Premier League: Tottenham vs Arsenal preview


Wembley Stadium will host the 186th edition of the North London Derby on Saturday, Tottenham host Arsenal in a match that could prove quite important in the race for a top-four finish in the Premier League. The Gunners won the reverse fixture 4-2 at the beginning of December, and they fought back from 2-1 down at half-time. The Spurs got their revenge just a few weeks later as they defeated Arsenal 2-0 in the League Cup quarter-finals with goals from Son Heung-Min and Dele Alli. Overall, Arsenal have won the derby 77 times, while Tottenham have won it on 58 occasions.

Tottenham have suffered an important blow for their Premier League ambitions this week as they lost 2-0 at Chelsea after having lost 2-1 at Burnley last weekend. The Spurs remain in third place in the league table despite the two consecutive defeats, but leaders Liverpool are nine points ahead now and fourth-placed Arsenal are just four points behind. The Spurs never lost more than two consecutive Premier League matches this season. Eric Dier, Dele Alli and Vincent Janssen are still out of contention, while defender Jan Vertonghen has a minor hip injury that might keep him out as well.

Arsenal have won their last three matches in all competitions, but all those games were at home. This week the Gunners grabbed a comfortable 5-1 victory over Bournemouth, while last weekend they defeated relegation candidates Southampton 2-0. However, their away form is a reason for concern as they have won just one of their last seven league matches on the road and that victory was at last-placed Huddersfield. Arsenal are just one point above fifth-placed Manchester United in the league table, so anything else than a win could see them drop out of the top four this weekend. Rob Holding, Danny Welbeck and Hector Bellerin are still out injured, but Stephan Lichtsteiner and Ainsley Maitland-Niles could gain enough fitness to be in the squad on Saturday.

Probable line-ups:

Tottenham: Lloris - Alderweireld, Sanchez, Vertonghen - Aurier, Sissoko, Winks, Rose - Eriksen - Kane, Son

Arsenal: Leno - Sokratis, Koscielny, Mustafi - Maitland-Niles, Ramsey, Torreira, Xhaka, Kolasinac - Lacazette, Aubameyang

My prediction: 1-1 draw, neither of the two teams seems strong enough to win this derby.

Here are the odds for the match at Bet365:

Tottenham win - 2.00
Draw - 3.60
Arsenal win - 3.50

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