Despite losing just twice in ten competitive games under Mauricio Pochettino, there was a distinct sense that Spurs went into the north London derby against Arsenal over the weekend needing at least a draw to stop their 2014/15 campaign’s drift down the drain.
After leaving the Emirates with a well-deserved point, the Lilywhites can now get back to what they do best against Besiktas with a Europa League group-stage home win at 7/10.
This is the fourth season in a row that Spurs are taking part in the continent’s consolation competition and they’ve lost just one pre-Christmas Europa League home game during that time.
Each of their past seven such fixtures at White Hart Lane have resulted in wins for the hosts, with their last home group-stage defeat suffered at the hands of PAOK Salonika almost three years ago.
Besiktas aren’t particularly good tourists in England, having won two and lost five of their seven matches on the Queen’s soil, with the Gunners the latest to see them off in the Champions League five weeks ago.
Slaven Bilic’s side got off to a pretty ropey start by drawing 1-1 with expected Group C whipping boys Asteras Tripoli, and despite only being beaten by Arsenal so far this term, the Istanbul-based outfit have triumphed in just two of their last seven outings.
It’s fair to assume that Spurs’ problems are some way from being fixed, with first-team gaps needing to be plugged sooner or later by Pochettino, particularly at right-back and up front.
However, the Argentine is slowly integrating defensively-minded new signings Federico Fazio, Ben Davies and Benjamin Stambouli into his XI.
All three played in the Europa League Group C draw with Partizan Belgrade, which featured Spurs’ only September clean sheet.
Their home form at this time of year in the Europa League makes 7/10 look like buying money, while the Lilywhites’ three shutouts in three continental trysts this term also point to a punt on Pochettino’s boys winning to nil at 7/4.