6th April 2013
It is a real shame that star players will be missing when the two top 4 hopefuls meet at White Hart Lane, but we should still see a very interesting match in North London. Everton are six points behind Spurs with a game in hand, meaning that Spurs have the psychological advantage at the moment.
Tottenham have worked really hard to meet the pre-season objectives and they need to be at their best during the season finale if they are to avoid any surprises. A three-match losing run at the beginning of March threatened to ruin their season, but Spurs dusted themselves off and produced a very good showing to return to winning ways at Liberty Stadium. Andre Villas-Boas then made a difficult decision to include both Gareth Bale and Aaron Lennon in the starting line-up for the Europa League clash against Basel, and that proved to be a big mistake. Not only did his side fail to win the match, but both Bale and Lennon picked up injuries and are now set to miss the crucial Premier League match against Everton. With Jermain Defoe also missing, and both Lewis Holtby and Clint Dempsey struggling for form, Tottenham are bound to experience all sorts of problems up front. This means that a solid defensive showing is a must if Spurs are to win this game, meaning Andre Villas-Boas might be forced to adopt a more defensive approach given the circumstances. The good news is Michael Dawson, Hugo Lloris and Gylfi Sigurdsson all return after they were rested in midweek.
David Moyes have got every reason to be proud of his team given that Everton are very much in the top 4 race with eight games to go, and it goes without saying the outcome of the Tottenham match will be crucial to their European hopes. The Toffees, too, had some problems ahead of the season finale, with three-match winless run in the league and FA Cup defeat to Wigan coming in a very bad time, but they, nonetheless, managed to recover from the disappointing streak, and won three straight league games to remain in contention for the final Champions League berth. With key midfielders Marouane Fellaini and Steven Pienaar missing, David Moyes deployed a 3-5-2 formation against Stoke, and with his change of tactics having resulted in another win to nil, there is every chance he will make no changes for the Tottenham game considering that the two players are still banned. The main attacking outlet Kevin Mirallas is a doubt with a groin problem, and his potential absence would seriously damage Everton’s chances of scoring at White Hart Lane.
This was supposed to be an end-to-end game between two excellent attacking sides, but with both teams missing their key attackers, everything suggests chances will be few and far between. Taking also into account the importance of the match, under 2.5 goals looks a very good option here.
Verdict: Under 2.5 goals
Best Odds: 5/6