Spurs To Sag Against Asteras
Tottenham v Asteras Tripoli
Tottenham have made an underwhelming start in their Europa League efforts so far this season and will hope to turn it around against Asteras Tripolis on Thursday night.
Spurs suffered their first loss in five last weekend when a masterclass from Sergio Aguero put them to the sword against Manchester City. The Argentine hit all four goals for the hosts on Saturday afternoon in a 4-1 beating at the Etihad, with Christian Eriksen grabbing the hosts consolation. It was a third loss in eight Premier League games for Mauricio Pochettino’s side too with a tally of 11 points from those games putting them just inside the top half of the table.
Two draws from two Europa League ties have also been far from impressive, as has a return of one goal from those games, and they’re currently two points behind Thursday’s opponents in group C.
Danish playmaker Eriksen now has three goals this season, one behind Nacer Chadli, with all their goals coming in the Premier League.
Asteras have ten points from six games in the Greek Super League and lie six points adrift of leaders PAOK Salonika. They’re unbeaten in five games and conceded just once in their past four and although they’ve only scored seven in their six league games, they’ve only failed to find the back of the net just once in fourteen games in total, including the Europa qualifiers. Since an impressive win over a solid Bundesliga outfit in Mainz to reach the group stages they’ve earned a victory against Partizan and drawn with Besiktas to put them top of the pile at the early stages.
Kyle Walker is still out for Tottenham with a groin problem while their problems at full-back are compounded by doubts over both Kyle Naughton and Danny Rose. Chadli is a doubt while Pochettino must decide whether or not to give Eriksen his first minutes in Europe this season, while Harry Kane could continue to lead the line from the start, as has been the case to date in Europe.
Asteras are expected to be without three players throughout the spine of their team with forward Ziguy Babangida, defender Dorin Goian and midfielder Eric Tie Bi all likely to miss out.
Head to Head
This will be the first time Asteras have met Tottenham or any side at all from England in competitive competition, in their history. Spurs have won three and lost two of six clashes against Greek sides, with their only defeat in ten Europa League group games at White Hart Lane coming against PAOK in 2011.
The visitors seem to be hugely priced at 19/2 against a team in patchy form and lacking in goals, especially since they’ve already drawn away to a Besiktas side who were unlucky not to leave White Hart Lane with all three points. Spurs certainly don’t hold much value at 3/10 but perhaps the 4/1 on a draw is the best of the match betting punts.
Asteras at 5/2 on a +1 handicap also has plenty of appeal and considering these two teams have scored just four goals between them in four group games so far Under 2.5 goals at 21/20 stands out in the total goals market.