Tottenham Hotspur v Chelsea: Value lies with Mourinho's men

The Carabao Cup continues with fourth round action this week, and Alan Dudman thinks that Spurs are worth backing at a big price against Chelsea on Tuesday...

Tottenham Hotspur v Chelsea
Tuesday 29th September, kickoff 19:45
Live on Sky Sports Football and Sky Sports Main Event

Will Alli return for busy Spurs schedule?

Spurs are looking to reach their 25th League Cup quarter-final on Tuesday evening, a record second only to their great north London rivals Arsenal on 28, but the cloud of the Newcastle VAR game will be hanging over Jose Mourinho.

His pre-match interview could be entertaining. VAR will dominate no doubt, but so will the sheer volume of games with the rather frantic fixture list Mourinho is playing with at the moment. Tuesday's fixture follows Sunday's, while the Maccabi Haifa tie in the Europa League takes place just 48 hours later. And that's without considering Manchester United in the league next weekend.

There might even be some answers regarding the future of Dele Alli - who once again was left out of the squad entirely against the Magpies. How the Toon could do with a talent like him - as Steve Bruce's side registered what surely must have been the lowest-ever xG at half-time of just 0.08. One for Kev, Mark and Jake on the podcast I think!

Whether Alli is named in the squad or not for the Chelsea match will be the headline story, but this is a competition that Mourinho has enjoyed some good numbers with down the years, as he was eliminated from just three of his 28 ties in the competition prior to exits when Manchester United boss at the quarter-final and third round stages.

Lampard's defensive issues won't go away

Whilst Spurs' problems revolved around VAR at the weekend, Chelsea's were set-piece issues alongside their shocking defending. Their error-strewn first-half performance at West Brom once again highlighted Frank Lampard's Achilles' heel. It's simple - they can't defend.

Basic mistakes from Marcos Alonso and Thiago Silva handed West Brom the chance to race into the lead, and these issues continue to haunt the Blues. Goalkeeper Kepa certainly was part of the problem previously, but since he didn't play, he can't be blamed.

The west Londoners, however, must be applauded for a rousing comeback - and three goals from homegrown players in Mason MountCallum Hudson-Odoi and Tammy Abraham.

Yes, Chelsea are great going forward, but teams will get chances against them - which is why they have kept just one clean sheet on the road in the Premier League from their last 21 games. That did come at Spurs, though.

Match Odds

I had a look at the market late on Sunday evening and was surprised to see Tottenham at 3.80, likewise the visitors at 2.08.

Team news as always plays a hugely influential role with these prices and this of course could all change come Tuesday night, but are layers and backers trying to second guess how Mourinho will play this ahead of Thursday's Europa League? Second-guessing Jose is not easy.

Either way, Chelsea are not the sort of team to back away from home at evens or just above, even though they have won their last four matches with Spurs.

The Draw No Bet and Double Chance are two to consider with the hosts, and as always with the latter, you get to have two running for you at a price of around 2.40. It comes down to a simple case of value, and the Chelsea price given their problems, is far too short - especially given the topsy-turvy nature of the season already.

The markets are expecting goals - and lots of them

Backers of the Both Teams To Score 'yes' bet have landed on every occasion bar one with Spurs so far, and that includes two games in the Premier League and two in the Europa. Chelsea's record for that is a more even split with 2/4, with the Liverpool and Barnsley matches both failing to hit the frame.

It's a shame that the price has been squeezed so much, as 1.61 for BTTS offers little in the way of punting value. Chelsea's horror show defensively and wonder display on offence has influenced that price a fair bit in my opinion, so has the fact that Lampard's side have conceded more Premier League away goals than any other team since the start of last term.

I'll have to sit out my favourite Over 2.5 Goals punt too, as again, the market hasn't exactly missed these two at 1.66. Even the Over 3.5 is a little on the short side, so I am happy to stick with the one bet with Spurs on the outright, and to see the old master Mourinho get one over the apprentice.

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