EPL Betting: Blackburn handed lifeline
I've said all along that Yakubu could well end up being the difference between Blackburn staying up or going down.
Whether the Spurs season will be deemed a success or failure is in the balance, so Lee Dixon looks over their Premier League game against Blackburn to help assess which way it will go.
Correct Score/Half-Time/Full Time
The latest explanation for Spurs' recent demise has come from one of their players, albeit one who is out on loan. Vedran Corluka said this week that he thought there wasn't enough strength in depth within the squad and that as a result, there wasn't enough rotation to keep the key players fresh. It's not the most outlandish theory, but on the other hand I'm not sure Vedran will be called back from his loan spell anytime soon!
I can see where he's coming from because the likes of Gareth Bale, Luka Modric, Benoit Essou-Ekotto and Kyle Walker really have racked up the miles this season. I've spoken before about how Harry Redknapp's name being constantly linked to the England job hasn't helped matters either. The result is that they've gone from dark horses for the title to even money chances to just finish in the Top 4. This match and the one in mid-week at Bolton will be the difference between this being a disastrous season and a good one, because any season that ends with Spurs guaranteeing a Champions League spot must be deemed a success for them.
As for Blackburn, it's been an up-and-down season and it's fair to say there have been more downs than ups. But they looked doomed a few weeks back before going on a decent run and dragging themselves out of the bottom three and they may even do just that once again and engineer a miraculous escape.
A few weeks ago this would have looked like an absolute home banker for Spurs fans and punters alike but in the form Tottenham are in (or lack of it), I don't think that's the case anymore. Blackburn actually look the fresher of the two teams at this stage of the season and that could make a big difference. I think Blackburn can get a crucial point here which would do their chances of staying up a world of good and make things pretty hard for Spurs and their Champions League aspirations. I wouldn't put anyone off backing the straightforward draw at 5.5 but instead I'm going to go with bigger prices on 1-1 (11.0) and the draw/draw option as well at 9.0.
I've said all along that Yakubu could well end up being the difference between Blackburn staying up or going down. Something of a goal drought from him in recent weeks is part of the reason why Steve Kean's men have lost momentum. I've also been extremely impressed with Junior Hoillett this season and if they do go down I'm sure there will be plenty of Premier League clubs making a few polite inquiries about his availability. But Yakubu is the key man here and not the kind of player defenders enjoy playing against, he's a real bustler and he can unsettle the Spurs back four. He looks the better bet to get on the scoresheet here at a pretty attractive price of 3.5.
Michael Cox says...
At the end of a long Premier League season, many players have looked tired in recent weeks - but Tottenham's Scott Parker's struggles have been particularly obvious. Along with the rest of his side, Parker's form has dipped dramatically, and against Chelsea in the FA Cup semi-final a fortnight ago he looked especially drained, unable to chase back and help stop Chelsea's counter-attacks. In this game he's likely to be up against Blackburn's Junior Hoilett, who has been moved into a central position by Steve Kean. Statistically, Hoilett dribbles more often than any other player in the Premier League, and I fancy Parker for a booking at around 4.0.