|By PAUL GOUGH
Tottenham Hotspur are hot favourites to finally chalk up their first win of the 2012-13 English Premier League season on Sunday and ease the pressure on new manager Andre Villas-Boas when they travel to promoted Reading.
Spurs, who finished fourth last season but missed out on a place in the Champions League after sixth-placed Chelsea won the competition, caused one of the biggest surprises ahead of the new campaign by replacing their experienced and popular manager Harry Redknapp with Villas-Boas, who was sacked by Chelsea last season after eight just months in charge at Stamford Bridge.
And Villa-Boas could not have made a worse start to life at his second EPL club, with highly-rated Spurs yet to win after three matches this season to find themselves in 14th place with two draws and a loss.
In the past two home games, Spurs have conceded late equalisers to draw 1-1 with two teams they were expected to beat in West Brom and Norwich, while they also conceded a late winner in a 2-1 defeat to Newcastle away from home on the opening day of the season.
That has already led to murmurings among Spurs fans, who booed the team off after the Norwich game, about the wisdom of replacing Redknapp with the much younger Villa-Boas.
|Tottenham to win v Reading at $1.99 at Luxbet
||Tottenham to win 2-1 v Reading at $8 at Luxbet|
And so the pressure is on Spurs to win on Sunday, with Reading having played just two games in the league so far for a creditable 1-1 draw at home with Stoke and a courageous 4-2 loss to early season league-leaders Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
But the bookies clearly expect Spurs to bounce back on Sunday and they are the $1.99 favourites to win this game at Luxbet, with the home side at $3.65 and the draw at $3.35.
Tottenham famously beat Reading 6-4 in an astonishing league game at White Hart Lane in late December 2007, while Spurs won 1-0 on their two most recent visits to Madejski Stadium, both in 2008 in the EPL and FA Cup respectively.
With Spurs having yet to keep a clean sheet under Villas-Boas but likely to bounce back with a win here after their slow start to the season, a 2-1 Spurs win looks the way to go at Luxbet at $8.
*Note prices subject to change