Lazio v Spurs: Dembele’s fitness key to Tottenham’s chances
With four domestic defeats on the spin, Tottenham will be welcoming a Europa League jaunt to Rome even if they are to face a Lazio side who are starting to find their feet again after a run of three games without a win.
Three points for the hosts – which is available to back at 13/10 – will guarantee them top spot in Group J, while simultaneously casting doubt on Spurs’ future in the competition especially should Maribor beat hapless Panathinaikos in the other fixture in this section.
A draw would suit Andre Villas Boas down to the ground and, at 9/4, is well worth a bet, whereas an away win can be had at 21/10.
Encouragingly for the north-Londoners, Lazio have only won one of five home games with English opposition and have failed to win in 10 of the 13 clashes overall.
Both of their away games in the competition this season have finished one apiece and, given Spurs entertain Greek cannon-fodder in the final group fixture, they would surely fancy themselves to go on and qualify if they can produce a repeat of this scoreline here, which is available at 6/1.
AVB rated Mousa Dembele’s chances of featuring in this game as 50/50 prior to their north London derby drubbing and, if he can prove his fitness, will give his side a much better chance of success.
His dynamic, powerful bursts from midfield were key to Spurs’ successes in the early-Autumn and, since his injury, they’ve really struggled for form. Their whole attacking approach is tailored around his on-the-ball ability in the final third and they lack an adequate replacement in their squad to fill his boots.
Defensive issues have, obviously, played a part, as well as Emmanuel Adebayor’s maniacal red card against Arsenal, but Dembele’s absence has been the biggest miss in their side.
He’s priced up at 12/1 to net the first goal should he make the grade, while he can be backed at a very generous 4/1 to notch at any time.
Aside from at Carlisle, Spurs are yet to keep a clean sheet on the road and their last four games have all contained more than 2.5 goals, as has been the case in three of Lazio’s last four. This makes the 10/11 that says it’ll happen again here decent value for money.
All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date