Tottenham’s destiny under Pochettino revealed!
Tottenham Hotspur, it seems, are destined to never win another trophy.
A penalty shoot-out defeat by Chelsea knocked them out of the League Cup at the semi-final stage last week, sending Mauricio Pochettino into the type of prolonged sulk usually seen by a four-year-old child who is told his bedtime has been shifted half an hour earlier.
Rafael Benitez has no concern with silverware at Newcastle – simply surviving in the Premier League is the perennial objective under Mike Ashley, a chairman who makes Daniel Levy seem free-spending. Back both teams to score at 2.10 in Saturday’s early kick-off in England.
Real Betis vs Atletico Madrid (La Liga)
Atletico Madrid did what Atletico Madrid do last time out: they kept a clean sheet.
Diego Simeone’s side have had a phenomenal defensive record throughout his time in charge of the capital club, so much so that you have to wonder what forms of punishment the Argentinian dishes out to his players on the rare occasions the opposition put the ball in the back of the net.
Keeping Betis out will be a more onerous task this weekend, but under 2.5 goals in total is the way to go at 1.57.
Leicester City vs Manchester United (Premier League)
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer dropped points for the first time during the midweek with a 2-2 draw against Burnley at Old Trafford.
Tottenham fans have been celebrating the Red Devils’ unbeaten start even more than the supporters of the 20-time English champions; after all, Solskjaer’s fantastic start to life in the Old Trafford dugout makes it more likely that Pochettino will stay put at Wembley (we would say Spurs’ new stadium, but you know…)
Go for an away victory with both teams to score at 3.80.
Manchester City vs Arsenal (Premier League)
Manchester City’s shock defeat to Newcastle on Tuesday night came in stark contrast to their recent form. The Premier League champions had scored 30 goals in seven games this year prior to their visit to St James’ Park.
Arsenal’s defensive shakiness is now so ingrained that it has become a part of the club’s identity, although rumours that they are building a new statue featuring a Shkodran Mustafi hashed clearance are hitherto unfounded.
Go for a draw with a -2 handicap at 4.25.
Roma vs Milan (Serie A)
Roma and Milan’s seasons have featured more ups and downs than a rollercoaster designed by an architect with a shaky hand.
Both clubs have made inconsistency an art form over the last few months, but there are signs that the pair are beginning to get their act together.
This could be an entertaining encounter between two sides battling for one of Italy’s four Champions League qualification spots, but home advantage could be pivotal in determining the outcome – put some money on a Roma victory at 2.20.
Lyon vs Paris Saint-Germain (Ligue 1)
There are very few Ligue 1 fixtures that worry Paris Saint-Germain fans, but a trip to Lyon is certainly one of the capital club’s toughest domestic assignments.
However, for all that the hosts possess plenty of talent within their ranks, it is worth bearing in mind that they are below Lille in the standings and are almost 20 points adrift of the league leaders despite having played two more matches.
Lyon could raise their game against the defending champions, but that is unlikely to be enough – back Paris Saint-Germain to win an encounter featuring more than 3.5 goals at a price of 3.70.
By Greg Lea
After many years of sports writing with an emphasis on football, including a stint at Sky Sports, Greg is here to help you with betting tips. Follow him on Twitter @greglea to get the latest updates before placing your bets.