Tottenham v Apoel Nicosia Betting Tips, Previews and Predictions
December 04, 2017
Champions League - Wembley Stadium
Tottenham welcome Apoel Nicosia to Wembley Stadium on Wednesday, with the top spot in Group H and Champions League qualification guaranteed. Apoel, on the other hand, have third place qualification for the Europa League to fight for, and so will come out swinging, against what is likely to be a second-string Spurs side.
This season saw the two sides' first meeting in the Champions League, with Tottenham making short work of their Greek opponents at the GSP Stadium, even without the suspended Dele Ali. On the night it was Harry Kane hat-trick that won his side the three points, marking a fine start to Spurs' European campaign.
Toby Alderweireld's absence due to a hamstring injury has been sorely felt for Tottenham in recent weeks, and it appears that the Belgian defender won't be back any time soon. Davinson Sanchez has been deputising at centre-back in recent weeks, although Mauricio Pochettino may be tempted to bring in the likes of Juan Foyth to give one of his two senior centre-backs a rest.
Despite returning to training on Monday, Victor Wanyama is unlikely to be risked against Apoel, with Harry Winks the manager's preferred option for European fixtures.
Giorgos Donis has no such injury problems to worry about, with a full team at his disposal.
Tottenham v Apoel Nicosia Preview and Predictions
Tottenham's Champions League campaign has been nothing short of extraordinary, and was topped off with a 3-1 over European Champions, Real Madrid. However, their league for has contrasted sharply, with Pochettino's men suffering through a four game run without a win. As a result, Wednesday's fixture could rest on whether the manager considers it an opportunity to regain some confidence, or to rest some key players.
Harry Kane, who made the difference in the reverse fixture and has scored just under half of Spurs' goals in all competitions is the most likely to make way, with Fernando Llorente, who is 3/4 to score anytime, making a rare start. Dele Ali has been poor, by his own high standards, recently, and so Erik Lamela may feature in his stead. Having won the away leg with a weakened team, Pochettino is unlikely to field a full strength side.
Apoel have had pretty much the opposite season to their opponents, sitting in last place in Group H, but on the back of a five game winning streak domestically. Although they are undoubtedly underdogs, Apoel proved against Dortmund that they can defend well, whilst providing an attacking threat through Michaël Poté who is 7/2 to score.
The Greek side will start the game with both greater motivation and momentum than their rivals, however, whether this can make up for the gulf in quality is unlikely with the odds stacked 1/4 in Tottenham's favour.
Tottenham to win 4-1 at 16/1
Only a win at Wembley would see Apoel qualify for the Europa League, so they will have to attack their hosts, leaving their defence exposed, which even a weakened Tottenham side should exploit.
Son Heung-Min to score at 11/10
Pochettino's first choice reserve across the attack will almost definitely get a game, and is averaging a goal every other start.