Tottenham Hotspur were beaten in the Premier League for the first time since mid-December this weekend, going down 3-1 to Manchester City – the team who last inflicted defeat upon the north Londoners in the top flight – at Wembley.
Brighton and Hove Albion also failed to pick up a point on Saturday, so both clubs will be keen to return to winning ways here despite their seemingly comfortable positions in the table. A draw would not be a disastrous result for either, though, and for Premier League betting fans backing a stalemate at the Amex Stadium could be the way to go.
Spurs’ recent victory over Chelsea cemented their position in the top four, with the reigning champions still seven points adrift of the final Champions League qualification spot with five games left to play. It is not beyond the realms of possibility that the Blues could yet sneak in, but Mauricio Pochettino will be confident of his side’s chances of picking up the nine points required between now and the middle of May.
The Argentinian has continually downplayed the importance of domestic cup competitions, arguing – with some justification – that the Premier League and Champions League offer a superior measure of progress. Given that Tottenham can no longer win the title and were eliminated from Europe’s principal tournament in the round of 16, however, it would make little sense for Pochettino not to prioritise the FA Cup for the remainder of the campaign.
Spurs face Manchester United in the semi-finals on Saturday and are now just two wins away from getting their hands on the trophy; it should therefore not be at all surprising to football betting fans if they opted to shuffle the pack for Tuesday’s trip to the south coast. Rotating the starting XI is not an option for Chris Hughton, who saw his Brighton side go down 3-2 against arch rivals Crystal Palace at the weekend.
Just like Tottenham in their bid to finish in the top four, Albion have a seven-point cushion above the bottom three as they attempt to secure a second consecutive season of top-flight football for the first time since the early 1980s. It may be the case that the Seagulls are already safe, but a glance at their remaining fixtures – after locking horns with Tottenham, Hughton’s charges face further tough assignments against Burnley, United, Liverpool and City – means they are not out of the woods yet.
It has been a terrific effort up to now, though, with Brighton’s home record particularly fundamental to their present position above the dotted line: while just one team (Stoke City) has collected fewer points on the road, the seasiders sit 10th in the table when only home games are taken into account.
Tottenham are the type of outfit who seek to play on the front foot in almost every match they contest, and Brighton will be content to allow the visitors the lion’s share of possession on Tuesday night. Hughton will instruct his side to retain a narrow and compact shape without the ball, with Jose Izquierdo and Anthony Knockaert – and, to a lesser extent, rampaging right-back Ezequiel Schelotto – set to be key in leading the hosts’ transitions from defence to attack.
Set-pieces will also be important for Albion, who can rely on Pascal Gross for consistently excellent deliveries. Spurs will have to remain patient against a low defensive block, and it may even take a long-range effort from the likes of Harry Kane, Christian Eriksen or Son Heung-min – provided such players are selected from the start – to break the deadlock on the south coast.
It is notable, too, that Tottenham have only kept one clean sheet in their last six away games in the Premier League, and they were arguably fortunate to only concede a single goal in their most recent trip to Stoke.
Brighton may not be the most prolific team to wager on at one of the top football betting sites – even after their two efforts at Selhurst Park, there are still only four sides who have found the net less often – but they tend to score in front of their own fans, having been shut out just five times at the Amex this term. In their last five home matches, furthermore, Albion have notched 10 goals.
With that in mind, then, both teams to score – offered at 10/11 by BetBright and evens by 888sport – is a tempting proposition. My leading tip for this one, though, is a draw at 15/4 with bet365 or 7/2 with Matchbook. Combining the two above selections into one bet – a stalemate featuring goals for both Brighton and Tottenham – can be found at 5/1 via BetBright.