Premier League Betting Preview: Tottenham vs. Arsenal – The Battle of North London hits Wembley Stadium
Saturday lunchtime sees the much anticipated second Premier League north London derby of the season. A new look Arsenal forward line heads to Wembley to face a Spurs side on the back of two confidence boosting performances against their top four rivals.
Last time the sides faced each other Arsenal ran out 2-0 winners at the Emirates with goals from Shkodran Mustafi and Alexis Sanchez. The Chilean has now of course left north London for Manchester, but Arsenal fans will be happy with their forward line January transfer business. The big news was the signing of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, the arrival of Henrikh Mkhitaryan as part of the Sanchez deal, and the contract extension of mercurial German playmaker Mesut Ozil. The skill, guile and pace of these three combined can be absolutely devastating when on song, just as they were in the rout of Everton last weekend.
It’s no surprise that Aubameyang is 13/10 to score at any time with William Hill. You can also get 45/1 for him to bag the first hat-trick of his Arsenal career and really write himself into Gunners folklore.
A man who has already written himself into north London football folklore is Harry Kane. The 24-year-old is fresh off the back of netting his 100th Premier League goal in the thrilling 2-2 draw with Liverpool at Anfield. Kane has been in headline-grabbing form so far this season and is the Premier League’s top scorer with 22 goals, finding the net every 97 minutes. He may not have scored in his side’s last home encounter, but he showed all the top attributes that make him one of the most feared strikers in world football.
Against Manchester United, Kane harried, out-fought and frankly bullied the entire back four of Jose Mourinho’s team. He was a constant menace continually putting them on the backfoot and pulling them apart to create the space for his teammates to thrive. He’ll be looking to do exactly the same against Arsenal with their likely centre-half pairing of Mustafi and Laurent Koscielny in for a tough afternoon. Kane did everything but score against United, but he’ll be fancying his chances in this encounter as he has a goal every time he’s faced the old enemy in the Premier League apart from one – this season’s earlier fixture.
You can get odds of 3/4 of him making it lucky number seven in the Premier League against Arsenal, with a goal at any time in this encounter with William Hill.
While Kane and Aubameyang may be competing for the goals, the supply line for each comes from players all with claims to be the most creative in the Premier League. Ozil is the assist king, but often blows hot and cold, sometimes going hiding in these big north-London derby games. Mkhitaryan may have struggled at times at Old Trafford but he hit the ground running in the creative stakes with a trio of assists on his Arsenal debut. If the Spurs full-backs push on as is their game, both Mkhitaryan and Ozil will look to exploit the space left in behind them with through balls making the most of the pace of their new centre forward.
Behind Kane, Christian Eriksen and Dele Alli will be looking to operate between the lines of Arsenal’s defence and midfield making the most of Arsene Wenger’s lack of a real holding midfielder. Aaron Ramsey, fresh from his goal scoring exploits against Everton will look to push on wherever possible, while Granit Xhaka lacks the tactical discipline of the best in this position. It’s here where Mauricio Pochettino will look for his charges to inflict the most damage. Backed by the strength of Moussa Dembele and Eric Dier, Eriksen and Alli could well have the run of the midfield. We think this where the game for Tottenham will be won.
When it comes to the head to head, Spurs won this fixture 2-0 last time out with goals from Alli and Kane from the penalty spot. The last time Arsenal won away at their north London neighbours in the Premier League was in 2014, although they did win a League Cup encounter at White Hart Lane the following year. The sides have only met each other twice before at Wembley, both in FA Cup semi-finals in the 90s with a win apiece; Spurs in 1991 and Arsenal in 1993.
We think Spurs will make that two wins from three Wembley encounters running out winners in a high-scoring affair on Saturday lunchtime. We’re backing Aubameyang to find the net again, but Kane will have the last laugh in a 3-2 thriller of a win for Spurs.
To find out how you can bet for free on the North London derby, head to our free betting page to view the best free bets.
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