Tottenham continue their Europa League adventure on Thursday evening as they welcome French side Lyon to White Hart Lane (ITV1, 8.05pm). It is a competition that Andre Villas-Boas is treating with the utmost respect and Spurs go into the first leg of this last-32 tie as favourites as they look to secure a crucial advantage ahead of the return leg in France next Thursday.
Spurs are currently 4/5 favourites with William Hill and the English side are protecting a fine recent record on home soil. They will be looking to take advantage of a Lyon outfit who might be short of confidence after suffering successive defeats in Ligue 1 and Lyon can be backed at 7/2 to win and 5/2 to draw this week.
It is Tottenham who look worthy favourites at this stage though as they have lost just two of their last 18 matches in all competitions and Villas-Boas is unlikely to make too many changes to a side that is full of confidence. Spurs are unbeaten in their last 10 outings at White Hart Lane, winning eight, and Gareth Bale is flying at the moment.
Jermain Defoe may be out injured but Bale has more than made up for his absence with a plethora of goals in recent weeks. The Welshman has scored five goals in his last four appearances for club and country, including both goals in the 2-1 Premier League win against Newcastle last weekend. Bale is 4/1 to be first scorer this week, while Hills offer 3/1 that Bale scores anytime in a Tottenham win.
Villas-Boas should be able to select Emmanuel Adebayor following his return from the African Cup of Nations and the Togolese striker is 5/1 to score first after notching five goals in his last five Europa League appearances. Goals were rarely a feature of Tottenham's games during the group stages, where they qualified as runners up behind Lazio in Group J, but that might change this week.
For those looking at a punt on a correct score for Thursday's game, it could be worth a look at the 14/1 on offer with Hills for Spurs to win 3-1 as four of their last eight wins at home have come by that scoreline. Furthermore, Lyon have lost their last two French league games by the same score and they are wobbling heading into this game.
They may be second in Ligue 1, six points behind PSG, but they head to London on the back of successive 3-1 defeats to Ajaccio and Lille respectively. Those defeats have put the brakes on their season and they have now won just one of their last four in all competitions.
The French side will be hoping a return to the Europa League can improve their fortunes as they qualified from Group I ahead of Sparta Prague and Athletic Bilbao. Lisandro Lopez, who has scored nine goals this season, will be relied upon for goals and he is 13/2 to score first, while former Spurs midfielder Steed Malbranque (14/1 to score first) returns to White Hart Lane, although he might find his old team aren't in a very giving mood on Thursday.
Tottenham v Lyon Form
Check the season's statistics for both Tottenham and Lyon, plus the odds ahead of Thursday's match.
Tottenham v Lyon Tips
Tip #1: Gareth Bale to score and Tottenham win @ 3/1 with WilliamHill.
Tip #2: Tottenham to win 3-1 @ 14/1 with WilliamHill.
Tip #3: Tottenham to win @ 4/5 with WilliamHill.
To Qualify Betting
Correct Score Odds
6/1 Tottenham 1-0
7/1 Tottenham 2-0
15/2 Tottenham 2-1
17/2 Draw 0-0
13/2 Draw 1-1
16/1 Draw 2-2
10/1 Lyon 1-0
25/1 Lyon 2-0
14/1 Lyon 2-1
First Goalscorer Odds
4/1 Gareth Bale
5/1 Emmanuel Adebayor
11/2 Clint Dempsey
6/1 No Goalscorer
13/2 Bafetimbi Gomis
13/2 Lisandro Lopez
7/1 Lewis Holtby
8/1 Gylfi Sigurdsson
8/1 Jimmy Briand
8/1 Alexandre Lacazette
9/1 Yoann Gourcuff
10/1 Yassine Benzia
Odds supplied by WilliamHill.com, who offer live in-play betting for all Europa League matches.
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