Turkish delight at the Britannia tonight?
After the thrills and spills of the Champions League, it’s down to the more sedate setting of the Europa League tonight, with Stoke City facing a tough task against Besiktas, an Anglo-Irish clash at White Hart Lane and a Celtic defeat in Glasgow all on the menu.
September 29th, 2011
The clash that the papers are talking up most is the tie between Tottenham Reserves and some minnows from Dublin, with the only reason to talk up the match being a body of water known as the Irish Sea and the fact that there’s now much beyond that separating the two clubs – other than several million pounds of course.
But we’re going to keep you on tenterhooks by only previewing that match after taking a look at Stoke’s tie against Beskitas of Turkey.
The reason why we’re looking at this is because, in true “English bookies tend not to know much about foreign teams” fashion, we think that Besiktas at 4/1 might be slightly overpriced in this one.
The Istanbul outfit have plenty of experience of bumbling around the European stage, never really doing much to stand out but occasionally causing a bit of a nuisance – much like Stoke in the Premier League, so let’s give them a little bit of respect here tonight.
Stoke, to give them their dues, are a handy outfit and difficult to beat at home, as Manchester United will testify, but Besiktas’ form makes us think that the 5/6 being offered on a win for the Potters is a bit stingy.
The visitors come to Stoke with four wins behind them, including a 5-1 thrashing of Maccabi Tel Aviv, so they’re clearly no mugs whilst Stoke haven’t won in four, although that run does include draws with the aforementioned league leaders and Tottenham.
SO what to pick? Well, you can nab 11/4 on Besiktas and enjoy the security of the draw no bet, and that seems like value to us.
So onto the clash at White Hart Lane between Tottenham and Shamrock Rovers, where the question is very much a case of “how many?” for Spurs – how many players Harry Redknapp will give the night off to, of course.
We’re expecting Harry to rest most of his first team players, although the Spurs boss claims that his side will still feature “seven or eight” internationals. Aaron Lennon will play in a “go out and prove your fitness” role, as will Roman Pavlyuchenko and Steven Pienaar.
So where’s the value in this one then? Well, you can get 11/4 on Lennon scoring at any time for Spurs tonight or 11/8 on more than 3.5 goals being scored tonight. Of the two, we’d be more inclined to back the former.
Stoke City vs Besiktas: Besiktas (Draw no bet) @ 11/4 with Bet365
Tottenham vs Shamrock Rovers: Aaron Lennon to score at any time @ 11/8 with Bet365