Tottenham v Chelsea FA Cup betting preview: Spurs to roll back the years

 

A season that was shaping up to be an extraordinary one for Harry Redknapp and his swashbuckling Tottenham side has drifted off course since the turn of the year, but all is not lost and we believe victory over Chelsea in the FA Cup semi-final on Sunday can breath fresh life into their campaign, setting them up for a grandstand finish on two fronts.

We already have the Lilywhites onside at 8/1 in the outright market but we're not about to take cover on our original stake by siding with Chelsea. Based on the campaign to date, we don't see why we should.

With a dominant Tottenham display in the league game at Stamford Bridge still fresh in the memory, we firmly believe that Spurs are the better side and that's why we're backing them to produce the goods and get the job done inside 90 minutes at 17/10.

To punters of a certain age, Tottenham is a club steeped in FA Cup tradition. Back in the pre-Sky era when the FA Cup final really was an occasion to savour, the North London club were regular visitors to Wembley. Between 1981 and 1991, they appeared in four finals, all of which went to extra time, three of which they won, needing a replay in two.

But 21 years have passed since their last appearance and now it's Chelsea who can lay claim to being the most successful FA Cup team of the modern era. Since the turn of the Millennium, the West London outfit have appeared in five finals and won four, including three out of five at the new Wembley.

However, the climate is changing and it seems as though the layers are letting history get in the way of their better judgement. As things stand, Tottenham are two points ahead of Chelsea in the Premier League table in spite of a dodgy eight-match sequence during which the Blues have made up eight points.

The 2-1 home defeat to Norwich on Easter Monday is likely to be a key stumbling block for many punters but a watershed performance can be no bad thing immediately prior to a game as big as this - just ask Manchester City fans how they felt going into last season's semi-final with United on the back of an abject 3-0 defeat at Liverpool.

The sense of debt the follows such a display, the sheer desire to quickly make amends, can often over-ride any nerves that may otherwise have surfaced to hinder the next performance.

Of much greater significance, we feel, is the distraction of a Champions League semi-final against Barcelona that Chelsea must cater for. It's a little harsh on Roberto Di Matteo that this game must be played on Sunday evening, leaving him with just two full days to prepare for the first leg against the all-conquering European champions.

You simply cannot peak for a game like this and then expect to live with Pep Guardiola's men so soon afterwards, so compromises will have to be made somewhere and we see that coming in the shape of Chelsea's tactics.

Given the obvious attacking threat that Tottenham pose, it would be folly for the Blues to become embroiled in an emotional rolloer-coaster and we should expect them to try and suffocate the play. As such, we should expect a low-scoring encounter and there's added value to be found in backing Tottenham to win 1-0 at 8/1.

Recommended bet:

2pts Tottenham to beat Chelsea at 17/10 (Ladbrokes)

1pt Tottenham to beat Chelsea 1-0 at 8/1 (Bet365)

For more betting news and views, please visit Bestofthebets.com. You can also follow Mike Holden on Twitter: @Miguel_BOTB

Arts and Entertainment
Supporting role: at the Supreme Court, Rhodes was accompanied by a famous friend, the actor Benedict Cumberbatch
booksPianist James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to stop the injunction of his memoirs
Arts and Entertainment
Jesuthasan Antonythasan as Dheepan
filmDheepan, film review
Sport
Steven Gerrard scores for Liverpool
sport
News
peopleComedian star of Ed Sullivan Show was mother to Ben Stiller
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?