Arsenal take on Tottenham Hotspur in the North London Derby on Sunday in a 4:30pm kick-off at the Emirates Stadium.
In terms of the Premier League, the Gunners are arguably playing for pride here, with a Champions League qualification spot only realistically ably achieved via winning the Europa League for Mikel Arteta’s side this season.
Spurs also harbour hopes of winning that competition, but are seven points ahead of Arsenal and can move three points behind fourth-placed Chelsea with a game in hand should they beat their arch-rivals on Sunday.
Arsenal are marginal 6/4 favourites, with the draw 12/5 and a Tottenham win 9/5.
Arsenal have not won the last four North London derbies in the league, while Spurs are on a five match winning streak in all competitions having been noticeably boosted by the in-form Gareth Bale, so in terms of the outright, Tottenham double chance at 1/2 may be a good starting point for a bet builder.
Personally, I’ll avoid siding with an outcome, as I’ve found an odds-against Bet Builder which would have landed in the last six NLD’s and makes sense to back once again.
Michael Oliver takes charge of the derby, with the 36-year-old showing both teams 1+ card each and 3+ cards overall in 10 of his last 14 PL games.
1+ card each team and 3+ cards overall landed in each of the last 10 NLD’s, which is as far back as I researched. Oliver has also shown 4+ cards in all six of his NLD’s in the past, so I’m more than happy to back 1+ card each team and 3+ overall.
Spurs have scored in each of the last seven NLD’s, meanwhile, with 2+ goals overall landing in the last six. Arsenal have only kept two clean sheets in their last seven home games in the league, so I definitely fancy Jose Mourinho’s side to score.
Over 0 Cards for Arsenal, Over 0 Cards for Tottenham, Over 2 Cards for Both Teams Combined, Over 0 Goals for Tottenham and Over 1 Goals for Both Teams Combined pays 23/20 (bet365).
If you want a bit more juice on the price, 3+ corners each team landed in each of the last six games, too, with both teams to score landing in four of the last five league meetings. Changing the goals aspect of the bet to BTTS while adding 3+ corners each team takes the bet to 9/4.
For a nice-priced longshot, BTTS, 4+ corners each team and 3+ cards each team is 25/1. The goals and cards aspect of this bet landed in each of the four league meetings prior to Tottenham’s 2-0 win in December, but obviously three of those were not behind closed doors.
In terms of player cards, Granit Xhaka has been booked in six of the last eight NLD’s, so simply has to be backed at 21/10 (Sky Bet), especially as Spurs could have Tanguy Ndombele and Lucas Moura both driving through the middle of the pitch.
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg has been booked six times this season, meanwhile, and was cautioned in the reverse fixture. The holding midfield duo both being booked pays 9/1 (Betfair).
Erik Lamela and Alexandre Lacazette have both been carded plenty of times in this rivalry in recent times, but neither are likely to start. Two to keep an eye on in-play, though, for sure.
Thomas Partey, Hector Bellerin, Harry Winks and Serge Reguilon are other players to consider having each been booked at least three times this season.
For a nice long-shot, you can add Gareth Bale to have 2+ shots on target to Xhaka and Hojbjerg both being booked for a 50/1 treble.
The Wales winger is 4/6 and 7/2 for 1+ and 2+ shots on target respectively with Betfair, which seems quite generous for a player with four league goals in his last three starts. Bale has landed 1+ shot on target in four of his last five league appearances, too.