Tottenham v Arsenal – White Hart Lane at 12:45 live on BT Sport 1
The North London Derby is always a fiery, yet hugely engrossing encounter and those attributes are bound to be amplified during this weekend’s clash at White Hart Lane, because for the first time in Premier League history, both clubs are fighting for title.
In what is undoubtedly the weakest incarnation of the Premier League since its inception back in 1992, Spurs are one of the sides who have taken full advantage of the opportunity and are now worthy second favourites to claim their first title since the 1960/61 season!
Arsenal, despite being the only remaining ‘big’ club left with a realistic chance of winning the league, continue to lurch from poor result to poor result, as they again wilt under pressure, not to mention Arsene Wenger’s stubbornness to strengthen his squad when he had the chance.
The Gunners have not claimed the crown of Champions since the 2003/04 season and another defeat at the home of their local rivals would be another near terminal blow, to what has been their best chance to win the league in 12 years.
Coming into this huge match, Mauricio Pochettino’s side had been the form team in the Premier League with six straight wins, including the hugely impressive 2-1 victory over Manchester City at the Etihad.
Unfortunately, their trip to local rivals West Ham did not go as planned, as the happy Hammers put an end to that potentially title winning form with a gritty 1-0 win at the Boleyn ground. However, Spurs are built from sterner stuff these days and they will be confident in their chances of toppling Arsenal tomorrow, given the current form of their most hated rival.
In 2016, Wenger’s team have collapsed like Jose Aldo after a straight left from Conor McGregor, their league record this year is currently P9 W3 D3 L3. Plus, with the two most damaging defeats coming in their previous two games, confidence at the club must be plummeting.
On top of this, both Petr Cech and Laurent Koscielny will be unavailable for the Derby after picking up injuries in the loss against Swansea. Finally, Alexis Sanchez has come out in the press and admitted that, “We lack this hunger to believe that we can be champions”!
Spurs have won three and drawn one of their last five meetings with Arsenal at White Hart Lane and based on the current form & injuries already mentioned, I would be surprised if Spurs were to lose this game tomorrow.
The betting markets have priced them up as 2.35 favourites which, equates to a -0.25 Asian Handicap line. This is a line that they have fully covered in 8 of their 14 home matches, Arsenal on the other hand, have only fully covered this line once on the road against top half opposition so far this season.
You can currently back Spurs -0.25 at 2.05 and that represents about 4% value according to my model, plus with the respective form and injuries taken into account, the only option is to side with the home team this weekend.
However, being a Derby match form often counts for very little and Arsenal are still good enough to beat anyone on their day. So, if you are not feeling as confident as me, backing Spurs +/-0 at 1.72 would be the way to go.
Personally, I am confident in Pochettino and his young team, especially in front of their own fans. So, I am going to go the other way and back them on the -0.5 line instead and enjoy the spoils of the larger payout.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Tottenham -0.5 at 2.38
Prices correct at the time of writing.
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