Emmanuel Adebayor returns to White Hart Lane in the FA Cup fifth round, with his Crystal Palace side 5/1 underdogs to beat London foes Tottenham Hotspur.
The reasons for the Eagles’ enormous price are twofold: firstly, Spurs are on fire. Secondly, their opponents are having a right old time trying to score goals of late.
They’ve found the net just eight times since slamming five past Newcastle in late November, while they’ve surrendered the spoils to the Lilywhites twice this term already.
Adebayor isn’t letting the facts dampen his high spirits ahead of his return to his former club, who, owing to the contract wrangle that saw him released from north London earlier this season, still pay him as much as they do Harry Kane, it has been suggested.
When asked whether he’d celebrate were he to rustle the net this weekend, the Togolese titan left nothing to the imagination:
“I play football, why am I not going to celebrate against Totten-ham?” he said, “If I score against Tottenham, trust me, I’m going to celebrate.”
Such statements draw connotations to his pitch-length sprint to slide on his knees at the Etihad in front of the abusive Arsenal fans after making it 3-1 to Manchester City in their 4-2 victory over the Gunners.
It was the first match in which Adebayor had faced former employers and, by all accounts, he revelled in it.
However, it was the only Citizens strike he netted against Arsene Wenger’s men in four attempts. After signing for Spurs he failed to improve his record of haunting his previous paymaster, not scoring in five outings against City.
The humdrum return would suggest Adebayor’s odds of 9/1 to notch first at the Lane this weekend are worth leaving alone, but a ridiculous record of scoring against Spurs in London derbies means any dismissive punters should reconsider.
He fired eight goals in nine meetings with Lilywhites when clad in the colours of Arsenal, four of which were on enemy territory.
Couple this with the fact that he’ll be the focal point of every Palace attack this weekend and his chances of finding the net dramatically increase in appeal.
He’s 3/1 to score at any point of the game.