It is a super Saturday of Premier League derby matches, starting with Liverpool v Everton as a curtain raiser, and then the North London clash between Arsenal and Spurs to round off the day with.
Kick-off time: Saturday 17:30
It is definitely a fixture in which the Gunners have had the upper hand, losing just one of their last 21 on home turf against Spurs in the Premier League. Good enough to warrant backing Wenger’s men again then.
So to Arsenal. Thankfully for Gunners’ fans, it seems as if Arsene Wenger has remembered that Mesut Ozil is naturally at home in the number ten position, and that is where Arsenal are going to get the best out of the German. Now all it needs is for Ozil and Alexis Sanchez to click, and with the support coming through the midfield from the dynamic Aaron Ramsey, then there is cover there for the Gunners who are lightweight up top. From what has been seen of Danny Welbeck so far, Man United may have been justified in selling off the England man.
Arsenal miss Olivier Giroud, and Welbeck still looks panicky and unconvincing as the man to lead the line. There’s plenty of room for improvement though, but with him still looking green around the ears, it is where the Arsenal midfield have to step up their games in terms of lending support and gambling in getting forward. It has been an understated start from Arsenal this season, winning two and drawing three, but they are the only side alongside Chelsea to remain unbeaten in the top flight so far.
So they must be doing something kind of right. Arsenal won both league fixtures against the Lilywhites by a 1-0 scoreline last season, and that should be a huge tempter for punters to back again in the Correct Score market. Prior to last season, each league meeting in the previous four seasons between them had gone over 2.5 goals, including those incredible back to back 5-2 wins for the Gunners at home over their rivals. But we could be entering a new era where these are low scoring derby affairs, because Tottenham have upped their game.
Spurs started the season with a bang, but fell away. They play a high-pressing game under Mauricio Pochettino, which could get under Arsenal’s skin a bit. Spurs like to control a lot of possession in matches, but they are severely lacking up front in real quality. Former Arsenal man Emmanuel Adebayor is their main man, which doesn’t say a lot about their attacking options. As neat as Spurs are, as dynamic as they can look through a great midfield, they are lacking in the final third. In two of their last three league games, they produced just one shot on target in each (against West Brom and Liverpool). They failed to score in three games against Arsenal last season (two league, one FA Cup)
With Tottenham losing four of the last five against the Gunners too, it’s hard to warrant backing the Lilywhites for the win, especially as they are on a three match winless streak in the top flight. It is likely to be cagey, both need huge improvements up front and it could just lead the game to go under 2.5 goals. Of the two, given Arsenal’s resilience this season, you would back them to nick a low scoring affair, and even warrant a look to win to nil.
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Danny Welbeck – 11/8 Betfred
Alexis Sanchez – 7/4 Betfred
Aaron Ramsey – 15/8 BetVictor
Mesut Ozil – 11/4 Betfred
Roberto Soldado – 15/4 Ladbrokes
Danny Welbeck – 9/2 Ladbrokes
Alexis Sanchez – 11/2 BetVictor
Aaron Ramsey – 7 Ladbrokes
Mesut Ozil – 9 PaddyPower
Roberto Soldado – 9 PaddyPower
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