Tottenham hosts Arsenal on Sunday in a crucial North London derby. Antonio Conte’s side have been below their best of late with just five wins (and five losses) in their last 11 Premier League matches. The Gunners are five points clear at the top of the table and will want to do the double over his rivals.
Spurs have lost five of their last 11 league matches as early season title-talk has evaporated. They’re now 11 points off Arsenal having played a game more. Although those defeats came against some of the top side – away to Arsenal and Man Utd and at home to Newcastle and Liverpool – Tottenham also lost at home to Aston Villa on New Year’s Day.
Since the World Cup break, they’ve drawn 2-2 at Brentford from 2-0 down, lost to Villa and won 4-0 at Crystal Palace after scoring four times in the second half. Their last match saw a narrow 1-0 FA Cup victory against Portsmouth despite picking a very strong team.
Tottenham Team News
In attack, Spurs have serious injury issues. Lucas Moura, Richarlison and Dejan Kulusevski are all absent so Bryan Gil could get a third start in a row. Yves Bissouma and Rodrigo Bentancur are racing against time to be available in the engine room. Otherwise, Oliver Skipp or Pape Matar Sarr could get a start.
Eric Dier will hope to anchor the defence with Clement Lenglet and Ben Davies fighting it out to play at left centre back. Matt Doherty could be preferred once more to Emerson Royal as right wingback.
Conte’s side are going to play to win this match at home but an open, attacking approach is highly unlikely. Spurs are more likely to sit back, have around 40% possession and look to use counter attacks.
A draw would not be a bad result at all and may even feel like a win due to it having a hand in derailing Arsenal’s title charge.
The Gunners have had an amazing season and have dropped points in just two of their last 11 league fixtures. After four wins in a row, they surprisingly drew 1-1 at Southampton. A run of five successive victories followed with 15 goals scored. That run included wins at Chelsea and Wolves and at home to Nottingham Forest (5-0) and West Ham (3-1).
Arsenal then won 4-2 at Brighton in an end-to-end affair. Their last league match saw a 0-0 home draw with high-flying Newcastle. It proved a frustrating match with no big chances created by the Gunners and just 0.85 open play xG produced. In their last match, Arsenal won 3-0 away at Oxford United in the FA Cup third round.
Arsenal Team News
Mikel Arteta has just two injuries to contend with, to Gabriel Jesus and Reiss Nelson. Eddie Nketiah has been scoring freely since replacing Jesus post-World Cup and will lead the line again.
Arsenal’s side picks itself. Several players were kept fresh by not starting vs Oxford including Thomas Partey, Granit Xhaka, and Oleks Zinchenko.
Arteta’s side will go all out to win this match regardless of whether City have beaten Man Utd a day before. Perhaps pressure will be greater if their lead has been cut to two points by Guardiola’s side or it could lead to a very fast start.
Arsenal are great at controlling matches once leading. Should they fall behind, Arteta does not have the deepest bench to call upon.
Tottenham have won 6 of their last 7 home matches against Arsenal (all competitions)
Spurs have lost 5 of their last 11 PL matches
There have been over 2.5 goals scored in 6 of Tottenham’s last 7 PL matches.
Arsenal have won nine of their last 11 PL matches (D2)
Arsenal have won 7/9 away matches with just six goals conceded
Arsenal have failed to score in 5 of their last 7 away matches vs Spurs
This should be a game with goals, even if Spurs play quite defensively. This fixture tends to see exciting matches and over 3.5 goals looks a good bet. Arsenal are playing much better and even away from and even with their poor record at Spurs, they have enough to take three points.
Best Bet: Over 3.5 goals at 2.85
Alternative Bet: Arsenal win at 2.20
High Value Correct Score Tip: Spurs 2-3 Arsenal at 21.00
Multiplier Leg: Arsenal/Draw double chance + over 1.5 goals at 1.71