A defensive crisis and Spurs boss Harry Redknapp’s determination to rest his star players ahead of Sunday’s Premier League fixture with Blackburn leaves Tottenham vulnerable to Europa League Group A leaders Rubin Kazan tomorrow.
The groin injury sustained by Ledley King in last Sunday’s match against Newcastle compounded an already acute problem, with Michael Dawson, Vedran Corluka and William Gallas already on the sidelines.
This leaves Sebastien Bassong and Younes Kaboul as the only fit centre halves at Redknapp’s disposal, and it remains to be seen whether the 64-year-old risks one or both with the trip to Ewood Park in mind.
It seems likely that at least one of Bassong and Kaboul will be left out, not least because of Redknapp’s willingness to risk playing inexperienced youngsters in the early stages of Spurs’ Europa League campaign.
However, while this tactic has largely paid off in Tottenham’s first two Group A fixtures, there is no guarantee it will do so against Rubin Kazan.
Like Spurs, Rubin have picked up four points from games against PAOK and Shamrock Rovers and the Russian side top the group on goal difference.
And with Tottenham’s home form in Europe being far from impressive in recent matches, Rubin look long to win the game at 17/4 or secure a draw at 13/5, with this latter option looking particularly appealing in bwin’s 3Way football betting market.
The Lilywhites, who are 13/20 favourites to secure all three points, have failed to score in three of their last four European matches at White Hart Lane.
They also had trouble when they last entertained Russian opposition, with Spartak Moscow opening up a two-goal lead in the 2008/09 Europa League before being pegged back to 2-2.
With Rubin having scored five goals in their opening two Europa League fixtures and Spurs set to play an inexperienced back line, a bet on the away side to score more than one goal looks tempting at odds of 3/1.
However, with Aaron Lennon and Sandro ready to feature as they continue on the path to full fitness, Spurs could still salvage a draw in a high-scoring match.
In particular, expect Tottenham to come out strongly after the interval as of all their goals in the Europa League this season have come after the break.
As such, a bet on Spurs to score more goals in the second half than they do in the first could pay off at odds of 7/5.
A successful £25 free bet on Tottenham to score more goals after the interval than they do in the first 45 minutes would return £60.
New customers can register here to claim a free £25 bet or click here to see all our Europa League odds.
Follow us on Twitter @bwinbetting