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Newcomers Crystal Palace can hold Tottenham to a goalless first half

| 15.08.2013

On paper Tottenham appear overwhelming favourites at 4/5 to sweep away newly promoted Crystal Palace, but the statistics suggest otherwise.

Tottenham are notoriously slow starters and have won just one of their last six opening-day fixtures. This was against Liverpool and was also the only time they managed to score a goal in the first half of any of these matches.

Therefore, the 21/10 that Tottenham’s first goal against Palace comes in the second half could be a price to get excited about, alongside the 11/8 that Spurs score more of their goals in the second period.

Spurs often begin the season in disappointing fashion and it is easy to see why. Chairman Daniel Levy is famed and praised for his tough negotiating skills, however the downside is that the team often start a campaign in a state of disorder without having concluded their transfer campaigns.

It looks to be the same case this season with the Gareth Bale to Real Madrid saga looking set to run and run. With Bale’s future unclear, the pressure will heighten slightly on new signings Roberto Soldado and Paulinho, bought for a combined fee of £43m.

However they will need time to settle and adapt and cannot be expected to lead the side to immediate success.

Crystal Palace are back in the Premier League for the first time in nine years and must look to survive without Wilfried Zaha, the star player in their promotion campaign who has left for Manchester United.

But with home support and a traditionally sluggish opening-day Spurs side, a goalless first half looks appealing at 2/1.

Things may go south after the interval though, as Andre Villas-Boas has a wealth of attacking talent he can call on, including Jermain Defoe, Lewis Holtby and Gylfi Sigurdsson.

This greater strength in depth should come into play as the game wears on and so goals should become more likely in the second half, with odds of 11/2 for three second half goals looking a tempting price.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Alex Fortune