Tottenham Hotspur host Arsenal in the Premier League on Sunday in a 4:30pm kick-off at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Jose Mourinho’s side can move back ahead of Chelsea at the top of the table with a win after the two sides drew 0-0 last Sunday.
Arsenal, meanwhile, will remain in the bottom half regardless of the result in the North London derby, but a win would certainly be a morale-boosting victory after the 2-1 home defeat to Wolves last weekend.
Tottenham are priced as 23/20 favourites to win the match, with the draw and an Arsenal win both 12/5.
Given there is already eight points between these two fierce rivals after only 10 matches, Tottenham would not be better than even-money were this not a derby, so in that sense Mourinho’s side do look good value with the form they have displayed this season.
Indeed, much is made of Arsenal’s improvement in big games under Mikel Arteta, but they have still lost to Liverpool, Manchester City and Leicester this season.
The Gunners’ win at Old Trafford – where Manchester United aren’t generally as strong as they are away from home – is the only time they have picked up an above par result this season.
I would not dissuade anyone from backing Spurs at the price.
I’m not seeing too many goals in this match, with three of Spurs’ last five and four of Arsenal’s last six league games seeing under 2 goals scored at either end. 14 of the last 15 North London derbies, meanwhile, have seen under five goals scored, so I’m happy to add this into a Bet Builder alongside backing Over 0 Tottenham goals given that I fancy them to at least avoid defeat.
Martin Atkinson officiates what is usually a feisty occasion, and while that often means a low card count these days (the x year old is averaging only 1.75 yellow cards across his eight Premier League games this season), he has refereed five of these clashes across his career, averaging five yellow cards per derby.
Indeed, Atkinson refereed the reverse fixture last season, showing a total of eight yellow cards – as well as a penalty – so it seems this fixture brings something out of him. I’m happy to back both teams to pick up a card.
To bring our Bet Builder to the even-money mark, you’re going back a long way to find a North London derby which didn’t have at least seven corners, so I’ll back Over 6 Corners:
In terms of player cards, Granit Xhaka simply must be backed at best odds of 7/4 (Unibet) providing he starts. The Swiss midfielder has been booked in six of his last seven matches against Tottenham.
Eric Dier, Harry Kane, Alexandre Lacazette and Serge Aurier have all booked up more than one booking in this fixture down the years, too, so are worth backing if they start. I’ll probably opt for Xhaka, Lacazette and Aurier in a treble at 40/1 (Betfair).
Lacazette was booked in both NLD’s last season, with Xhaka and Aurier picking up one alongside the France forward in either match.
Aurier has caught the eye having replaced Matt Doherty at right-back in recent weeks, helped by the work of Moussa Sissoko and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg in midfield, which allows the Ivory Coast man and Sergio Reguilon plenty of freedom to maraud forward.
I landed a 9/1 punt yesterday and I’ve got another similarly-priced fancy here. Aurier is sandwiched in second place – between Harry Kane and Son Heung-Min – in Tottenham’s WhoScored average rating (7.73).
Betfair offer a Man of the Match market based on WhoScored ratings, with Aurier priced at an appealing 10/1 to win MOTM on Sunday.
Aurier ranked third for Spurs last season and as a busy operator in terms of dribbling, tackling and shooting, he’s always likely to score high in these kind of metrics. Given I’m not expecting many goals in this game, a clean sheet would help his cause, too.