Shkendija v Tottenham: Hosts can keep it close

Shkendija v Tottenham: Hosts can keep it close
They are unlikely to meet such welcoming opponents in Macedonia with the hosts’ strength in defence.

They impressively won away to Romanian side Botosani last week and sit top of their domestic league. They are unbeaten in eight games this season, keeping clean sheets in five.

It should be remembered how Spurs struggled to break down Lokomotiv Plovdiv in the last round despite fielding a near full-strength side and seeing 76% of the ball. They only turned a one-goal deficit around after their hosts had two players sent off.

The prices suggest it will be easy for them here but it may pay to expect another hard-fought game.

Jose Mourinho’s teams have been well known for their ability to see out games, rather than pushing on to win them in style, and a controlling performance here would go down well given they are back in action on Sunday against Newcastle.

Substitutions at 1-0 or 2-0 would be very much expected with an eye on that Premier League game.

Backing Spurs to win with under 2.5 goals in the game looks a decent price at 13/5 with a 2-0 victory for the visitors at 9/2 maybe worth chancing (both with Paddy Power).

In the card markets, it could pay to back the home centre-backs to receive one.

Jan Krivak has collected nine in his last 20 starts with partner Egzon Bejtulai has 10 in 26. No markets were available at time of writing but it could be worth checking the odds closer to kick-off.

Best bet: Spurs to win and under 2.5 goals at 13/5 (Paddy Power)

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