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Nic Ladds 12th Mar 2010 - 17:36

Home is where the Hart is

Tottenham Hotspur are just where they want to be, in fourth, where they have wanted to be for years. They only sit there on goal difference and they will want the points, and the goals, against Blackburn Rovers to prove they are worthy of a spot in the big time.

Even on a neutral ground, I would be tipping Tottenham for the win, but it is the home advantage that will really help Tottenham secure a convincing victory over Rovers.

Blackburn's away record is nothing short of embarrassing, with just one win in 14 - scoring just 9 and conceding a massive 33. Had it not been for a decent run at home, that sort of away form could have put them in real trouble.

Harry Redknapp will be hoping his side can really pummel their opposition as with the battle for the fourth spot so tight; goal difference could be all important come the end of the season. As this match is the first of the weekend, Spurs could really send out a message to their rivals and put the onus on them to play catch-up.

Tottenham (4/9) have conceded just one goal in their last six league matches at White Hart Lane and have won 9 on their 14 league matches there this season. They know Man City are breathing down their necks for fourth and will really want to put on a show, they still have their doubters despite being unbeaten for over a month.

Blackburn (7/1) have come under criticism for their playing style recently but they can stop looking over their shoulders now, ten points clear of the relegation zone should be enough for another season in the top flight. Although I think Sam Allardyce has done a decent job, I don't think he can expect anything other than damage limitations in this match.

The state of Redknapp's physio room will be a cause for concern though. Carlo Cudicini, David Bentley, Jermaine Jenas, Aaron Lennon, Tom Huddlestone and Ledley King would all be staking a place for the first team were they not injured. This has all been topped off with the news that the perpetually sidelined Jonathan Woodgate will sit out yet another season after having groin surgery.

Things are a lot rosier for Blackburn; Sam Allardyce says he has "one of the healthiest squads in the Premier League at the moment". Brett Emerton, Franco Di Santo, Junior Hoilett and Yildiray Basturk have all returned from injury recently. The only big named first teamers missing out are Vince Grella and Ryan Nelsen.

Considering Blackburn's inability to score away from home I won't even bother mentioning a first scorer for them. Spurs are lucky though as they have three strikers on good form. Roman Pavlyuchenko and Jermain Defoe have scored 11 out of Tottenham's last 14 goals, with the Russian scoring six in his last five.

Beanpole striker Peter Crouch has three in his last three starts against Blackburn; add that to his brace for England against Egypt and the battle for the first goal really is anyone's. You can get 9/2 on Defoe scoring first and 9/2 on either Crouchy or Pavlyuchenko beating him to it.

You may even want to consider our Anytime Goalscorers Doubled markets where you can double up Tottenham's deadly strikers to score at anytime for an enhanced price such as Jermain Defoe and Peter Crouch to score at anytime at 16/5. Obviously check the team news to see which partnership will start.

If you take Blackburn's inability to balance the goals away from home and add it to the fact only one team has managed to score more than once against Spurs in their last 31 home games, I highly recommend the handicap markets. You can get 6/5 on Tottenham starting with a -1 handicap but the 16/5 on -2 is where my money will be going.

Don't forget, you can get involved on one of our "Free Bets For Everyone" promotion on this match. All you have to do is stake £20 on the double result market and you will get a £10 free bet on the first tryscorer market in the Scotland v England Six Nations match.



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