Betting round-up: Spurs tipped to end Chelsea hoodoo

Andre Villas-Boas' men are being backed by the bookies to beat Jose Mourinho's side at White Hart Lane on Saturday, with Paul Gough identifying the smart money

Tottenham's new-found defensive stability faces its biggest test yet when Spurs host bogy side Chelsea in the stand-out game of the seven English Premier League matches set down for Saturday.

But it is a measure of Spurs' huge improvement this season that Andre Villas-Boas' team have been installed as favourites by leading bookmakers bet365 despite their dreadful record against their London rivals.

Tottenham have won just five of their past 52 matches against Chelsea in all competitions - dating back to 1990 - and are winless in their past seven matches against the west London club.

And Chelsea have hammered 11 goals past Spurs in their past three meetings - winning two and drawing one.

Yet with Spurs sitting second on the table after five rounds this season - having conceded just one goal - they find themselves in the unusual position of being favourites against a Chelsea side in fourth place, some two points adrift.

Spurs are paying $2.50 to win Saturday's massive clash at White Hart Lane with Chelsea the $2.75 underdogs at bet365, while the draw is paying $3.30.

However Chelsea, despite the return of Jose Mourinho, have looked unconvincing so far this season and their recent 2-0 wins over struggling Fulham in the EPL and minnows Swindon in mid-week in the League Cup ended a run of four matches without a win.

Spurs, in contrast, have conceded just one goal all season across all competitions and such is the depth in their squad at present that Jermaine Defoe has already banged in six goals despite not getting a regular start.

Tottenham might have lost the best player in the competition last season in Gareth Bale to Spanish giants Real Madrid but his massive transfer fee has virtually financed a whole new squad and stars such as Spanish striker Robert Soldado, Brazilian Paulinho and Danish midfielder Christian Eriksen all look suited to the EPL.

Soldado scored the only goal of the game when Spurs beat Palace and then Swansea to open the season and bet365 are offering a tempting $19 in scorecast betting on Saturday's game that Soldado will score first and Spurs will win 1-0 or that Soldado will score at any stage in a Spurs 1-0 win.

Soldado is the $5.50 favourite to score the game's opening goal at bet365, ahead of Defoe and Chelsea's Samuel Eto'o at $6.50 while Eriksen looks value at $8.


United, City, Arsenal and Southampton all look good things while Fulham and Hull should win at home.

Spurs to beat Chelsea 1-0 with Soldado scoring the game's only goal is tempting at odds of $19 at bet365 in scorecast betting.

The Spurs-Chelsea clash dominates an otherwise average EPL program on Saturday.

Title favourites Manchester City - fresh from a 4-1 win over Man Utd - should have few problems at $1.50 at bet365 away to an Aston Villa side at $7, missing injured striker Christian Benteke.

United are also short at $1.30 at home to West Brom at $9.50 while much-improved Southampton should have few worries at home at $1.44 against relegation favourites Crystal Palace paying $8.

League leaders Arsenal at $2.20 should also win away at Swansea - which was knocked out of the Capital One Cup by Championship side Birmingham in midweek - at $3.30.

The other two games are tougher to predict but we like Fulham at home at $2.10 against Cardiff at $3.50 while Hull look good value at $2.25 at home to an injury-hit West Ham at $3.25.

*Note prices subject to change