Despite Spurs’ disappointing showing in the Ukraine last Thursday, I believe Tim Sherwood’s men will have too much for Dnipro to handle at White Hart Lane.
Yevhen Konoplyanka’s penalty gave the Ukrainian outfit the edge after the first leg, also crucially denying Tottenham the opportunity to take an away goal back to the Lane. Despite the 65% possession Spurs, they couldn’t find the all important breakthrough away from home, but they could very well use their home advantage better than their Eastern European opponents.
Despite Spurs losing back to back games now after their poor 1-0 loss at Norwich on Sunday, their performance prior to the Dnipro defeat saw them spank Newcastle 4-0 at St James’ Park, showing they still have the razor sharp ruthlessness up front. Emmanuel Adebayor was left in London for the trip to Ukraine, but the forward, who has grabbed 8 goals in his last 11 games for the club, should start up front alongside Spaniard Roberto Soldado. With this potent attack, Betfair has both Adebayor and Soldado at 7/5 to score anytime, while bet365 has Adebayor at 4/1 to score first, with Soldado at 9/2.
With Dnipro keeping a clean sheet in the first leg, it is imperative Tottenham do the same. Spurs have kept 3 clean sheets at home from their last 4 games, and bet365 has them at 5/4 to keep another today.
Dnipro have been playing a cluster of friendlies as of late due to their season taking a winter break, and return to league action on 9th March against Hoverla. Despite their lack of competitive football, their display against the North Londoners last week was commendable and impressive. Konoplyanka, who’s move to Liverpool on deadline day last month collapsed last minute, is arguably the shining light of the side, and with the side 4th in their league table (behind Dynamo Kyiv, Metalist Kharkiv and Shakhtar Donetsk), the Ukrainian international is backed at 14/1 to notch first in the tie.
Spurs are backed at 4/6 (Skybet) to beat Dnipro on Thursday night, while the Ukrainians are priced out at 5/1 (Boylesports). However, to qualify, Dnipro are favourites at 17/20 (bet365) while Spurs are surprisingly at Evens (PaddyPower). Despite the bookies backing Dnipro to make it through, I think a cut-throat blitzing is on the cards tonight, with Sherwood’s men gliding through to the next round.
MY PREDICTION: Tottenham Hotspur 3-0 Dnipro (which is 14/1 at BetVictor).
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