Bale to shine in Harry's absence as Jol eyes payback!
Fulham v Tottenham
Sunday 16:00 - live on Sky Sports 1
Tottenham Hotspur travel the short trip across London to take on Fulham in the Premier League at Craven Cottage. They will be without manager Harry Redknapp after he underwent minor heart surgery this week so it will be up to Kevin Bond and Joe Jordan to keep up Tottenham's streak of seven games undefeated in the league.
Ex-Spurs manager Martin Jol will be keen to get one-up on his former side. Although popular with the travelling fans for the attacking football he helped bring back to White Hart Lane, his dismissal from the club was a nasty affair, with the Tottenham board tapping up Juande Ramos whilst Jol had made a slow start to the 2007-2008 campaign.
Both sides played in the Europa League on Thursday, however Fulham will be much the happier. Despite struggling in the league this season thanks to the gruelling schedule of European football, they got to play at home on Thursday and had a relatively easy game against Polish side Wisla Krakow, winning 4-1 thanks to two strikes by Andy Johnson (9/4 anytime goalscorer). Spurs on the other hand had the long trip to Russia where they were outplayed in a one-sided affair that was kept respectable thanks to a classy performance by goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini.
The good news for Spurs was the return of William Gallas (12/1 anytime goalscorer), the ex-Arsenal captain will go some way to plugging the whole left by a string of injuries at the back for Harry Redknapp's side. Spurs were also able to rest key performers like Scott Parker (7/1 anytime goalscorer), Lennon (11/1 first goalscorer), Van Der Vaart 6/1 to score 2 or more), Modric (7/2 anytime goalscorer), Bale (11/1 to score 2 or more) and Adebayor (5/1 first goalscorer)who demonstrated in last weeks 3-1 victory over QPR that they are beginning to click as an attacking unit and arguable have the attributes to become the best in the league.
As for Fulham the majority of their first string played on Thursday, and worryingly for them skipper Danny Murphy will be a doubt for the London Derby against his former club due to a knee injury. This will leave Scotty Parker and co. with full control of the middle of Craven Cottages' Park and could be the key to the downfall of the Cottagers.
On a positive note, Fulham will be able to welcome back striker's Brian Ruiz and Moussa Dembele (Both 11/4 anytime goalscorers). Ruiz only has one goal since his signing but he looks a good player who is sure to cause Gallas and King some problems during Sunday's late kick-off.
Considering Gareth Bale's performance last weekend where he scored two goals against QPR, William Hill have generously priced up a Match Winner Special for this London Derby. Can Bale score from outside the penalty area and return you a profit at 8/1, enhanced from 5/1.
For me the Spurs midfield looks too strong for Martin Jol's side, Scott Parker made his debut after the two defeats to the Manchester sides and since then Harry Redknapp's team have remained unbeaten in the league. Fulham will cause problems up-front and the 8/13 on both teams to score reflects that fact. If looking for a market with some more margin the 15/4 for Tottenham to come from behind to win or draw also looks tempting in what will be an attacking game. Jol will hope that in Redknapps' absence his team can get in front early and without Harry's half-time pep talk the Cottagers' fans will be able to keep the Tottenham player's ambitions low. Let's hope it's a super Sunday and that Harry is on the mend soon.