Tottenham vs Red Star BelgradeUEFA Champions League, KO: 20:00 Oct 22, 2019, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
SPURS were trounced 7-2 by Bayern Munich at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in their last Champions League outing – a result which tipped the capital club into crisis and piled more pressure on manager Mauricio Pochettino.
After being butchered by the Bavarians, Tottenham were then brilliantly dismantled 3-0 by Brighton and their early season woes continued against Watford at the weekend when a late and controversial goal rescued a 1-1 draw.
Consequently, the Lilywhites have now only won two of their last 11 games in all competitions and they can ill-afford anything other than three points when Red Star Belgrade rock up to north London on Tuesday night.
After throwing away a two-goal advantage against Olympiakos in Athens on matchday one and then having to endure the aforementioned obliteration at the hands of Bayern, Spurs dare not lose this game given that they are on the road in two of their final three Group B games.
Like Spurs, Red Star were brushed aside by Bayern when going down 3-0 in Germany on the opening night of the group-stages, however, the Serbian's bounced back with a 3-1 win when they came from behind to claim all three points at home to Olympiakos.
The Serbian champions had to win four ties just to earn a place in the money-spinning group-phase, however, they are a battle-hardened side and they have already shown that they are not in this section just to make up the numbers.
The Belgrade outfit bloodied a few noses in the Champions League last season when they held Napoli at home and defeated eventual winners Liverpool and they are now aiming to add to Tottenham's torment.
Yet, Red Star struggled on the road in Europe's elite club competition last term and that is reflected in them being priced at a towering 12/1 (UniBet) to triumph at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, while a share of the spoils is also big odds-against at 6/1 (Bet 365)
Troubled Tottenham are odds-on at 1/4 (Ladbrokes) to pick up a much needed three points – a result that would breathe life into their bid to emerge from Group B.
Tottenham will turn to talisman Harry Kane for inspiration after the striker scored against both Olympiakos and Bayern, however, the Spurs goal-getter is as short as 23/10 (PaddyPower) to score the opening goal and a skinny 4/7 (PaddyPower) to strike anytime with the same firm.
An alternative goalscorer to consider could be Son-Heung- Min who should be restored to the starting XI for this clash after starting on the bench on Saturday.
The South Korean superstar has three goals in his last three starts on home turf – one of which came against Bayern Munich – and he looks overpriced at odds-against of 6/5 (PaddyPower) to breach Red Star's rearguard.
Yes, better value would lie in backing Son to score first at 4/1 (UniBet), however, given that Spurs' only clean-sheet in their last seven matches has come against League 2 side Colchester, I would be more inclined to side with the Spurs forward in the anytime goalscorer market.
What's more, Vladan Milojevic's men are averaging two goals per-game in the Serbian SuperLiga and after firing in three in their last European outing they will smell blood when locking horns with confidence-stricken Spurs.
Of the six sides who have visited this venue to date, only Crystal Palace have failed to score and given Spurs' shaky defence coupled with the fact that Belgrade made the net bulge in both Naples and Paris last season, I like the look of the 5/6 (SportingBet) on offer for Red Star to score at least once in London.
Whether or not the Belgrade side score remains to be seen, however, I still suspect Spurs' superior quality will be enough to ensure that the home side pick up all three points.
Yet, I think this tussle could be a lot trickier for Tottenham than what the betting suggests and I'm therefore going to side with Red Star with a 2 goal start on the asian handicap priced at 7/10 (Unibet)
In doing so your bet would only lose if Red Star lost by three or more goals and if they were to lose by two goals your stake would be redeemed.
Given how out of sorts the hosts have been lately, as well as their aforementioned defensive vulnerabilities, backing a Belgrade team with a two goal start who are capable of adding to that advantage appeals – not to mention it's a betting angle that would have failed in only one of Spurs' six home games thus far.
This UEFA Champions League match between Tottenham and Red Star Belgrade will be played on Oct 22, 2019 and kick off at 20:00