian Serie A home games and one can forgive it for losing to Chievo because it was a city derby and form often goes out of the windows when local bragging rights are up for grabs. Verona is available at odds of 2.90 with BetVictor when the home team should be trading at odds of no bigger than 2.50 to beat Lazio.
Finally, only the derby factor is keeping Internazionale’s odds at the mark of 2.65 with Unibet for its San Siro showdown against Milan. Five places and nine points separate Internazionale and Milan on the Italian Serie A ladder and the Nerazzurri have the kind of free-scoring attack – they are the division’s top goal scorers – that should send Rossoneri fans into a cold sweat. Ignore the derby factor and Internazionale would be odds on to beat Milan. Odds of 2.65 are an insult to Walter Mazzarri’s side.
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