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Andre Villas-Boas' side are in good form while Lyon aren't, and Jamie Dickenson fully expects the North London club to win their Europa League first-leg match at White Hart Lane

Without a fixture to worry about at the weekend, Tottenham go into Thursday night's Europa League Round of 32 first leg against Lyon safe in the knowledge they will have a full week to prepare for the return tie across the channel.

The hosts have just recorded back-to-back victories in the Premier League, and are generously priced at 4/5 (1.80) with Bet365 to make it three out of three at home to Lyon.

The draw is offered at 11/4 (3.75), and Lyon are as long as 4/1 (5.0) to win after suffering successive defeats in Ligue 1 to mid-table sides Ajaccio and Lille.

Despite topping Group I, the French side are not the force they once were, now considerably weaker than the team that made the Champions League semi-finals during the 2009/10 season.

Spurs' FA Cup exit to Leeds United is the reason for their weekend off, but it may well help Andre Villas-Boas' side in the long run given their current injury predicament.

Top-scorer Jermain Defoe is still a few weeks away from a return to the team, along with Tom Huddlestone and long-term absentees Sandro and Younes Kaboul.

The North Londoners have had Gareth Bale to thank recently for keeping the Spurs ship heading in the right direction, with the Welshman responsible for all four of Tottenham's recent goals.

Bale earned a point against Norwich, and scored the goals that won the matches against West Brom and Newcastle (as well as scoring in a win for Wales) and his red-hot form could well continue with the first goal against Lyon at 4/1 (5.0) or a goal anytime at 6/5 (2.20).

But with Emmanuel Adebayor having completed a week's training after returning from the African Cup of Nations, Villas-Boas is set to to give his Togo forward some much-needed game-time in the central striker role.

Juicier odds of 7/4 (2.75) are available for Adebayor to score anytime, and Bale could turn provider if he starts on his usual left-wing position.

Lewis Holtby will make his Europa League bow for Spurs, while Brad Friedel and not ex-Lyon keeper Hugo Lloris is expected to start in goal.

BET
OF THE
DAY
BEST BET
VALUE BET
Tottenham to win at 4/5 (1.80) with Bet365
Emmanuel Adebayor to score anytime at 7/4 (2.75) with Bet365

Jamie Dickenson is a 22-year-old freelance journalist who specialises in football, sports and betting.

More of his work can be found here
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