WE tasked Will Dyer (@w2Dyer) with finding a winner in the North London Derby. Arsenal come into the game in fine form whilst Spurs are off colour – will Harry Kane’s return give the visitors a result?
Arsenal v Spurs | Sunday 12:00 | BT Sport 1
The North London derby comes at a time when the two fierce rivals are in contrasting form. Arsenal are unbeaten in the Premier League in nine games since losing at home to Liverpool on the opening weekend whilst Spurs are winless in six in all competitions.
Arsenal’s’ good form towards the backend of last season means that they’ve now lost just one of their last 19 games in the league. Spurs are also doing well in the league, unbeaten in 10 games in total; the only side in the top-flight yet to lose. However, the same cannot be said for their cup form.
Tottenham were knocked out of the EFL Cup at Anfield in late October and sit third in their Champions League group after losing twice at Wembley to Monaco and Bayer Leverkusen. They’ve also drawn their last three in the league, scoring just two goals in the process.
I think it’s fair to say that they miss Harry Kane and Toby Alderweireld. Kane has not played since the 1-0 win over Sunderland in mid-September. Since then Spurs have played 10 games in all competitions and scored more than once in just three of those games.
Vincent Janssen has scored three times in that stretch of games but all of them were from the penalty spot. His build up play is pretty good but he’s not getting in the right positions to score. Overall I’m just not sure he’s up to it at this level.
Son Heung-Min was in terrific form but he’s also hit a rough patch, failing to score in his last six. However, Kane is back in the squad for this one and considering the form of his fellow frontmen I expect him to start. The Tottenham man has scored four goals in his last four London derbies.
This game has been a banker for goals over the years. 34 of the last 44 meetings have been Both Teams To Score (BTTS) winners and although Tottenham are struggling to find the net I fancy that to change with Kane back. BTTS goes in the book at 4/6 with Betfair.
Tottenham have done rather well against Arsenal in recent times. The last two seasons have seen three draws and one Tottenham win.
Arsenal did record a victory over their bitter rivals in a 2-1 win at White Hart Lane last September thanks to a brace from Mathieu Flamini but league head to heads certainly take precedence.
Arsenal narrowly survived a big scare against Ludogorets in midweek; coming from 2-0 down to win 3-2 thanks to an exceptional, composed last-minute goal from Mesut Ozil. In the league though they are the form team and sit level on points with Liverpool and Manchester City at the top.
Spurs are just three points behind their North London foes. Defensively it’s not a stretch to say that they are the best team in the league at the minute. Last season they conceded the least goals (34) and this year their five conceded is three better than anyone else in the division.
The problem is that Toby Alderweireld is certainly a key factor in that defensive prowess and in addition Spurs haven’t kept a clean sheet away to Arsenal since 1998.
Hector Bellerin, Nacho Monreal and Theo Walcott were all doubts earlier in the week but returned to training on Friday. It means that Arsene Wenger can call upon all of Olivier Giroud, Alexis Sanchez and Theo Walcott for the first time in over two months.
I do make Arsenal favourites but backing them at even-money isn’t too appetising. Spurs are very tough to beat and only nine of those previously mentioned 44 meetings between these two have been settled by a winning margin of more than one goal.
The best way of combining these factors looks to be by betting on the winning margin. Arsenal to win by exactly one goal is 37/13 with 188Bet and that’s my best bet.