Tottenham v Arsenal
Saturday 5th March, 12:45
Live on BT Sport 1
There were accusations of Spurs bottling it in midweek when they had the chance to go top of the table by picking up three points at Upton Park. But I believe those criticisms were both unfair and flippant. It's not as if West Ham are an easy three points for any club in the Premier League, with the Hammers unbeaten at home since August and already taking points from Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester City, Man Utd and Chelsea this season.
My opinion is simply that Spurs were beaten by a very good team. And although it was a blow to their title chances, it was far from being a sign that they're not capable of handling the pressures of winning the Premier League. Far from it.
In the post match interview Ryan Mason called for his team to go on a similar run to that which followed their previous Premier League defeat against Leicester. Spurs won six straight matches following that loss in mid-January, and a similar run now would put the Lilywhites on the brink of a first title since 1961.
Like their north London rivals, the Gunners were also accused of bottling it on Wednesday night, and that is an assessment I am more inclined to agree with.
Graeme Souness ripped Arsenal to shreds in his post-match analysis of the weekend defeat to Manchester United, and rightly so. And for the sake of the former Liverpool man's blood pressure it's a good job that Sky Sports weren't covering the defeat to Swansea at the Emirates in midweek.
Arsene Wenger's men have now suffered three straight defeats and are without a win in four matches in all competitions. Defensively they have been lacklustre at best over the past fortnight and with Petr Cech unavailable this weekend due to injury I would be seriously concerned if I were an Arsenal fan.
It's been a while since Spurs were as short as 2.447/5 to win a north London derby, but they're deservedly made overwhelming favourites to win this one and they'll certainly be carrying my money.
Arsenal haven't won any of the last three head-to-heads and were beaten 2-1 in this fixture at White Hart Lane last season. A similar scoreline this weekend wouldn't surprise me.
Although you have to expect some sort of reaction from the Gunners, I'd rather have my money on the team that come into the game, perhaps not full of confidence, but certainly with a right to still feel that they're making huge strides forwards. The visitors, on the other hand, now find themselves enveloped in doubt and uncertainty.
Over/Under 2.5 Goals
Despite a reputation for this being a high-scoring fixture, only one of the last five Premier League meetings have produced more than 2.5 goals. But on the flip side both teams have scored in each of the last four head-to-heads in all competitions.
My main reason for backing Over 2.5 goals at odds of 1.9420/21, however, is the absence of Petr Cech. I haven't been convinced by Arsenal defensively in recent weeks and without the influence of one of their best and most experienced defensive attributes we can't be confident that they'll improve in time for this weekend's game.
Both Teams To Score
Spurs also haven't been particularly strong at the back in recent weeks and have recorded just one clean sheet in their last six matches in all competitions.
Add into the mix the knowledge that both teams have scored in 12 of the last 15 north London derbies and odds of 1.75/7 on the Yes selection here looks to be outstanding value.
2pts Back Spurs to win @ 2.447/5
2pts Back Over 2.5 Goals @ 1.9420/21
3pts Back Both Teams To Score - Yes @ 1.75/7
*For individual match previews of every single Premier League game visit our dedicated Premier League section here on Betting.Betfair.