Spurs star gets price boost for carrying scoring can in Benfica

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Benfica were as organised as an OCD-sufferer’s Filofax in their Europa League round-of-32 clash with Tottenham, looking impenetrable from open play at White Hart Lane and coasting to a 3-1 win.

Now Tim Sherwood’s unwanted mob travel to Portugal shorn of key cogs to the manager’s halt-grinding wheel as the unfancied 9/2 shots for a 90-minute win.

Jorge Jesus’ side are understandably given favouritism in the same market at 8/13, while a match of parity is available as a 3/1 chance.

If Tottenham are going to climb the sky-high wall this tie has now become they are going to need three goals and, with Emmanuel Adebayor left in London nursing hamstring and heel injuries, the responsibility will fall at the feet of Roberto Soldado.

Usually when things have fallen at the mercy of the Spaniard this season he’s blasted the opportunities high, wide or both. But now he’s got the chance to repay both the Spurs fans and his backers for the first goal, having been handed a price boost for the trip to the Stadium of Light.

Out to 10/1 from 9s to set the game’s goalscoring in motion, Soldado could well spring into life now the chips are well and truly down, much like Robin van Persie did for Manchester United against Olympiacos.

The former Valencia man has 11 goals in his debut campaign in north London and has bagged the opening goal of the game in the last four matches in which he’s found the net.

Having kept a clean sheet in all of their last six home games, we’d be lying if we told you that breaking through the iron sheet Benfica hang infront of their net will be easy.

But in a bid to provide a glimmer of hope, we’ll tell you that in the six games the Eagles have shipped a home goal, four were the first of the match.

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.