Premier League leaders Tottenham have lost one of their last 16 top-flight showdowns with Crystal Palace which should encourage Ange Postecoglou to believe his side will still be top by the end of the weekend.
Tottenham to win – 4/5
All the evidence suggests that this Tottenham Hotspur side is the real deal and if that's the case then odds of 4/5 for them to beat a team they nearly always do seems reasonable.
Predictions of a Spurs revival on the back of a decent run is always a dangerous game which usually ends up with commentators and pundits eating their own words.
And while they may not have the squad depth or the experience to be able to mount a title challenge, for now there is no disputing they are playing well, consistently and scoring goals, and Postecoglou needs to take a lot of credit.
Transformed from a counter-puncher reliant on Harry Kane to a team who attack in droves and from all areas, Spurs will seek to dominate Palace at Selhurst Park.
And given that this side has fired off more shots than anyone else in the Premier League – 18.7 per game, 1.5 more than next-best Liverpool and, critically, six more than Palace – and possession stats bettered only by Chelsea and Manchester City, expect Tottenham to prevail once again.
Spurs are unbeaten in ten in all competitions, have won seven of their last nine and did the double over Palace last term, winning 4-0 at Selhurst Park. They have beaten Palace in 13 of their last 16 top-flight meetings, losing just once.
It is perhaps no surprise that Palace are struggling for goals after selling Wilf Zaha in the summer and with Michael Olise and Ebe Eze both injured. The creative pair are training again but the sense is this game comes too soon for both.
The Eagles have scored just seven goals in their nine Premier League games to date, one in their last five, with only Bournemouth having scored fewer goals this term.
Dejan Kulusevski goal or assist – 13/10
James Maddison is rightly winning all the plaudits for the role he is playing in Tottenham's revival.
With three goals and five assists (from a divisional-high 29 chances created), the England playmaker is starting to run the Spurs attack and his understanding with Son Heung-min is blossoming.
But perhaps the most unsung member of Spurs' attacking setup is Dejan Kulusevski, yet the Swede is in sparkling form down the right flank, far better than his numbers suggest.
Kulusevski has so far managed two goals and no assists this season, hardly jaw-dropping on the face of it.
Yet he has created 22 chances – pretty much 2.5 per game – which is second only to Maddison among the Spurs squad and the seventh highest number in the Premier League. He has started all nine games under Postecoglou and he remains a pivotal figure. Back him to score or assist at 13/10 at Selhurst Park.
Over 5.5 Tottenham corners – EVS
It is probably too early to say whether Spurs will be in a title fight or not, or even a top-four scrap, but they are only going to be contenders for either if they stay aggressive in games like these.
A draw at Selhurst Park would never be a bad result but against an Eagles team minus Eze and Olise this looks like a golden opportunity to take all three. And Postecoglou will be acutely aware of that.
So expect bags of pressure from a side who boast over 60% possession on average this season and chalk up over six corners per match. They are EVS to do the latter again and that looks a decent price.
Jeffrey Schlupp is recovering from a hamstring injury. Eberechi Eze and Michael Olise have returned to light training.
Yves Bissouma returns from suspension and is expected to replace Pierre Hojbjerg in central midfield. Ivan Perisic and Mayor Solomon are long-term absentees.
|Crystal Palace win||13|
This article was written by a partner sports writer via Spotlight Sports Group. All odds displayed on this page were correct at the time of writing and are subject to withdrawal or change at any time.