Familiar Wembley feeling for Spurs

Alexis Sanchez,Man Utd

Despite the odd positive result, Wembley has remained anything but homely for Tottenham this season and there may be more frustration ahead on Wednesday evening when Manchester United visit.

The likes of Burnley, Swansea, West Brom and West Ham have all come to Wembley and held Spurs at bay to take away a point this season.

Mauricio Pochettino has made fine strides since taking over in 2014 but his side are still a work in progress. Mostly, they must figure out a more effective strategy for breaking down a well organised defensive set-up on home soil.

Tottenham’s recent league and cup trips to Southampton and Newport County have ended in 1-1 draws and at 23/4 that is an outcome that appeals again.

Jose Mourinho will almost certainly have a game plan designed to frustrate Spurs, as Man United look to make it six clean sheets in a row so far in 2018.

For all that, their recent run of form has come against Derby County, Stoke, Burnley and Yeovil Town, with Tottenham a clear step up.

Mourinho continues to employ the big-game tactics that served him so well in the formative years of his managerial career, with containment the key focus point.

It was evident early in the season at Anfield in a drab scoreless draw, while their stand-out win this term came at Arsenal in November and was achieved largely down to the Gunners schoolboy defending and David de Gea’s defiant heroics in goal.

Tottenham can be one-dimensional in breaking down a defensive opponent, but they are also strong at the back, so United will have to work for any Wembley gains. New signing Alexis Sanchez should prove worth his weight in gold in that respect.

The most likely outcome is a draw, priced at 47/20 for this Wembley date.

A clash of two new managers takes place at the bet365 Stadium as Stoke entertain Watford.

Paul Lambert got off to a winning start with Stoke when they beat Huddersfield last time out, enough to lift them out of the relegation zone. Javi Gracia meanwhile saw Watford go down to Southampton in the FA Cup on Saturday in his first game in English football.

The Hornets have lost their last six on the road in all competitions now and are going to have to battle against Stoke.

The Potters know that their home form will be crucial in the survival scrap this season. So tight have things become in the bottom half that three points for Stoke (17th) would draw them level on points with Watford (10th). Stoke can get the win in this one at 6/5.

Confidence isn’t exactly overflowing for Newcastle and Burnley right now, making a draw in their St James’ Park clash the most appealing outcome at 21/10.

Newcastle have failed to win in six and have scored only once in the previous four at home, where the crowd can become tetchy quite quickly. Burnley meanwhile are winless in eight games in all competitions, with just three points from 21 in the league lately.

Only their superb early season form and the best defensive record outside of the top three is propping up Sean Dyche’s side in the top half at this point.

On recent form, picking a winner here is no easy task and a stalemate may ensure in the north east.

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