Tottenham hosts Arsenal on Thursday evening in a crucial North London derby. Both sides are chasing a top-four finish and qualification for next season’s UEFA Champions League. The Gunners sit four points clear and can ensure a top-four berth with a victory. Spurs know a win is needed at home to extend their unbeaten home league record against Arsenal to eight matches.
Spurs find themselves a full four points off Arsenal in the table. Having won six of seven matches in a fine run, they had the situation in their own hands. Only Man Utd beat them during that streak. The side netted 25 goals in total over those seven matches, an average of 3.57 goals per match.
Their last four matches have seen the side win just once with five points accrued. They lost 1-0 at home to Brighton and drew 0-0 at Brentford with neither match seeing a shot on target. They only had five shots in total against the Seagulls and nine at the Bees. A 3-1 home win against Leicester followed by a 1-1 draw at Liverpool. Antonio Conte’s side have 39% and 35% possession respectively in those clashes.
Tottenham Team News
Antonio Conte has no fresh injuries from the draw at Liverpool. Sergio Reguilon and Matt Doherty are missing at wingback so Emerson Royal and Ryan Sessegnon will keep their places. Oliver Skipp and Japhet Tanganga are still out injured too.
The team will almost certainly be unchanged from Anfield. The only possible rotation could be Lucas Moura for Dejan Kulusevski but the lineup picks itself.
Very, very high motivation is expected for this match. Spurs may have played very defensively at Anfield but they have to press and attack in this match. A draw means that the third is no longer possible whilst a defeat ends their top-four hopes altogether.
A win puts Spurs one point off Arsenal and they can’t settle for anything less. If leading, expect Spurs to drop off and cede the ball to use fast transitions and counters.
The Gunners have stepped up very well in recent matches to take control of the top four race. A poor run of four losses in five matches saw them lose to Liverpool (0-2), Crystal Palace (0-3), Brighton (1-2), and Southampton (0-1). Mikel Arteta roused his troops to go to Stamford Bridge and beat Chelsea 4-2 after that to restore confidence.
A 3-1 home win against Man Utd followed with a bit of fortune before winning 2-1 at West Ham thanks to two set-piece goals. Their last match saw a 2-1 home win against Leeds as Eddie Nketiah scored twice. Leeds played more than an hour with ten men and Arsenal really should have won by at least two or three more goals, based on the chances they created.
Arsenal Team News
Mikel Arteta remains without Kieran Tierney at left-back and Thomas Partey in midfield. Mohamed Elneny will cover for the latter once again. Takehiro Tomiyasu is back after injury and played at left-back last time out in preference to Nuno Tavares. Arteta is expected to go with that selection again.
Eddie Nketiah is set to keep his place in attack after four goals in four matches. It will once again be a straight choice between Gabriel Martinelli and Emile Smith Rowe on the left flank.
The Gunners have a poor record at Spurs but know a win would secure a top-four finish. A draw would be a very good result too to keep a four-point lead with just two matches to play.
It won’t be easy for Arsenal to know how to approach this match. They can’t open up and expose themselves to Kane and Son on the counterattack.
Spurs are unbeaten in their last 7 home PL matches against Arsenal (W5, D2)
Tottenham have won 1 of their last 4 PL matches (D2, L1)
Tottenham have seen over 3.5 goals in 5 of their last 7 home PL matches
Spurs’ Kane has 11 goals in 16 matches against Arsenal
Arsenal have won their last 4 PL matches
Arsenal have lost 2 of their last 4 away PL matches
Arsenal have leaked 7 goals in their last 4 away matches (PL)
This should be a really exciting match. Spurs have to be more open and attacking than usual and they have shown themselves to be able to thrash teams when they attack in numbers. Arsenal would be delighted with a draw and may not know how to approach this match. A home win looks likely considering Spurs’ record vs Arsenal on their turf.
Best Bet: Tottenham win at 2.25
Alternative Bet: Over 3.5 goals at 3.10
Correct Score Tip: Spurs 3-1 Arsenal at 18.00
Multiplier Leg: Tottenham/Draw double chance + over 1.5 goals at 1.74