IT’S a North London derby on Wednesday night as Tottenham and Arsenal meet in the Capital One Cup. How does Chris Graham (@chrisgraham79) see it going?
Tottenham v Arsenal | Wednesday 19:45 | Sky Sports 1
Getting to the final of this competition last season was the highlight of Mauricio Pochettino’s first season in charge of Tottenham and surely he’ll have that in the back of his mind as he approaches this game.
But not only is this the opening fixture of the competition, it’s also against Tottenham’s main rivals Arsenal, so the stakes just increased further for this Third Round tie.
The team that Pochettino plays on Wednesday night is key, but a win here will do him the world of good despite the low esteem these early round matches are held in.
Arsenal for many years have played weaker sides in these games but after a disastrous week for the North London club, will Arsene Wenger change his policy? Come on, this is stubborn old Wenger, that seems unlikely.
If Arsenal do field a weaker side surely it gives Tottenham a good opportunity here. They’ll be on home turf, confident after a fine win over Crystal Palace on Sunday and for us betting men look like a decent price.
Arsenal have never won this competition under Arsene Wenger and have been out before the Quarter-Finals in the last two years. The only Premier League side they’ve beaten in the competition since 2011/12 have been Reading, who were relegated that season.
This evidence makes me feel that Arsenal’s second string team can’t compete at this level as effectively as they did in the past and at 7/5 make no appeal at White Hart Lane.
Tottenham struggled for years against Arsenal but in fact have now beaten them in five of the last six seasons. Last season was the first time since 1995/96 that Tottenham did better in the head-to-head clashes with their North London rivals.
So I think there are a few reasons to oppose Arsenal here on Wednesday but without knowing the strength of the Spurs team I’m happy to have a small stake on the draw at a chunky 13/5 with Bet365.
Tottenham v Arsenal – Draw (13/5 Bet365)
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Fancy Arsenal? How about backing them in a treble with Chelsea (playing Walsall) and Man Utd (home to Ipswich)?