The international break is finally over as we are back to previewing the Barclays Premier League! Before we do our usual three-team parlay, we have to get you ready for the biggest game of the weekend not just in England, but maybe in the world of football as Tottenham go to their rivals Arsenal in the 184th North London Derby. In this blog we will preview everything from form, key players and even both American and UK odds as last season, we predicted BOTH matches perfectly with even the exact score.
Kick Off Time (UK): 12:30 PM
Kick Off Time (EST): 7:30 am
Venue: Emirates Stadium
Tottenham Hotspur F.C.
League Position: 3rd
Form (Premier League Only): WWWLW
Goals Against: 7
Goals For: 20
Points Away From Home: 12
There have been some downs this season for Tottenham, but it's pretty much been a stellar start to the year as they have been battling Wembley, injuries and all of the rumors over the summer about the club losing everyone. Spurs go into this game in third place, but in away form, they are the second-best team in the Premier League with only three goals conceded. The biggest question mark going into this match for Spurs are their injuries, we know Harry Kane, Dele and Harry Winks will be fit, but there are a few questions marks around their Belgian boys. Sadly, we don't know if Jan Vertonghen (UPDATE: He is fine), Mousa Dembélé and Toby Alderweireld will be fully fit for this match. Also, it seems like Hugo Lloris will not play, and even though this is a loss, I do trust whoever plays for Spurs will do the job they need him to do. In good news, it seems like Danny Rose is fully fit again as he was stellar in both North London Derby's last season. Going into this match Spurs will be extremely confident as they are red hot after their incredible win against Real Madrid and then against Crystal Palace as Mauricio Pochettino has NEVER lost a Premier League game against Arsenal as the Spurs coach.
How Can Spurs Win This Match?
For me, it's pretty cut and dry, last season we saw them push and press Arsenal's poor backline and get the ball to their three most dangerous players in Dele, Christian Eriksen (Update: Wrote this before he got a Hattrick for Denmark) and of course, Harry Kane. Last season Spurs could have beat them at the Emirates if it wasn't for an unlucky own goal by Kevin Wimmer and they easily could have won four or even five-nil at White Hart Lane. The biggest factor for me is Davidson Sánchez. We all know what their front three will do in this match as if they get chances, they will most likely score. But if Toby Alderweireld doesn't play they will need their back three ( or four) to make sure they don't fuck up, and since coming to the Premier League Davinson Sánchez has done NOTHING wrong. In saying this, the NLD will be his biggest test and will he be able to lead this backline if the injuries do cripple Spurs a bit in this match? I think he can.
Out: Alderweireld, Lamela, Lloris, Wanyama
Predicted XI: Vorm, Trippier, Sanchez, Vertonghen, Rose, Dier, Winks, Eriksen Alli, Son, Kane
League Position: 6th
Form (Premier League Only): WLWWL
Goals Against: 16
Goals For: 20
Points From Home: 15
Arsenal is coming off a tough loss to first place Manchester City as they were beaten by the better team but in their defense, the ref didn't do them any favors. Now they go back home where they have had most of their good performances this year as they are statically the third best home team in the league. Obviously, this season has been a bit of a mess for Arsenal, with fans still upset over their boardroom and manager, and now with their best player Alexis Sanchez pretty much not showing up as he openly looks like he wants out of North London. In saying this, they are a threat, even though they may not be favorite to win in this game (by most experts), they have three incredible talents in Sanchez, Ozil, and Alexandre Lacazette that on their day can destroy any defense in the world. The main worry for me is their defense, with Shkodran Mustafi a doubt for this match, they will need their center-backs to come up huge, because even though they have scored the same amount of goals as Spurs, they have conceded seven more as they are a mess at the back. If I were an Arsenal fan I would also be worried about their midfield, I think in a high energy match where they will do a ton of defending, do you trust Granit Xhaka to do a job and stop Spurs' breaks and counter-attacks, and I think most Arsenal fans would agree with me and say no.
How Can Arsenal Win This Match?
Even though Sanchez and Ozil have had poor seasons Arsenal are still scoring goals and especially at home, the worry for me, if I were an Arsenal supporter, would be their defense. With Harry Kane, Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen (coming off a three-goal display against Ireland) they will need to be a lot better at the back then they were against Manchester City. Even though they were screwed a bit by the ref, City still created way too many chances and.arguably should have scored a lot more than they did. Even against an amazing defense like Spurs, they will get chances, and they have the skill to take them, but if they want any chance in this game their defenders have to play well defensively, and that starts with Héctor Bellerín, who has been exposed by Spurs in the past.
Predicted XI: Cech, Koscielny , Mertesacker, Monreal, Beleren, Ramsey, Xhaka, Kolansinac, Ozil, Sanchez, Lacazette
Tottenham Win: +187
Arsenal Win: +130
Arsenal Win: 13/10
Tottenham Win: 15/8
Once again it's another year of the English/UK gamblers at an advantage as they got the "standard" 2.5 over/under, but if you are American, it's pretty much a deal-breaker with a flat three. Usually, I like to parlay the result and the over, but when it's at three, there is no point. There is a far greater chance there will be a push than a win as it's usually pretty rare a derby goes 3-1, 2-2 and obviously a 4-0. For this reason, if you are getting the American over/under just leave it, but if you are getting the standard 2.5, it's worth throwing a few bucks on it, especially with Hugo Lloris most likely out for this match.
Money Line: Prediction
If there's one game I can predict it's the North London Derby, and I am once again extremely confident I have the exact score for this match. For me, both teams will score. Obviously, Harry Kane will be on the scoresheet, it's pretty much a guarantee at this point, but I do believe with the skill at defense and their amazing attacking prowess this season, Tottenham will finish Arsenal off and edge it by one goal. This will be a game you will want to wake up for.
Prediction: Tottenham to win 2-1
Odds for a 2-1 Spurs win: 10/1
Who will be the star of the match? Who will get the first goal? And most importantly, who will win? Let us know by tweeting us at DST_Tweets! Love you all and thank you for the support.