Tottenham Hotspur’s Europa League dreams all but ended following a last-16 first leg drubbing by Borussia Dortmund, but, never mind, a trip to Aston Villa, ego-massagers supreme, is on the horizon.
The Villans have become well acquainted with all varieties of defeat this term and, unfortunately for them, they’re in for a particularly heavy one here; their very presence, it seems, brings out the sadistic side of Spurs.
Back the travellers to win at Villa Park with a handicap of two goals and get paid out at 13/4 with bwin.
A string of stats say the price is a good one, namely that no team has scored four goals in a single Premier League game more frequently than the Lilywhites this season.
They’ve bulged the net as many times as on three occasions in 2014/15, with Sunderland, West Ham and Manchester City all feeling the sharp end of their attacking stick.
Admittedly, these three were all at home, but Spurs’ most emphatic win of the campaign came on their travels, the 5-1 decimation of Bournemouth.
The Cherries are a much sturdier defensive unit than porous Villa, who have leaked at least three in front of the waning faithful in three of their previous four outings.
On average, they concede just shy of two goals per Premier League game, meaning it’s unlikely to require an extraordinarily good Spurs performance to bring this bet home.
Villa can expect to concede two, while Spurs average 1.76 goals scored per game, meaning they should anticipate at least a brace themselves.
One more Lilywhites strike above the mean may well be enough to make it rain and their recent record of inflicting misery on the Midlanders suggests it’s a goal they’ll easily achieve.
They’ve twice beaten the Villans 4-0 away since Boxing Day 2012, while they’ve kept clean sheets in five of their last eight meetings, winning seven of these matches.