Saturday 18th November. 12:30PM. Sky Sports
Premier League football is back with a bang as the weekend’s action begins with a lunchtime showdown between Arsenal and Tottenham at the Emirates.
The fierce rivalry has become bigger than ever in recent years with both teams now sitting at the top table of English football. Both teams will be determined to claim the bragging rights on Saturday, not least because a win could be vital for their respective campaigns. We should be in for a cracker.
Gunners Out To Blow Spurs Title Bid Away
Only one side from north London has challenged for the title in recent years and it hasn’t been Arsenal. With 12 points separating Arsene Wenger’s men from table-topping Manchester City, and hopes of winning a first crown since 2004 are already dead. As a consolation, though, winning the derby could virtually end Tottenham’s too.
More importantly, though, three points would put the Gunners back on track for a return to Champions League qualification via a top four finish and would see them move to just one point adrift of their fiercest rivals. Given that they still boast a 100% home record in the league, there’s every reason for confidence.
Santi Cazorla is the only first choice starter still missing through injury, which will allow Arsenal to field one of their strongest teams. A front trio of Alexandre Lacazette, Mesut Ozil, and Alexi Sanchez will be eager to give the home fans something to cheer.
Then again, the visitors won’t be rolling over lightly.
Pochettino Sweating On Big Stars
Having seen a trio of England stars miss the international break, Mauricio Pochettino will be desperate for Harry Kane, Dele Alli and Harry Winks to all be fit enough for the starting lineup. Thankfully for the visitors, it looks like all three, along with Hugo Lloris will be back in the starting XI as Spurs bid for a crucial win that would move them into second, at leat on a temporary basis.
Tottenham are without Toby Alderweireld, however, which could see Eric Dier fill in at centre-back once more. Whatever team Spurs opt for, they’ll need to do better than they did in the 1-0 loss at Old Trafford last month. Then again, after brushing aside Everton, West Ham and Huddersfield on their travels, they can be optimistic of a famous result here.
Despite performing better overall in the past couple of seasons, Spurs haven’t tasted victory at the Emirates since 2010 while they’ve additionally won just one of the last four league meetings overall. That win did come from the most recent encounter, April’s memorable final derby at White Hart Lane, and that could give them the impetus against their rivals once more.
It’s a huge clash for both rivals. If it lives up to the billing, it should be an epic battle.
Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur Betting
With home advantage on their side, Arsenal are considered the slight favourites by Ladbrokes and are priced 23/17 to grab the win. Tottenham can be backed at 9/5 while the draw is 5/2.
Prior to the 2-0 result in April, six head-to-head meetings had ended in BTTS winners. With Kane, Lacazette, Sanchez, and Alli on the pitch, there’s every chance we’ll see plenty of goalmouth action once more.
Passions will be high, and neither team really wants a draw. Back both teams to score, with at least one of them grabbing a second.
There are plenty of players capable of scoring on both sides. However, nobody will want to find the target quite like Lacazette.
The Frenchman has performed well in spite of not always starting. Wenger will be expected to name him in the team here, which will give the summer signing a chance to truly win the fans over in his first north London derby. At 6/4, he’s well worth backing for a goal.