Baggies unlikely to be blown away by Spurs hotshots
Goals may be scarce at White Hart Lane
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West Brom's knack of proving hard to beat was demonstrated on their last two trips to London and Tottenham may find the Baggies as hard to budge as Chelsea and Arsenal did.
Diego Costa’s 76th-minute strike was the difference between Chelsea and West Brom a month ago while Olivier Giroud left it even later before breaking the Baggies’ hearts on Boxing Day.
In a typical show of cussed resilience, for which all Tony Pulis sides are noted, just five days after that 1-0 loss at Arsenal West Brom went to Southampton and won 2-1.
Pulis may have a threadbare squad and man for man they look second-best against any of the big six, but organisation, discipline and plenty of good fortune have hoisted them up to eighth place.
So the idea that Tottenham will blow them away – as odds of 1-3 about the home team might suggest – looks pretty fanciful.
West Brom, who haven’t lost on their previous four trips to White Hart Lane, will take some breaking down even if they are missing Jonny Evans, who has been outstanding in the middle of their back four.
Five of the seven most recent meetings between these clubs were draws and the West Brom-draw double chance is attractive. However, Spurs are winning games at the moment and generally winning them well so they will expect to break through at some point.
West Brom’s ten away games this season have produced just 19 goals, indicative of how solid they are on their travels, so under 2.5 goals is preferred at odds-against.
The reason that bet is a 21-20 chance is that Tottenham are scoring freely, winning six in a row with 17 goals scored.
Dele Alli has knocked in seven in his last four and is starring in the number-ten role while striker Harry Kane has nabbed ten in his last 12 appearances.
Tottenham’s 2-0 win at home to Chelsea was an impressive reminder of their title credentials and of how adaptable Mauricio Pochettino’s men can be as they excelled in his revived 3-4-3 formation which nullified the league leaders.
Pochettino deployed the same formation against Aston Villa in the FA Cup so presumably will stick with it in a bid to stretch Pulis’s visitors with more width.
That makes Tottenham hard to score against although West Brom look light up front anyway.
Spurs, noted for keeping the ball but not always doing a great deal with it, have suffered only one home league defeat in the last calendar year while their only league defeats this term have been against Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester United.
West Brom’s last 12 matches at top-six opposition have yielded eight defeats, four draws and no wins.
Under 2.5 goals
1pt 21-20 Betfair
Erik Lamela (hip) is still out but Harry Kane, rested against FA Cup opponents Aston Villa after an injury, is fit to return up front.
Allan Nyom, yet to get the all-clear to play despite not being selected by Cameroon, is a doubt. Jonny Evans and Saido Berahino are also absentees for the Baggies.
West Brom have conceded exactly one goal in ten of their last 12 away games in the Premier League