ALEX CROOK

AUTHOR: Star Sports Content

ALEX CROOK PREVIEW: Spurs v Fulham

talkSPORT’s chief football correspondent ALEX CROOK previews Tottenham Hotspur’s Monday night clash with Fulham…


If there was one team in the Premier League who didn’t want the international break to come it was surprise early-season pace-setters Tottenham.

Spurs have made a brilliant start to life under Ange Postecoglu and their transformation in terms of playing style and the mood around the club has been nothing short of sensational.

The fans have really invested in Postecoglu and summer signings like James Maddison, making their magnificent Tottenham Hotspur Tottenham a really difficult place to go and play.

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It has to be pointed out that Spurs have benefited from a kind start to the campaign in terms of their fixtures, having already played all three newly-promoted clubs as well as struggling Bournemouth. That continues with a visit of Fulham for a London derby on Monday night.

It was always going to be tough for the Cottagers to replace talisman Aleksandar Mitrovic following the big Serbian’s summer move to Saudi Arabia, and in Mitrovic’s absence the Cottagers have managed just eight goals in their first eight games – three of them coming against Sheffield United.

They looked a better team with Carlos Vinicius, a former Tottenham striker, leading the line up front against the Blades last time out and I would expect him to keep his starting place ahead of the misfiring Raul Jiménez.

With Yves Bissouma suspended, Spurs are sweating on the fitness of in-form captain Son, who has scored six goals in his last five league games, and key defender Christian Romero, both of whom picked up injuries on international duty.

Son’s absence in particular would be a big blow as Richarlison has struggled when deployed as the number nine and it is that lack of squad depth that in my opinion will stop Postecoglu’s side from making a sustained challenge for the Premier League title.

Fulham struck a psychological blow over their hosts by dumping them out of the EFL Cup on penalties, the one sour note of Postecoglu’s fledgling tenure.

However, Spurs have come out on top in seven of their last eight league meetings and are short-priced favourites to exact their revenge.

They also have a 100 per cent home record while Fulham’s only victories this season have come against Everton, Luton and Sheffield United.

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While earning a creditable 2-2 draw at Arsenal in August, Marco Silva’s men have lost three times – all by at least a two-goal margin – so Tottenham at -1 on the handicap at 13/10 with starsports.bet should be a solid option.

I’m also expecting Fulham to adopt quite a combative approach to try and prevent Spurs dictating the flow of proceedings.

Brazilian midfielder Andreas Pereira is not afraid to get stuck in and has already picked up two bookings in the first eight games. Pereira to be shown a yellow card is 8-5 with starsports.bet and that can be doubled up with my Tottenham -1 selection at around 5/1.

Fulham are 4/6 to be the team who pick up the most bookings with starsports.bet, which I think is worth a single bet.

ALEX CROOK


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