Arsenal vs Tottenham preview, betting tips and prediction: Stalemate most likely in North London Derby
Tottenham to win and BTTS
Arsenal to win 2-1
Arsenal host Tottenham in the first North London derby at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday. The Gunners are traditionally the stronger side in this fixture, but face a really tough game against Mauricio Pochettino’s side, who have been very strong away from home this season. That said, Spurs will be keen to bounce back after a late defeat to Manchester United a fortnight ago. The Gunners also lost to Manchester City last time out, leaving them well off the pace in both the title race and the battle for Champions League places.
Arsene Wenger’s side are sixth in the Premier League, 12 points off City after their 3-1 loss. But they’re just four behind Spurs, and a victory could galvanise them ahead of a tough Christmas period. If the visitors win, though, they will move into second for a short time at least, with Manchester United hosting Newcastle on Saturday evening.
We believe this one could go either way. There is value in backing both sides, but it is tough to call.
It is hard to see Arsenal launching a genuine title assault from their current position, but they have been in much better shape than they were at the Etihad Stadium last time. Over the last six games in all competitions, including in the Europa League, the Gunners have won four; their 5-2 victory over Everton was particularly impressive, ending Ronald Koeman’s 18-month reign at Goodison Park last month. Their win over Swansea in their last league game at the Emirates Stadium showed a good attitude, coming back from 1-0 down, but they will need to be quicker out the blocks to avoid a poor result in this one.
Tottenham, meanwhile, will be celebrating their Champions League win over Real Madrid for some time. They bettered a good performance and result at the Santiago Bernabeu, where they drew 1-1. Domestically, they are looking strong despite losing to United, sitting level on points with Jose Mourinho’s men, losing just twice in 11 games this season. Although they have not lost at Wembley since August, they have struggled to reach their top level at their temporary home; the 1-0 win over Crystal Palace suggests they may be tougher to face at the Emirates Stadium.
Arsenal continue to be without German defender Shkodran Mustafi, who has been out since September, but otherwise shouldn’t have any issues in terms of team selection. It was a surprise to see Alexandre Lacazette dropped from the start against Manchester City, but his goal should ensure he starts alongside Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil once again.
There are more high profile issues for Spurs, who faced Crystal Palace last time out without goalkeeper Hugo Lloris and defender Toby Alderweireld. Doubts also surround striker Harry Kane, who missed the England games against Germany and Brazil last week, and Dele Alli. Mousa Dembele has not yet earned his first team place back after long-term injury, but he could feature alongside Danny Rose, who recently returned after almost a year out himself.