Live on ITV4: Thu 19.45: Tottenham tempt at 4/6 with Betfred to see off Hearts and Rafael van der Vaart could feature prominently for Spurs.
Defiant Hearts striker John Sutton insists that the Jambos can prove the doubters wrong by giving a good account of themselves as they tackle Spurs in the Europa League but bookies are confidently siding with the Premiership outfit, Skybet making them just 1/8 to qualify over the two legs.Stan James make Paulo Sergio’s charges 6/1 to cause an upset by progressing to the next stage and Hearts’ hopes probably lie in securing a positive result from the home leg. However, the SPL side are again underdogs in that department, Totesport marking 11/4 against them taking a lead down to White Hart Lane, while Betfred rate Harry Redknapp’s men at 4/6 to register a success at Tynecastle, where it’s 14/5 with bet365 to finish all square.
Tottenham haven’t exactly strengthened as much as they would like over the summer and doubts continue to surround the future of influential playmaker Luka Modric while Hearts will hope the north Londoners are still a little undercooked having not yet played a competitive fixture.
Nevertheless Spurs have a strong enough squad to make them absolute banker over the tie and simply avoiding defeat at Tynecastle (1/5, Boylesports) will as good as send them through. Redknapp’s troops though, can fare a touch better than that in the Scottish capital, where Blue Square quote them at 13/5 to prevail by a one-goal margin and William Hill offer 15/2 for Tottenham to finish on the right side of a 2-1 scoreline.
The man that can make all the difference for the visitors is Rafael van der Vaart, a 5/1 shot at Sportingbet to break the deadlock. The Dutch attacker has fond memories of Scottish opposition having starred for his country when they hammered Scotland 6-0 in a Euro 2004 qualifying play-off, a match that was a pivotal point in his career and the former Real Madrid star will be a real threat in this one.
Rafael van der Vaart to score first – 5/1 (Sportingbet)