- It’s the final day of EPL soccer for season 2019-20 season, with Spurs still in with a chance of making top six
- Palace, who are clear of the relegation scrap despite a bad run, hope to finish off the season with a win
- We’ll preview the game, look at the odds and offer a pick
After a prolonged season due to COVID-19, the 2019-20 English Premier League finally draws to a close this weekend. While Liverpool have already been crowned champions, the battle for a top-four finish and a place in Europe is going to the wire, with Leicester, Manchester United and Chelsea scrapping for the final Champions League spot, and Tottenham looking to edge out Wolves for the final Europa League spot.
Spurs, who are currently seventh in the table, a point behind Wolves, face Crystal Palace Sunday (July 26, KO 11am ET), who have slipped to 14th after a run of seven straight defeats. We’ll preview the game, look at their form, and see if we can find some value for the bettors.
Crystal Palace vs Tottenham EPL Odds
|Crystal Palace||+1 (+150)||+500||Ov 2.5 (-120)|
|Tottenham||-1 (+160)||-190||Un 2.5 (-102)|
Odds taken June 25
Palace have only won once since the restart – a win over struggling Bournemouth on June 20 – and since then it’s been a string of disappointing defeats and some very lackluster performances. Seven defeats on the spin have seen them drop from the top half to 14th in the table, and only good results in the first two-thirds of the season have saved them from relegation worries. For them, it was job done before the enforced break.
76: Zaha gets a shot away but sees his effort saved.
— Crystal Palace F.C. (@CPFC) July 20, 2020
The Eagles are guaranteed at least a 14th-placed finish, regardless of Sunday’s outcome, but they could still pip Newcastle United to 13th if they beat Tottenham and the Magpies lose to Liverpool. Roy Hodgson’s team will, however, have to find an improved performance level if they are to beat Jose Mourinho’s men, having recently lost to Burnley, Chelsea, and Manchester United at their Selhurst Park home.
Even when results were going their way earlier in the season, the Eagles were struggling for goals and their goals-for total of 30 is the second-worst record, only behind already-relegated Norwich City.
By contrast, even in what’s been a difficult season for Spurs they have doubled Palace’s goals tally and enter the final game of the campaign in impressive form, winning three on the bounce. Spurs’ last defeat was on July 2, when they narrowly lost at Sheffield United, and since then they have won four and drawn one, a run that includes wins over Arsenal and Leicester City.
While Spurs are guaranteed to finish at least seventh, which would bring with it a Europa League place for next season if Chelsea win the FA Cup, they would clearly prefer to control their own fate and not rely on the Blues beating Arsenal in the Wembley showpiece. Ironically, on the final day, Wolves – who are just one point ahead of Spurs – travel to Stamford Bridge to play Chelsea; a very tough game with the Blues needing a win to ensure Champions League soccer.
Crystal Palace vs Tottenham Head-to-Head Stats
|37 / 11||Game played / Wins||37 / 16|
|2-0 (three times)||Biggest win in 2019/20||5-0 vs Burnley (h)|
|0-4 vs Liverpool (a)||Heaviest defeat in 2019/20||0-3 vs Brighton (a)|
Zaha and Ayew To Lead the Eagles Line
In terms of team news, Palace will again be without James Tomkins, Gary Cahill, Mamadou Sakho, and Patrick van Aanholt, but captain Luka Milivojevic has a chance of making the Spurs game, possibly at the expense of James McCarthy, after a knee injury forced him to miss last weekend’s clash with Wolves. They’ll also be without the suspended Christian Benteke, meaning that Wilfried Zaha and Jordan Ayew will likely be twin-strikers in a 4-4-2, a formation Hodgson has turned to recently.
Next up: Crystal Palace (A)
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) July 24, 2020
For Tottenham, Tanguy Ndombele again misses out through injury, but Mourinho will be boosted by the availability of Dele Alli, whose hamstring problem has caused him to miss their last five games. Eric Dier is also available again after completing his suspension for confronting a fan in the crowd after the FA Cup game against Norwich.
Spurs Odds-On For a Reason
The incentive here for a Spurs win is massive and it’s for that reason, together with their good form, that they start as odds-on favorites, but Hodgson will be desperate for the Eagles to end the campaign on a high. The Eagles will not want to start the new season with a hangover from this one and the best way would be to sign off with a win over their London rivals.
So, this won’t be the stroll for Spurs that the odds suggest, but I do believe their extra quality, especially in the attacking third of the pitch, will be decisive.
Pick: Spurs to win (-190) and Under 2.5 goals (-102)
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