Last updated at 19:45, Wednesday 11th January 2012

Toffees to test Spurs resolve


Peter Ling
Premier League - Wednesday preview
2pts First goal time after 31 mins Tottenham v Everton at 23/20 (Hills)Toffees have frustrated City and Arsenal on opposition soil and can do likewise at the Lane.1pt Second half to produce the first goal Tottenham v Everton at 11/4 (Ladbrokes)Huge price considering this has copped in five of Everton's nine away games.

Everton only know how to play one way at the moment, which is hardly surprising given their lack of resources in attack, but they do what they do very well and it's worth getting with some chunky prices about them frustrating Tottenham for much of Wednesday night's rearranged game at White Hart Lane.

The Toffees might have been turned over by bottom-of-the-table Bolton on their own patch last Tuesday and they might have made heavy weather of their FA Cup game against non-league Tamworth at Goodison on Saturday. But they've asked questions of Manchester City and Arsenal on the road and if they repeat the standards of those two rearguard displays on their return to North London this week, then it could be a long night for the Lilywhites.

Spurs will go level on points with Manchester United if they win the game but top teams have a tendency to stutter when games in hand come around. We've seen it happen to the best of them, time and time again. For the past few months, fans have been looking at the league table and instantaneously calculated where the extra three points will put them. Do that often enough and you start to take those points for granted, but the reality is never that simple when the missing fixture finally comes around.

Tottenham have only dropped two points at home since their start was delayed by the August riots and the two Manchester clubs hared past them while they were still in the traps. Seven wins and a draw from the last eight matches - with only three goals conceded - would suggest there's little in this game for the Merseysiders, but David Moyes' men have a habit of taking games to the wire, occasionally finding a goal from one last squeeze of a dry sponge - note the last-gasp wins at Blackburn, Fulham and West Brom.

We do expect Tottenham to prevail but most probably with a sizeable sigh of relief and we have two bets that go hand in hand on a slow burner. The more right we are, the more we stand to win. William Hill offer 23/20 about the first goal to be scored after 31 minutes and you can get a whopping 11/4 about the sceond half to produce the first goal with Ladbrokes.

Of course, it's worth remembering that these bets do not cover the goalless draw and some of you pursuing this chain of thought might wish to take out a saver against that possibility. However, we're confident a goal will arrive at some point because Spurs are likely to force the issue late on and might leave themselves open to the classic smash and grab that the Toffees are always capable of landing.

Peter Ling is a member of the team at Premier Football Bets. You can also follow him on Twitter: @lingobets