Tottenham should grind out win at Swansea
But attacking stars may not be given freedom of Liberty
Sky Sports Premier League & Main Event, 7.45pm Tuesday
Carlos Carvalhal got off to a winning start as Swansea manager at the weekend, but an utterly unconvincing performance at Vicarage Road must have the Jack Army fearing the worst when Tottenham arrive at the Liberty Stadium.
Spurs are the only members of the big six that the Swans have never beaten in the Premier League and that record seems unlikely to change.
Doubts over Harry Kane’s health after a bout of flu will be music to the ears of Carlos the Jack and Swansea’s fans, but Spurs won 3-1 at the Liberty in April without their record-breaking marksman and can do so again.
Of course if Kane doesn’t play it’s quite possible that Fernando Llorente, the man whose goals kept the Swans in the top flight last term, will lead the Tottenham line, and memories of what a sharp striker he was last term will have the home faithful fretting.
The fitness doubts over Kane and Swansea top scorer Tammy Abraham means it’s not inevitable that there will be goals. It was 0-0 when the sides met at Wembley in September and Mauricio Pochettino may make a few tweaks to his side with their rearranged game against West Ham to consider on Thursday.
The 6-5 about under 2.5 goals doesn’t look the worst option, especially as Swansea are the lowest scorers in the top division with just 13 goals this term, four of which were scored by Chelsea loanee Abraham.
Another bet to consider is Tottenham to win to nil at 21-20. They’ve had seven wins without conceding in 2017-18 while Swansea have had eight losses in which they haven't scored.
Tottenham winning a low-scoring encounter looks the most likely outcome so the visitors and under 3.5 goals at 21-20 is a worthy alternative to a lump on them at 4-11.
Spurs are much the better team and their five defeats this term came against sides who went into 2018 in the top eight.
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They’ve also had a week off since thrashing Southampton 5-2 at Wembley, a scoreline that said as much about Saints’ inadequacies as it did about Spurs.
Swansea, in contrast, played just three days ago and were generally poor at Watford despite registering a 2-1 win.
Carvalhal went for a 4-4-2 set-up which is his go-to formation, although he may want to put an extra body in midfield. The former Sheffield Wednesday boss showed faith in Renato Sanches which wasn’t exactly repaid in another disjointed performance from the Portugal youngster.
The Swansea defence continues to look an accident waiting to happen but, interestingly for a side at the bottom of the table – and with an eye on the bet – 17 of their 21 matches have produced three goals or fewer. For Spurs, that reads 14 of 20.
Tottenham to win & under 3.5 goals
1pt 21-20 Coral, Ladbrokes
Kyle Naughton is suspended. Leon Britton is injured. Wilfried Bony and Sung-Yeung Ki are returning from injuries while Tammy Abraham is a doubt.
Harry Kane hasn’t trained since Boxing Day because of flu. Toby Alderweireld is out until February. Victor Wanyama is close to a return.
Tottenham are the only members of the big six Swansea haven’t beaten in the Premier League.
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