Under-rated Qarabag likely to make Tottenham work hard for all three points
FK Qarabag aren’t exactly well known outside the borders of their own country but are the Azerbaijan champions so warrant respect as they face Tottenham Hotspur in north London in their opening Group J game.
Tottenham’s record at White Hart Lane in Europe in recent seasons hasn’t exactly been faultless and it’s likely that Mauricio Pochettino will rotate his squad for this one. Ryan Mason is a definite absentee with the England midfielder injuring a knee in the process of scoring his side’s winner at Sunderland on Saturday. Mousa Dembele and Christian Eriksen are other likely absentees.
That victory at the Stadium Of Light was Spurs’ first of the season and fans are still waiting for last season’s top scorer Harry Kane to open his account in the new campaign. The young striker has scored in successive matches for England, however, so his touch and confidence clearly hasn’t deserted him and, given his previous liking for this competition, he’s likely to pose a few problems for the Qarabag defence and is 14/5 to be First Goalscorer.
They were edged out by Celtic in the qualifying rounds of the Champions League but conceded just the once at Parkhead and then won home and away against Young Boys of Bern to make it this far. That goal in Glasgow is the only one they’ve conceded in their last five and they could give Tottenham a more difficult time of it than the odds suggest.
However, though Spurs will make changes, there is enough class in the Londoners’ squad to grab a narrow victory. Tottenham to win by one in our Winning Margins betting is 12/5. Under 2.5 goals in our Totals market is 9/10.
The match kicks off at 8.05pm on Thursday, September 17th at White Hart Lane
Odds are provided at time of writing, please check your betslip to confirm they have not changed before betting.