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Spurs v Reading: Bale won’t be missed against travel-sick Reading

| 31.12.2012

They might be missing arguably their most in-form player through suspension, but high-flying Spurs still have enough in the tank without Gareth Bale to be able to comfortably see aside a Reading team yet to win on their travels this season.

Andre Villa Boas’ side, clear favourites to win at 3/10, are four games unbeaten now following a hard-fought victory at Sunderland.

The result, their third win in four games, threatened to be overshadowed after Bale was once again booked for diving – an accusation he and his manager continues to dispute.

The booking meant that he misses this home game against the Royals, but Villas Boas won’t be overly concerned. It was actually Spurs’ right-hand side – with Kyle Walker providing excellent support for the rapid Aaron Lennon – that caused Sunderland most problems, ironically enough because the Black Cats were forced to field Matthew Kilgallon as a stand-in full back for the ineligible Danny Rose, on loan from Spurs.

Reading will hope to gain some confidence from their gutsy 1-0 win over West Ham, but the stats suggest they’ll come away empty handed.

Of their ten away trips this season, they’ve returned to Berkshire empty handed eight times and only twice claimed a point. Their winless run on the road is the worst in the league, while conversely fourth-placed Spurs are unbeaten in their last six at White Hart Lane.

Jermain Defoe missed a glorious chance for his 15th goal of the season at Sunderland and will be keen to get back on the scoresheet at the Lane. He remains Spurs’ most likely scorer and is 3/1 to score the first goal, while former Reading player of the year Gylfi Sigurdsson is another option at 6/1 should he be chosen as Bale’s replacement.

Spurs are in the goals at the minute – they’ve scored 11 in their last six games – and despite the manager’s policy of rotating his centre-back pairing they’re also keeping them out the other end, John O’Shea’s rare strike is the only goal they’ve conceded in four games.

It makes a 3-0 home win an attractive bet at 7/1, while 10/1 is available for Spurs to repeat their 3-1 victory over the Royals that they recorded at the Madejski back in September.

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



Alexis James