The North London derby is back! Tottenham host Arsenal at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium, in what will surely be 90 minutes of intensity, controversy and physicality.
To Win Match
Tottenham 9/4 | Draw 26/10 | Arsenal 12/10
Oh, how the wheel turns…the last time these two teams faced off in the league just one point split them, and Spurs were unbeaten. Fast forward to this game and Spurs is in fifth position, playing a brand of football which can hardly be described as anything near inspiring or reminiscent of their aggressive manager.
I have certainly been one to applaud the efforts of Antonio Conte at Spurs, he had that team working hard in and out of possession, a team who was running further than any other around them, a team with a structure that at times seemed impenetrable. The dense outlook so often associated with Conte’s defensive style was being rebranded and polished to get fans in London dreaming of all sorts of dizzying success.
For me, there just seems to still be a disconnect at Spurs. The manager seems a little frustrated at times, the big-name players at Spurs are often associated with moves away from the club and the media focus remains on off-field talks and opportunities. The bottom line is that Spurs need to find success with the football sooner rather than later. A win against their bitter rivals, given the sort of start Arsenal have made would be just the sort of thing they need.
Their last five league outings have seen them win just twice, lose twice, and settle for a draw. It’s not good enough for a club wanting to compete for a top four spot in England. Needless to say, that for a team coached by Conte, keeping just one clean sheet in that time denotes serious concerns.
Predicted Line-up: Lloris, Romero, Lenglet, Davies, Doherty, Bissouma, Hojbjerg, Perisic, Gil, Heung-min, Kane.
The improvement that Arsenal have found in such a short space of time is remarkable. Mikel Arteta has proven that patience and belief in a manager is everything but having a young team hungry to fight for top honours and yet humble to work within a system is the bread and butter of any success.
The youngsters at Arsenal are the future of their respective countries, but they are now also the stars that look to be edging closer to restoring English success at the Emirates. The football Arsenal play is exciting and inclusive, but it holds on tightly to a more conservative approach.
Their defensive structure exists only to hold a shape and transition the ball back into their attacking spaces, after that the creativity and ability of the individual player takes over. I cannot see how Spurs will deal with the free-flowing attack their hosts will pursue, mainly because I can’t see how Spurs stay relevant in this game.
Predicted Line-up: Ramsdale, Zinchenko, Magalhaes, Saliba, White, Xhaka, Partey, Odegaard, Saka, Nketiah, Martinelli.
Prediction: Arsenal (12/10)
I’m sorry to say it like this, but Arsenal win. I cannot believe the price available, almost as much as I can’t believe the difference between these two teams now. I would take a decent bet on the nose, but also add this to every betting slip you have this weekend.