Tottenham v Southampton: Goals expected in N17

Both teams to score looks a good play for Spurs v Southampton, says Andy Schooler, who also has a 4/1 goalscorer tip for Wednesday's Premier League game.

Spurs on the up

Yes, Spurs are improving but they are still having to huff and puff a lot to put teams away - think late winners at Watford and Leicester. They've rarely blown anyone away and while they gave Liverpool a good game, they've lost three times to Chelsea to show they are yet to take their seat at the top table.

Still, Tottenham have only lost to the Blues since December 9 and grinding out results is certainly a good trend to have.

Harry Kane, who has scored 11 goals in 12 Premier League starts against Southampton, is looking more like his old self, while Conte will be delighted to have Son Heung-min fit again - he impressed against Brighton on Saturday, a game which also saw the return to action of Cristian Romero.

New signings Dejan Kulusevski and Rodrigo Bentancur were both handed debuts as substitutes in that FA Cup tie but may well be back on the bench for this one.

Spurs will be bidding for an 11th home win out of 12 against Southampton but the visitors are unlikely to be brushed aside.

They certainly weren't in the reverse fixture in December, battling to a 1-1 draw despite playing more than half the game with 10 men.

Spurs were a little unlucky that day with three disallowed goals, the one involving Matt Doherty's foul particularly harsh, but Southampton did get things right tactically with boss Ralph Hasenhuttl matching his side up man for man, something he said "surprised" Conte that day.

Saints well rested

That element will be lost here but Hasenhuttl is a shrewd operator who will look to tweak his set up again in order to find a winning formula.

That may be tough to do in N17 but the fact is that the 12th-placed Saints have only lost seven times so far, drawing no fewer than 10 matches.

They've lost just two of their last 11 in all competitions and have won four of their last seven.

Southampton will be well rested for this one, having made 10 changes for Saturday's 2-1 FA Cup win over Coventry. On the other hand, Spurs sent out a virtual full-strength XI to defeat Brighton 3-1.

However, there are still a few issues for Hasenhuttl to deal with - livewire forward Armando Broja is "struggling" with a knee problem, defender Lyanco has been ruled out and Tino Livramento has only just returned from six weeks out so may not be risked from the start.

Still, this is a side which has already won at West Ham and drawn at Manchester City this season, while they've also held City, West Ham Manchester United (as well as Spurs) at home.

Are Spurs a lay?

To me, Spurs look short enough to win the game at 1.65 and Southampton's doggedness makes a lay of the hosts worth considering.

Arguably the best value in the win market is the draw at 4.2 given Saints' propensity for a stalemate. They are 6.0 for victory themselves, although potential backers should familiarise themselves with their record of squandering leads (see below). In-play trading has produced rich dividends for some this season.

In terms of goals, over 2.5 is strong-looking 1.82 shot given 70% of Spurs' home games and 82% of Southampton's away matches have landed this so far this season.

Historical trend for BTTS

Both teams to score also has plenty to like about it at 1.84 with Southampton's last eight games in all competitions delivering for BTTS backers.

It's also occurred in 13 of the last 14 meetings between these sides.

This is the option I prefer with Southampton having shown some good signs during their recent run. I see them being able to crack the home defence, although it seems unlikely they will keep them out.

JWP looks A-OK

My other recommendations come in the props markets, starting with James Ward-Prowse to score at 4/1.

The England international has netted in four of his last six league games.

Ward-Prowse is probably become best-known for his dead-ball expertise - he's the best free-kick taker in the league right now. He also takes penalties.

With both of these sides in the top six for fouls committed, Ward-Prowse may well get a chance to let fly from that 20-25-yard range from which he is so deadly.

However, he's also shown he's happy to shoot from open play, scoring in the reverse fixture in such manner, and it's worth noting that his shot output has increased of late.

In his last 10 games, Ward-Prowse has had 17 shots. In the 14 prior, he had managed only 12.

Consider Romeu card

That fouls count leads my to the other suggestion, namely Oriol Romeu to be shown a card.

The Saints midfielder has collected five in eight starts against Spurs, figures perhaps born out of his former club Chelsea's rivalry with Tottenham.

Romeu sits eighth in the league's fouls-made list. That's helped him collect five cards in 20 league games so far this season.

The referee, David Coote, is a good one - the fifth strictest in the top flight for cards, averaging 4.38 yellows per game.

Sadly, prices aren't up at time of writing but anything around 2/1 looks worth considering.

Opta fact

Southampton have dropped 20 points from winning positions in the Premier League this season, with only Newcastle dropping more (21). Saints have drawn five of their last seven league games after taking the lead (W2).

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