Local rivals Tottenham and Arsenal lock horns on Sunday in what promises to be a gripping North London derby at White Hart Lane with so much at stake. The neighbours are currently locked in a battle with Chelsea for a top four spot and subsequent qualification into next season’s Champions League, which adds extra bite to one of the Premier League’s most explosive and entertaining fixtures.
Prior to this weekend’s string of top flight matches it is Spurs who occupy third spot with 51 points, followed by Chelsea back in fourth with 49, whilst Arsenal are currently out the loop in fifth and four points adrift of third place. Therefore, a Spurs win on Sunday would really rupture the Gunners’ chances of finishing in the top four, whilst in contrast, an away win would see Arsene Wenger’s men reduce the gap between themselves and Spurs to just a single point. Meanwhile Chelsea have a potentially tricky match at home to seventh placed West Brom meaning a straightforward win is by no means assured.
Spurs and Arsenal head into the match in good form domestically, with both looking for their fourth consecutive league win and it is Tottenham who have been installed as the favourites to do just that and make home advantage count. The hosts are enjoying an unbeaten 11 league game run and will be difficult to beat at White Hart Lane. Arsenal’s late win against Aston Villa last week will have restored a small dose of confidence and they can be found at 21/10 to come away with a valuable victory, while a draw is available at 12/5.
The man of the moment Gareth Bale is in simply scintillating form at present. A number of electric performances have drawn compliments from all quarters, with the Welshman smashing in six goals in his last four league games, which has taken his top flight tally to 15. He has opened the scoring in his last three games, making him a very attractive proposition at 5/1 in the first goalscorer market ahead of Sunday’s game, while he can be backed at 13/10 to score anytime and 7/1 to score two or more goals.
One key characteristic of North London derbies is goals. In the last eight meetings between the sides there has been a staggering 39 goals! This has included back-to-back 5-2 wins for Arsenal. With this in mind, over 4.5 goals is an attractive bet at 7/2, while six or more can be backed at a tempting 7/1 if you think history can repeat itself!
On home soil Spurs will be determined to get revenge for those recent pummellings against the Gunners and can draw confidence from their fine form and the fact they are unbeaten in four league games against Wenger’s men at White Hart Lane. This has included two 2-1 victories, with that scoreline available at a decent looking price of 15/2.
Arsenal could be worth backing at 20/1 to come away with a 3-2 victory, while they are worth a look at 5/1 to win with three or four total goals in the match. Santi Cazorla bagged a brace against Villa last weekend and looks good value at 9/1 in the first goalscorer market and 11/4 to score anytime. Meanwhile Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud are both available at 2/1 to get their names on the score sheet.
Often, big games in the Premier League can often result in anti-climax but that is seldom the case in the North London derby and I don’t consider it to be sticking my neck out too much to call another thriller this time around and I’m going to call a Spurs victory that will no doubt add more pressure to Wenger’s waning tenure at Arsenal.