With Jermain Defoe out injured and given the fact that Andre Villas-Boas decided not to buy another striker in the transfer window, it looks as though Emmanuel Adebayor will be given the task of leading the line for Tottenham Hotspur on Thursday evening.
The Togo striker is set to make his first start since returning from the Africa Cup of Nations and is priced at 5/1 to open the scoring against Lyon on Valentine’s Day and endear himself to the White Hart Lane faithful.
The former Arsenal man is not loved by the Spurs supporters in the way he would expect, but a goal or two in the Europa League last-32 tie against the French giants will certainly go some way to amending that problem.
If Adebayor – who was reportedly fined £160,000 after the club were forced to charter a private jet to fly him back from international duty in time for last weekend’s win over Newcastle – can produce the goods, then a Spurs victory is likely and can be backed at odds of 18/25.
Tottenham have been in superb form of late as they are undefeated in their last ten Premier League games and will certainly not fear their latest opponents.
Unlike Spurs, Remi Garde’s side have not been in the greatest nick of late, losing both of their last two fixtures 3-1 against Ajaccio and Lille.
With Les Gones struggling, the bwin bookmakers clearly sense a home victory and as a result, they have Lyon priced as 18/5 outsiders, with the draw available at odds of 27/10.
Despite those consecutive losses, Lyon still sit second in Ligue 1, six points adrift of runaway leaders PSG, and therefore cannot be underestimated.
Lyon are undefeated in their three Europa League away games so far this season and have racked up eight goals along the way, and with White Hart Lane witnessing eight goals in Spurs’ three home fixtures thus far, an entertaining affair looks likely.
With all this in mind, I like the look of over 3,5 goals in the game, which is priced at 5/2 and must be worth a flutter.
Another bet that catches my attention is the game to be level at the break and Tottenham to be winning at full-time, which would return a cool £95 for new customers backing it with their free £20 bet after registering.
Spurs’ last two league fixtures have seen AVB’s men secure victories having been all square at the interval, so expect the home side to come on strong again in the second half and grab a first-leg lead to take to Stade Gerland.
With both teams intent on attacking it should be an end-to-end contest, but I expect Tottenham to edge it by winning from a drawing position at half-time at 15/4.