For the first time in more than two decades, the North London Derby takes place without Arsene Wenger on the touchline. Arsenal host Tottenham at the Emirates with energetic head coach Unai Emery getting a first taste of one of English football’s most venomous derby.
Arsenal, unbeaten in 18 games across all competitions, took a young squad to Kyiv and won comfortably against Vorskla. Tottenham won their sixth consecutive game against Internazionale at Wembley in the Champions League. Two of English football’s form teams meet with more than three points at stake.
The win over Vorskla provided more evidence that Unai Emery is getting his message through to the Arsenal squad whoever is selected for the XI. It was a young side which featured in the Europa League with Rob Holding likely to be the only player to start. The former England Under-21 international has been a revelation for the Gunners this season, benefitting from Emery’s more tactical approach to matches.
Like Hector Bellerin, Holding took a few games to adapt but the pair are now at the heart of Arsenal’s back four. It’s been six games now since the Gunners conceded over 1.5 goals although they haven’t kept a clean sheet in the Premier League since beating Watford 2 – 0 at the Emirates in late September.
Victory at Bournemouth ended a run of three consecutive draws, games in which Arsenal scored under 1.5 goals. That coincided with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette both suffering minor injuries at different times. Between them, the pair have 13 Premier League goals and three assists.
The chief supply route comes from the flanks, particularly on the right with Bellerin in full flow. The Spaniard has four assists in the Premier League with Aaron Ramsey also reaching that level. However, the Wales international is likely to play no more than a bit part role with Emery decided reputation is no guarantee of a place in the side.
For Arsenal, victory is important with three points seeing them leapfrog Spurs in the Premier League table.
For a misfiring side, Tottenham aren’t doing badly this season. Third in the Premier League albeit with an outside chance of mounting a title challenge, Mauricio Pochettino’s side are also in control of their Champions League destiny thanks to the win over Inter.
The only thing Pochettino cannot do is build the new Tottenham Stadium any quicker. Spurs are planning for the remainder of their home games this season to be played at Wembley, despite publicly targeting a February fixture to open their new ground.
They may benefit from that. Three wins and two draws from their five home matches so far this season is distinctly average; if they weren’t the Premier League’s form team on their travels, their league position might be a predicament. As it is, 21 points out of 24 is four better than Liverpool and seven more than Manchester City. That needs to be tempered, however, by the fact they played one and two more away games than those clubs.
Equally, the 3 – 0 win at Manchester United aside, is it any less than the Lilywhites would expect from those matches? Five of the eight are in the bottom half of the table and none in the top six. They face the toughest road trips of all the major clubs in 2019.
And at Arsenal, they haven’t won in the last eight (D3, L5) and just once in the last 28 matches at Highbury/the Emirates (D10, L18). The away side in the North London Derby hasn’t scored in the last three meetings and the last two times Spurs scored more than 1.5 goals at the Emirates, they lost 5 – 2 in consecutive seasons.
Goals are in short supply in the matches played at Arsenal. The last six seasons saw under 2.5 goals in the North London Derby.
FORM (Last six Premier League games)
Arsenal - WWDDDW
Spurs - WWLWWW
CURRENT MATCH ODDS (BEST PRICED ODDS)
Arsenal: 28/17 – Unibet!
Draw: 5/2 – Coral!
Tottenham: 7/4 – BetVictor!
HEAD TO HEAD
Last six meetings
Date Competition Result
10-02-2018 EPL Tottenham 1 : 0 Arsenal
18-11-2017 EPL Arsenal 2 : 0 Tottenham
30-04-2017 EPL Tottenham 2 : 0 Arsenal
06-11-2016 EPL Arsenal 1 : 1 Tottenham
05-03-2016 EPL Tottenham 2 : 2 Arsenal
08-11-2015 EPL Arsenal 1 : 1 Tottenham
It’s the biggest match of both clubs seasons, with the added spice of the Champions League places up for grabs. For the first time in a couple of seasons, there is a genuine sense that Arsenal are contenders for the top four.
However, the Gunners still have an air of vulnerability at the back with Shkodran Mustafi proving impulsive. The return of Sokratis saw Emery revert to a back three at Bournemouth; will he do the same here, particularly with Harry Kane scoring six in his last eight games for club and country.
With Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen both returning to full fitness, Pochettino has a strong attacking line-up. His concern must be the wobbles suffered by Hugo Lloris; the France goalkeeper needs to produce a strong performance with Lacazette and Aubameyang in good goalscoring form.
The question seems to be more on the defence. Arsenal’s left side is vulnerable as are Tottenham’s full-backs and Toby Alderweireld has his moments where the mists descend in front of his eyes, befuddling his defensive nous. Whoever makes the fewest mistakes is likeliest to take three points.
MY RECOMMENDED BETS
- Total goals under 2.5: 29/20 – BetVictor!
- Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang anytime goalscorer: 13/8 – Coral!
- Arsenal to win and both teams to score: 16/5 – Betfair!
- Harry Kane first goalscorer: 37/10 – Unibet!
>>> Arsenal vs Tottenham Betting Offers <<<
Money Back as a Free Bet if Arsenal beat Tottenham
Applies to the fixture taking place on Sunday 2nd December. Applies to losing singles placed pre-match only. Applies to First Goalscorer, Last Goalscorer, Anytime Goalscorer, Correct Score and WhatOddsPaddy markets. Max free bet €10 per customer. T&Cs apply.
Please note all odds are correct at the time of publishing (12:30 1st December 2018) and are subject to change