A North London Derby that could produce fireworks

Last updated: February 8, 2018 by Leon Marshal

Game details

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Kick-off: Saturday, 12:30
Venue: Wembley
Coverage: Sky Sports 1
Home Team Form: DWDWD
Away Team Form: DLWLW
Last Meeting: Arsenal 2 – 0 Tottenham
Competition: Premier League

The footballing weekend could start with a bang on Saturday lunchtime, as the North London derby takes place at Wembley. Arsenal beat Spurs comfortably in the reverse fixture, but times have changed, and Tottenham are looking the more likely of the pair to finish in the Champions League spots.

Being a North London derby though, anything could happen, but Spurs are in good form. Unbeaten in their last eight league games, Spurs also beat Newport County on Thursday to go through in a replay of a fourth round FA Cup fixture. Pochettino was able to rest most of his key players for that match, so the likes of Harry Kane and Christian Eriksen, both in fine form, will be rested and ready to go. Spurs also welcomed back Toby Alderweireld to the team, but he may not be risked in this match. The defender is undoubtedly one of the best in the league, but needs to build up match fitness, so Pochettino may stick with the Vertonghen and Sanchez at the back. Those two must be at their best. Arsenal have added significant firepower to their attack, which put five goals past Everton in their last match.

Goals usually aren’t too difficult for Tottenham to find either and Arsenal’s defence has been particularly frail of late. No clean sheets in eight highlights the problem and Arsenal won’t be able to outscore every opponent, especially one so organised and disciplined as Spurs. Nevertheless, with recent results going their way, Arsenal once again may believe they have a shot at the Champions League spots. Though it won’t be easy; after this match, they face Manchester City in the league, sandwiched between their Europa league fixtures against Östersund. Nacho Monreal is a slight doubt for the match, but if he is passed fit, then Wenger has an almost fully fit squad to choose from for this most vital run of fixtures. With a new look deadly front three of Mesut Özil, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, along with Aaron Ramsey returning to the midfield, Arsenal can beat any team on their day, but they must drastically improve in defence.

Team News

Harry Kane bagged his 100th goal for Tottenham last week and will be looking to score his seventh goal in the North London derby.

Toby Alderweireld is finally over a hamstring injury but now needs to build up his match fitness to get back into the team.

Nacho Monreal was substituted due to injury in the last game, but could be fit in time for this one.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s debut last week meant Andre Lacezette was resigned to the bench. Arsenal have a wealth of attacking options, so it will be interesting to see how they line up.

Expected Line-Ups:

Tottenham (4-2-3-1): Lloris, Trippier, Sánchez, Vertonghen, Davies, Dembélé, Dier, Alli, Eriksen, Son Heung-min, Kane
Subs: Lamela, Wanyama, Vorm, Sissoko, Llorente, Aurier, Winks
Doubtful: Lucas Moura, Alderweireld
Not available:
Arsenal (4-3-3): Ospina, Bellerin, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal, Ramsey, Xhaka, Iwobi, Özil, Mkhitaryan, Aubameyang
Subs: Lacazette, Wilshere, Macey, Chambers, Maitland-Niles, Kolasinac, El Neny
Injured: Cazorla, Welbeck
Doubtful: Monreal, Cech
Not available:

So Far This Season

. . .
Tottenham So Far This Season Arsenal So Far This Season
5th League Position 6th
8 (6) Wins (away) 10 (3)
5 – 1 vs. Stoke Biggest Win 5 – 0 vs. Huddersfield
4 (3) Draws (away) 2 (4)
0 – 4 vs Liverpool Biggest Defeat 1 – 4 vs Manchester City
Harry Kane (22) Top Goal Scorer Alexandre Lacazette (9)
Y33, R2 Discipline Y39, R0
3 Failures to Score 4
11 Clean Sheets 9
50% Both Teams to Score Games 57%
46% Over 2.5 Goals 57%
54% Under 2.5 Goals 43%
  • Spurs have failed to score just three times this season, with the last time being against Arsenal way back in November. A repeat clean sheet doesn’t look on the cards for Arsenal then.
  • Nine clean sheets for the season is not a bad number for Arsenal, but they haven’t kept a clean sheet in their last eight matches.
  • Tottenham have lost just one home game all season and that was against Chelsea on just the second day of the season.
  • Arsenal’s away form has been their downfall this season. The Gunners have won just three of their thirteen away games, compared with ten of their thirteen home games.

Head to Head

Last Five Competitive Meetings Between The Sides
Date Game Result Round First Goal-scorer
18/11/2017 Arsenal 2 – 0 Tottenham Premier League Mustafi 36′
30/04/2017 Tottenham 2 – 0 Arsenal Premier League Alli 55′
06/11/2016 Arsenal 1 – 1 Tottenham Premier League Wimmer OG 42′
05/03/2016 Tottenham 2 – 2 Arsenal Premier League Ramsey 39′
08/11/2015 Arsenal 1 – 1 Tottenham Premier League Kane 32′

Conclusion & Betting Tips

Being a North London derby, one should perhaps expect fireworks. It’s a new look Arsenal team that was so successful in its first outing – putting five past Everton – and we expect that the Gunners will go into this with all guns blazing.

But Tottenham are a cunning foe and difficult to beat even on a bad day. Despite the pre-season warnings that Spurs can’t play at Wembley, they’ve lost just one league game there all season, way back in week two of the season. That, coupled with Arsenal’s away form – three wins in thirteen away games – would lead any sensible bettor to fancy Spurs here. But, as we said, anything can happen in a derby of this magnitude and the safer bet seems to suggest that the occasion will bring goals.

A Spurs draw no bet may work for some then, but we’ll be going with both teams to score, as Arsenal head into this one confident and knowing that a draw really does little to help their cause. You can get this and other bets at Boyle Sports.