Atletico Madrid to show young Spurs how defending is done

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The cost of fielding a young defence was felt by Mauricio Pochettino within 14 minutes of Tottenham’s first pre-season friendly of the season.

A back line featuring youth-teamers Cameron Carter-Vickers, Dominic Ball and Will Miller made costly mistakes in the early stages of the game against Juventus, allowing the Italian giants to take a 2-0 lead.

Although the Argentine was encouraged by his side’s response in the match, which ended 2-1 thanks to Erik Lamela’s second-half strike, he’ll be keen for a better start when the Lilywhites return to the Melbourne Cricket Ground to face Atletico Madrid.

It’s likely the young Spurs will get another crack at the whip, with Kevin Wimmer’s fitness unclear and Eric Dier, Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen not with the touring party.

By contrast, Diego Simeone’s Atleti look wholly more experienced with seven starters from last season’s Champions League final to choose from.

As a result they are our 1/1 favourites for victory in Australia, with Spurs available at 13/5 and the draw a 5/2 chance.

Given their notoriously stubborn defence, the 5/2 about the Spaniards winning to nil looks particularly appealing.

The Lamela-led second-half resurgence against Juve should ensure the Argentine gets a go from the start this time around.

Christian Eriksen was absent against the perennial Serie A champions due to illness and could make an appearance if shaking off those troubles in time.

That pair, along with new signings Victor Wanyama and Vincent Janssen, would offer Spurs some bite further up the field.

For punters of the belief that those four can help breach Los Colchoneros’ backline, it’s 2/5 that the Londoners find the net in the game. We also go 2/1 that they net twice or more.

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.