Derby matches rarely need further incentive, but a win for Spurs here will surely end Arsenal’s top four challenge for another season. If Arsenal prevail, they’ll be just one point behind their neighbours. Tasty!
Both teams may have one eye on their massive European ties in the midweek after the match. Tottenham travel to Juventus whilst Arsenal face Dynamo Narnia or someone in the Europa League. It’s hard to see either side resting too many players for this one, though. Petr Cech may be out, though on current form that’s worse news for Spurs than it is for the Gunners.
Harry Kane is obviously the favourite in the scorer markets, and it’s not just because he is on course for his third Premier League golden boot in a row (though that obviously helps). He has scored three goals in ‘big six’ matches this season, which is the most of any player on either side, and he has scored six times in seven meetings with Arsenal.
Kane is priced at just 11/4 to break the deadlock, or 8/11 to bag a goal at some point. As he has scored the first goal seven times in the last 25 league games, when nobody else on either side has done so on more than three occasions, perhaps a first scorer bet is in order.
The Spurs #10 has also been the last goal scorer seven times in the same period, which is the most of any player in the Premier League. Plus he takes the penalties that Spurs’ diving squad win too, so that might help. Kane can be backed at 10/3 to score the final goal of the game.
Son Heung-Min also looks a very decent bet to get on the scoresheet. He can be backed at 21/10 to do just that, or he’s 6/1 to net the opener. In his last four league matches he has scored once, but he’s had a further 11 shots that haven’t gone in. Nine of those were in the box, and three were clear-cut chances, so the South Korean is perhaps due a goal.
He has also scored seven home league goals this season, and only five players in the Premier League have scored more. Forget Harry Kane; Son is the hipster bettor’s player of choice.
The obvious selection on the Arsenal side of the goal scorer market is Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
He scored on his debut last weekend, and whilst Spurs will put up a sterner defence than Everton did (by, you know, actually trying to defend), the former Dortmund striker has 22 goals from 25 club appearances this season. He has also netted four goals in four previous matches against Spurs for good measure, and is available at 5/1 to open the scoring at Wembley on Saturday.
It’s probably unlikely that all three of these players will score though, as games between these two teams tend to be relatively light on goals. In the last five seasons, there has only been over 2.5 goals in two of the nine league meetings. Paddy is offering 6/4 that the trend continues and there are fewer than three goals in this match.
On one hand this trend is slightly surprising, as these two teams are at the top end of the league for featuring in matches with over 3.5 goals.
Arsenal have also seen this in nine of their 17 league matches with other members of the big six in the same period. But the overall figures are more down to Spurs and Arsenal being very good at putting the weaker teams to the sword.
As bad as Arsenal have been at times this season, they’re unlikely to fall into this category on Saturday. You can get odds of 5/4 if you think there will be at least four goals.
A look at the form book for scoring and conceding suggests a bet on Spurs to keep a clean sheet is definitely worth considering. In terms of the big six teams over the past three seasons, Spurs have been the second best for clean sheets at home, and Arsenal the second worst for failing to score on the road.
The odds for a Tottenham clean sheet are 11/4 too, which looks a little generous to me, so definitely keep this market in mind when making your selections.
But if Arsenal do score first, then there’s a fair chance that they won’t win anyway. Since August 2015, they have the worst record of the big sides when it comes to converting scoring first into wins on the road. Who has the best record at overturning deficits at home?
You guessed it:
I don’t think Arsenal will score first though, as they’ve only done so once in their big away league matches over the past two seasons. This might be one to bet on in play if the Gunners do get the first goal, but before the match you can get 7/2 that the Wenger Boys open the scoring but don’t win.
When it comes to a score prediction, the expected goal stats from this season suggest it will be 2-0 to Tottenham. If you hate the nerdy numbers, it has also been Spurs’ most common winning scoreline in their last 20 games, and second most frequent overall.
Since the start of 2016/17, Arsenal have the worst record in the big six mini league and haven’t won away from home, so a 2-0 home win seems reasonable to me. The odds are 12/1 if you agree with me. They are 12/1 if you don’t, too.