Sherwood disciple boosted to score first as Spurs host Benfica

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After such spiky comments during the week, where he declared Tottenham players were playing for their futures, Tim Sherwood would be churlish to then go and perform the usual squad rotation trick in the Europa League.

Having lost quite calamitously to Chelsea last time out, the Spurs boss faces Portuguese league leaders Benfica in the first leg of the competition’s last 16. Some four days later he’ll do battle with arch enemies Arsenal at White Hart Lane.

Spurs are 11/8 to take a first leg lead, with the draw at 23/10 and a Benfica victory a 2/1 chance, but having lambasted his players there is one among the ranks that Sherwood is sure to rely on in the next two pivotal matches.

It was the straight-talking new boss who brought Emmanuel Adebayor back from solitary when he took over from Andre Villas-Boas, doing so to great effect as the Togolese beanpole struck four goals in his first six games.

The former Arsenal striker now has 11 goals in 17 Lilywhite appearances this term and has been boosted from 5/1 to 6/1 to score the first goal against Benfica.

That’s an inflation nobody should complain about considering Sherwood’s reliance on the player who, having scored a brace in the rousing second-leg display against Dnipro, is in competition form.

Not only is Adebayor the fulcrum of the Spurs attack, he’s their impetus too, having scored five goals that have broken the game’s deadlock this season.

Four of his 11 net ripplers have come in Tottenham’s north London stadium and he’s notched five times in his last six games, leaving him among just a handful of players who Sherwood’s barbed comments don’t apply to.

So with the scales to score the first goal completely tipped in Adebayor’s favour get on the Tottenham number 10 now at an inflated price.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.