Arsenal claimed bragging rights in the first North London derby of the season as a Mathieu Flamini brace gave them a 2-1 win at White Hart Lane in the Capital One Cup. Matches between these teams have generally been close affairs in the past couple of years and another tough tussle looks on the cards here.
They both come into this game in excellent form, with Arsenal having won five in a row while scoring 16 goals and Spurs on the longest unbeaten streak in the league having not lost since a slightly unfortunate defeat at Old Trafford on the opening day. The Gunners are a similar price to what United were that day and Spurs’ record away to top-six finishers in recent seasons suggests the home side are value. Tottenham have lost 11 of 15 such trips in the past three seasons with just one win.
Arsenal, however, have won only four of 15 at home against top-six finishers in the same time, with eight draws, and their fine run suffered a knock in midweek as they were demolished by Bayern Munich. Furthermore, even against teams that finished 3rd-7th their record is still just W4-D6-L2 and they’ve not scored more than once in any of their last five Premier League meetings with Spurs. The draw therefore makes has some appeal at 13/4, while with eight of Spurs’ last 12 away defeats coming by exactly one goal it could be worth splitting that with Arsenal to win by 1 Goal at 3/1.
One part of Spurs’ good form this season is that they’ve improved defensively and after having the fifth worst defence last season they currently have the joint third best after conceding just one more goal than both Arsenal and Man Utd in the opening 11 games. It could therefore pay to take Spurs on the Asian Handicap +1.0, particularly with Laurent Koscielny and Hector Bellerin both doubtful after the trip to Munich while Under 2.5 Goals at 7/5 looks better value than ‘overs’ in the goals market.
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