Our man-in-the-know is tipping Spurs to beat Andrea Stramaccioni’s men as Spurs turn their attentions to European duties.
Also in this edition, find out why Oscar is a good bet to net for Chelsea against Steaua Bucharest.
The Tipster is willing to admit that predicting Bale to score is a bit of a no-brainer at this stage. The Wales international has scored nine goals in his last nine games in all competitions. He’s quite simply in the form of his life. The 23-year-old really started his elevation to the next level with THAT hat-trick against Inter at the San Siro in 2010. So, the Tipster is backing Bale to score any time on Thursday at 10/11.
Villas-Boas’s side are in a really good run of form. There won’t be any worries about the Spurs boss not playing his strongest XI as he has taken this competition very seriously. Tottenham are on a excellent run of late – winning five of this last six, including a victory over Arsenal. Inter’s away record in Serie A is abysmal. Before their win against Catania, they had lost six of their last seven on the road. So the Tipster is backing Tottenham to beat Inter at 8/11.
There is no doubting Oscar has excellent ability but while he hasn’t set the Premier League alight as yet, he has starred in European competition where he has more time to weave his magic. This can be reflected in his goal record. He has just a solitary strike in the English top flight in 25 appearances but he has been prolific in Europe, netting six times in just eight appearances, including the last away goal against Sparta Prague. So, the Tipster is backing Oscar to score any time at 10/3.
Bucharest knocked out a decent Ajax side in the last round so they must have something about them. Chelsea also have a massive FA cup game against Manchester United at the weekend, so the Tipster would be surprised if Rafael Benítez decides to rest some of their key men like Juan Mata and Frank Lampard here. With Demba Ba ineligible, it’ll be Fernando Torres up top so the Blues could struggle. Steaua to win or draw at 5/6 looks a decent shout as Chelsea will probably take a draw and look to finish the tie at Stamford Bridge.
This is the Tipster’s favourite bet of this special Europa League last-16 edition. The Southampton youth graduate has scored first in five of Tottenham’s last six games in all competitions, with Villas-Boas’s side going on to win all of them. Bale has scored a total 20 goals in 33 appearances this season, and our resident betting expert’s long shot is Bale to score first and Spurs to win at 4/1.
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