The weekend starts with a bang as Spurs and Arsenal lay their title credentials on the line.
After an incredible midweek round of football that saw the top-four pick up just one point between them the Premier League returns with the most mouth-watering North London derby in recent years. While Spurs’ defeat at West Ham was disappointing it wasn’t that big a shock – the Hammers were 3/1 to win – Swansea’s victory at the Emirates, however, most certainly was. The Welsh side were teetering above the relegation-zone before the game and were winless in four before winning at 11/1.
Historically there’s a huge home bias in North London derbies. Spurs have won four of the last seven league editions at White Hart Lane. Interestingly all four victories were by the 2-1 score line.
While still just six points back of Leicester, the wheels have fully come off of Arsenal’s campaign. They’ve lost back-to-back Premier League matches and they were very lucky to get three points against the leaders in the game before their embarrassing defeat to a third-string Man Utd XI. Arsenal’s struggles in big games have been well-documented over many years. Since 2010/11, they’ve lost 11/15 trips to top-four finishers. They started this season with five wins from their opening six road games but have since won just two of eight and they came at struggling Villa and Bournemouth.
Before Spurs’ blip at West Ham they had won six in a row in the league and their home form remains strong – just two defeats in 14 at the Lane this season.
Koscielny and Cech are both likely to be missing here and both are key to the Gunners’ back line. Arsenal have conceded 0.89 goals per game when Koscielny has started since the start of last season but that shoots up to 1.15 in his absence. Cech’s not missed an away league fixture since joining from Chelsea. With Spurs in much better form and with home advantage we expect them to prevail here.
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