17th January 2009 #1
Premiership Preview and Tips: Tottenham Hotspur v Portsmouth Town
Richard Walker believes Tony Adams is the wrong man at the wrong time for Pompey. Meanwhile, will Harry Redknapp's men condem his former club to another defeat?
Good Old 'Arry, eh? There's always something to talk about where he's concerned - this game being something of an open goal in those terms, of course.
He will probably be hoping a Spurs win at White Hart Lane on Sunday doesn't continue Pompey's slide towards the relegation zone.
It really wasn't a good time to take over for Tony Adams. With Fratton Park supremo Alexandre Gaydamak making it clear he's put enough money and hours into the club, the asset-stripping (for that's what it is) that's followed Redknapp's departure has only just begun, you feel.
Okay, £12.7m for Sulley Muntari was good business pre-season, as was the £20m received from Real Madrid for Lassana Diarra . But Jermain Defoe's return to Tottenham will signal to others of a similar age and quality that it's probably time to desert a listing - if not sinking - ship.
A further piece of evidence is in print this week, with Jermaine Pennant stating he wants to compete for his Liverpool place sooner than make the switch to Fratton Park. "My preference is to stay at Liverpool, I do not want to leave," he said. Not a direct slight on Pompey, but pretty damn close to it for a player who's featured just four times for the Reds this term.
So all that adds up to a home win, right? No, not in my book. I can see the visiting players turning it on a bit, live on Sky Sports, playing for themselves perhaps more than their South coast employers. Whatever their motive, my money's landing on The Draw, [3.85] to back in a Match Odds market which sees the hosts at [1.74] and Portsmouth at [5.9]. If you're seeing what I'm saying, but aren't quite so sure, laying Spurs to a [1.75] liability won't be the costliest decision you'll make this term.
Overs and Unders is, I feel, a tough one to play with confidence pre-kick-off. Over 2.5 goals is [2.06] to back with Unders at [1.9]. My instinct is for Overs but if Adams - as I expect him to - brings quite a defensive strategy to the Lane, I reckon an early in-running play might be the order of the day.
Everyone likes to nail a Correct Score and I'm no different. The odds are always rewarding, naturally so for something that defies true definition. 1-1 [8.0] or 2-2 [19.0] would be my plays before the game, to cover the two approaches Pompey may apply to what will surely be a face-saving exercise for the whole club.
Scores like 2-1 Spurs [9.0] and 3-1 to the hosts [16.0] are sure to prove popular, as might the [7.8] about 1-0 to Redknapp's side if he exercises a note of caution in not wanting to get rolled over by previous employers.
Can you avoid back Jermain Defoe for a goal, either [2.08] To Score (at any time) or [5.3] for the first of the game? I say you can, it doesn't always work like that. Given Spurs can still stand like statues defending set-pieces, I might be tempted by ex-Spurs YTS Peter Crouch to open the game up with the first of the afternoon - that scenario is [8.6] to support.
There are three Half-Time/Full-Time options ending in /Draw and I'll be considering them all, but Portsmouth/Draw takes my eye the most, a [19.0] chance. Spurs/Spurs is [2.76] if you're certain the hosts will hold all the aces, while Draw/Spurs is something of a half-way house at [5.3].
I'm playing a hunch here that Portsmouth will rise to this occasion. They might not and could well get squashed.
17th January 2009 #2
Anyone know who Portsmouth Town are?! Matt? :)
Champions League, we're 'aving a laugh, Champions League, we're 'aving a laugh!
17th January 2009 #3
18th January 2009 #4
Unfortunately I can only see one outcome today. Historically we never win these sort of games.
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18th January 2009 #5
18th January 2009 #6
I'm not blaming the authors so much as the editors/sub-editors, or perhaps lack of.
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