Tottenham Hotspur will hope to emerge triumphant again when they host North London rivals Arsenal at Wembley in the Premier League on Saturday (7.30am ET).
This fixture is one that has generally gone the way of the home side in recent years. As hosts, Spurs have defeated Arsenal in each of the last two and three of the last four seasons, while each of the last four league encounters between them has been won by the hosting team.
That was certainly the case at the Emirates earlier this season. Spurs recovered well from going behind to an early Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang penalty to lead into half time thanks to goals from Eric Dier and Harry Kane. Arsenal then came on strong after the break, with Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette and Lucas Torreira scoring to see Arsenal to a 4-2 victory.
That result brought the two teams level on 30 points, with Arsenal ahead on goal difference, after 14 matches of the campaign. At that stage, they looked set to be embroiled in a three-team battle with Chelsea to claim third and fourth in the table. Later, Spurs established a comfortable advantage in third. Now, however, with Manchester United newly in the running, the race is beginning to contract once more.
Two matches ago, Spurs were nine points clear of United in fourth and 10 clear of Arsenal and Chelsea in fifth and sixth respectively. Two consecutive defeats, including a 0-2 loss to direct rivals Chelsea on Wednesday, have seen Arsenal close to within four points and United to within five, with Chelsea seven back but with a game in hand.
Mauricio Pochettino was keen to emphasize that those are still decent gaps in the wake of the defeat to Chelsea. It remains true that two teams must still leapfrog Spurs if they are to miss out on Champions League qualification. It is also worth noting that both the USA oddsmakers and statistical modelling websites still favor Tottenham to finish in the top four.
On the back of a match in which they failed to muster a single shot on target, just a few days removed from defeat away to Burnley and with matches away to Liverpool and Manchester City still to come, nothing is yet certain.
Indeed, Spurs will need to rediscover some of their earlier verve if they are to see off an Arsenal side latterly in better spirits following a run of five wins in their last six in the league, including a 5-1 thrashing of Bournemouth on Wednesday. Early goals from Mesut Ozil and Henrikh Mkhitaryan set them on their way before second-half strikes from Laurent Koscielny, Aubameyang and Lacazette sealed a strong victory.
A third straight triumph represented the first time since October that Arsenal had won more than two leagues matches on the bounce. Unai Emery afterwards expressed his pleasure at the performance before turning his attention to Saturday’s match, one that he said would represent a difficult test that his side will nevertheless be highly motivated to overcome.
If they were to triumph away at Wembley it would not only represent an overturning of the form book from recent North London derbies, but also of their poor away results this season. Arsenal actually have one of the best home records in the Premier League, but they have comfortably the worst away record of any of the top six. All five of their victories on their travels have come against sides currently placed 12th or lower.
Kane has scored in each of Tottenham’s last four home league matches against Arsenal, a total of five goals. All that might suggest the edge is with Tottenham, but they are in the midst of a minor stumble and the away team looks the betting value.
Our Preview’s Tottenham vs Arsenal Predictions & Picks Verdict
- Bet on Arsenal to win on the moneyline @ best odds of +270 with Bovada.