James CookeArsenal vs Tottenham, Sunday September 1st, 16:30, Emirates Stadium. The first North London derby of the new season takes place with both Arsenal and Tottenham eager to get back to winning ways.
The first North London derby of the new season takes place with both Arsenal and Tottenham eager to get back to winning ways.
Of the two defeats that precede the meeting of Arsenal and Spurs – the former away at Liverpool, the latter at home to Newcastle – it’s arguably the Gunners’ minor trouncing at Anfield that was the more disappointing for supporters.
To a degree, Spurs had one of those games against Newcastle – one where they dominate possession but, having fallen behind early, couldn’t get it together long enough to equalise. With almost 80% of the football, Spurs managed only two shots on target. They faced a Newcastle side digging as deep as possible to get a result, Joelinton’s early goal giving them something to defend.
And yet, with 17 shots on goal to Newcastle’s eight, more often than not Spurs at least draw level in that game. With a settled Christian Eriksen, maybe they even win it. But Arsenal were thoroughly outclassed by Liverpool. Unai Emery changed the team’s shape to try and combat the Reds’ approach, but all he got was a 3-1 defeat.
No shape whatsoever can account for some of David Luiz’s defending against Mohamed Salah. Perhaps the only comfort is that Harry Kane won’t run in behind the Brazilian in the same way, but Luiz has a history of finding new and ingenious ways of letting defenders get away from him. Kane – having started the season with a couple of goals – should plunder more against such wayward defending.
But at the other end, Nicolas Pepe looked dangerous on the break at Anfield, and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette are always a threat too. Dani Ceballos has impressed since joining on loan from Real Madrid and if Arsenal go on the attack then whichever combination of players gets the nod to start should make hay.
It all points to this being a derby where attacks are on top. That usually leads to goals and with not a lot to separate the two rivals, a 2-2 draw is in the offing.
The last time the teams met – at Tottenham in March – the game ended 1-1. There was also a 2-2 draw in March 2016 and a 1-1 draw in September 2014. Indeed, there tends to be goals in this game no matter what but early in the season, with them both working through some problems on and off the pitch, parity could break out. A score draw is 16/5 at 888Sport.
Tottenham have conceded the first goal in all three Premier League fixtures they’ve played this season. They came from behind to beat Aston Villa, fought to get a draw at Manchester City and lost to Newcastle. Arsenal, with something to prove after losing at Liverpool, can continue that streak. It’s 5/6 at 10Bet for the home team to score first.
Arsenal’s last win at home over Spurs came just a few weeks before that encounter – a 4-2 victory when Aubameyang and Lacazette both got on the score sheet. Lucas Torreira scored the other goal, while Eric Dier and Kane were on target for Spurs. With such varied recent results, the best betting sites are right to expect this to be a close match.
The last draw at Arsenal was in November 2016, a Kevin Wimmer own goal cancelled out by Kane’s penalty.
While Arsenal have six points to Spurs’ four, the teams have very similar goals for and against records – Arsenal have scored four and conceded for, while Spurs have scored five and conceded four.
No Premier League goalkeeper has made more saves this season than Hugo Lloris.
Only Raheem Sterling has been caught offside more times than Arsenal’s Aubameyang.
The three goals Spurs have scored from outside the penalty area is the most in the Premier League so far.
Aspiring football journalist who realised he could put his vast knowledge towards gambling and making some money. With years spent on Football Manager, his boyhood obsession has carried over into his adult life and he's proven his mum that all that time spent playing a game wasn't to be wasted. A European football expert, James writes about anything on the continent and has began expanding his knowledge to other leagues in South America, Asia and the USA.