A Tough Season in Store for Tottenham at Wembley?
Harry Kane was the Premier League’s top scorer for the second season running last year as he led Spurs to a 2nd place finish and a second successive Champions League qualification. Tottenham also briefly threatened to overhaul Chelsea at the top of the table towards the end of the season, but finishing above North London rivals Arsenal and securing a place at Europe’s top table marks an impressive year.
Despite consistently ‘knocking at the door’ Spurs still only have one League Cup to show for their efforts in the last 18 seasons, and participation in Europe for 11 of the last 12 campaigns is little consolation for that lack of silverware. However, the third and second places achieved in the last two years are their best ever returns in the Premier League and it appears that Mauricio Pochettino has a good thing going at White Hart Lane. Most difficult for Spurs this season is that they won’t be playing games at their famous stadium, but will be turning out at Wembley both for ‘home’ league games and Champions League ties. Last year’s Champions League efforts were undoubtedly undermined by playing at the national stadium, and it is the great uncertainty this year as to how it will affect the club.
Nonetheless, Spurs have to be taken as very serious contenders this time around. They were rarely out of the top two during 2017 and the latter part of the season, and finished as the league’s top scorers with 86 goals. Harry Kane hit a very impressive 29 league goals – 35 in all competitions – and he has cemented his place as England’s number one striker. Will it be another season of ‘oh so nearly’ for Spurs, or can they finally land some silverware to reflect their performances?
Chairman Daniel Levy has lamented the level of transfer spending in today’s football world, suggesting it is unsustainable for clubs to continue spending such vast amounts. With the £750 million redevelopment of White Hart Lane underway sceptics have claimed that Spurs cannot afford to spend money on transfers, but Levy insists that manager Pochettino is more interested in developing young talent through the youth system.
Read into that what you will, but it is true that Tottenham are yet to make a single signing in the summer transfer window. Various fringe players have left the club, but one key player from last year’s squad – Kyle Walker – has joined Manchester City in a £45 million deal. Fellow England international Kieran Trippier can step into the breach after a handful of eye-catching performances last season, and the fact that he signed a new five-year contract with the club over the summer suggests he will be the new first choice right back. It remains to be seen whether Tottenham will add any new players to the squad over the rest of the transfer window.
Playing at Wembley is sure to have an effect on ‘home’ form and that could easily be enough to see the North London club fail to hit the heights of last term. We’d rather take an opportunistic punt on Spurs failing to finish in the top four at 2.1 with SkyBet.
As discussed in other previews one is very keen on the chances of both Manchester clubs this term and it’s hard to imagine that they won’t fill at least two of the top four slots. Chelsea are also fancied to take one of the quartet of Champions League qualification positions, leaving Spurs, Arsenal and Liverpool to battle it out for the other place. In light of Tottenham’s Champions League commitments and the potential difficulties of playing at Wembley, this appeals as a pragmatic bet to take.
Although they were knocked out at the group stage last year from a group which included Monaco and Leverkusen, Spurs only other Champions League campaign in recent times saw them reach a quarter final when inspired by Gareth Bale. That was back in 2010/11, but if you think they can have an impact on the competition this season you can take fancy odds of 36.0 with 888Sport.
More realistically, Spurs could be just the ticket in one of the domestic cups this season. Their attacking style of play should translate into a successful cup side, and they reached the semi final of last season’s FA Cup – losing out 4-2 to Chelsea. That was their third semi final in the last eight seasons in England’s premier cup competition. Betfred and Unibet offer odds of 11.0 about Spurs lifting the trophy and that could be a shrewd wager.
A bigger price of 13.0 can be taken at William Hill on Tottenham lifting the EFL Cup, but based on the previous two seasons, one suspects that this competition will feature far down the list of Pochettino’s priorities.
Tottenham not to finish in the top four
Tottenham to win the FA Cup
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