Harry Kane, gone until March. Dele Alli out for a similar period. Heung-Min Son, occupied with the Asian Cup.
Things aren’t so hot at Tottenham, where manager Mauricio Pochettino must steer the club through several crucial Premier League matches without his best lineup and yet somehow keep Spurs within striking distance of City and Liverpool at the top of the table.
But as the team prepares to host 7th-place Watford on Wednesday 1/30, bookies aren’t expecting more than a snoozer in favor of Spurs. Bovada Sportsbook’s betting odds for the afternoon kickoff at Wembley Stadium include a (+400) moneyline for Hornets (alongside shorter than (-150) for Tottenham at select betting sites) and merely a (2.5) goal total.
Things looked promising for Watford in autumn, though the club couldn’t keep up a torrid 4-0-0 pace to begin Premier League play. Hornets’ aggressive style and knife-edge formations under manager Javier Garcia even led to some pundits comparing Watford to Leicester City’s devilish 2015-16 squad. Since then, however, the team has exhibited classic signs of Premiership “reversion” and hasn’t beaten an elite opponent since upsetting Spurs 2-1 at Vicarage Road back in September.
Still, the Hornets maintain a level of profound quality, fighting hard to maintain a shot at the Top 4 (along with a precious Champions League placement in 2019-20) and advancing into the 4th Round of the FA Cup.
If you think that’s not a big deal, remember…don’t mug off the Cup.
Sharp money appears to be hitting the low side of the Under/Over market. Pochettino is likely to steer clear of wild attacking tactics given that his best remaining resources are in the midfield, backline, and between the posts with goalkeeper Hugo Lloris. Kane was injured in a loss to Manchester United on January 13th, and Alli was hurt after scoring in a bounce-back victory over Fulham at Craven Cottage on Sunday. Heung-Min Son could return on Matchday 25.
Tottenham will play in the 2nd leg of the Carabao Cup semifinal against Chelsea this Thursday.
Image from 123RF.