Tottenham Hotspur are still in play for Europa League qualification but to remain so will probably need to take all three points at home to Wolverhampton Wanderers (2.05pm Sunday).
With just three matches of the campaign left to play, Spurs are seventh, two points shy of West Ham in sixth and four behind Liverpool in fifth. Both fifth and sixth will yield a Europa League place next season.
Seventh grants entry to the new Europa Conference League, an unnecessary tertiary European competition that Spurs would arguably be better off avoiding entirely if Europa League qualification proves out of reach.
Midway through last month, former Spurs midfielder Ryan Mason took temporary charge of the team until the end of the season following the dismissal of Jose Mourinho. Premier League wins at home to Southampton and Sheffield United have been combined with defeat to Manchester City in the Carabao Cup final and last weekend’s 1-3 league loss away at Leeds.
It was a pretty comprehensive defeat. Spurs were able to hit back through Son Heung-Min after going behind early doors, but Leeds continued to create a good volume of chances throughout the match and scored twice more late into each half to take the victory.
Tottenham are already into the process of looking for a big-name replacement for Mourinho and while he is well thought of within the club, there seems to be little possibility of Mason taking the job on a permanent basis. Results over the final three matchdays of the campaign will simply determine which competitions his successor gets to compete in next season.
Sunday’s opponents Wolverhampton Wanderers have nothing left to play for. After consecutive seventh-place finishes since their return to the top flight in 2018, they have endured a more mediocre campaign this time around. They are 11 points removed from Spurs in 12th, and are likely to end the season outside the top half of the table.
Nuno Espirito Santo’s side have, though, somewhat improved their results over the course of the last month or so, taking three wins and a draw from their last five fixtures. It must be noted that their only defeat in that time was a humiliating 0-4 home loss to Burnley. They travel to London on the back of a 2-1 win at home to Brighton last weekend.
Brighton took an early lead with a header from a corner but after a poor first half, Wolves came to life after the break, stringing together 12 shots to the one of their visitors. The goals they needed to turn things around and take all three points came late: Adama Traore’s 76th minute strike was followed by a last-minute winner from Morgan Gibbs-White.
Fabio Silva provided the assist for the first of those goals and has seemingly started to settle and contribute over the last month or so after struggling for much of his first season in English football. That is understandably so at just 18 years old and with scant previous first-team game time to his name. He has two goals and two assists in his last six appearances. After a bit of lean spell, Traore has produced the same output in that time.
There is, then, some degree of hope to take into the off-season, not least because Wolves have already taken more points in the second half of the campaign than they did in three matches more in the first half (23 in 16 vs. 22 in 19). This will nevertheless go down as a step back for the club after the successes of their first two seasons back in the big time.
Can they derail Spurs’ European aspirations on Sunday? The two teams drew 1-1 when they met at Molineux in December and have otherwise shared two wins apiece since Wolves’ return to the top flight, with both of Wolves’ victories coming away from home.
Even though Espirito Santo’s side have not been at their best this season, it still feels like they could be awkward opponents for an inconsistent Spurs team and with favourable odds, a hedged bet in their favour seems a solid way to go. So our Spurs vs Wolves betting tips’ selection for this preview is:
- Bet on Wolverhampton Wanderers to give us a return on the ‘draw no bet’ market @ best odds of 4/1 with BetVictor.