Betting.Betfair

The View from White Hart Lane: Kane can score again in entertaining encounter

Join today View market

Both teams are blessed with top-class attacking talent and with a fierce fight on for a top four finish will be going all out for a win, says Spurs fan Chris Miller (aka @WindyCOYS) in his look at Saturday's north London Derby

"Early in the season a draw was probably good enough for both. But now, with Arsenal on 42 points and Tottenham on 40, both will see a win as vital. As a result I expect an open, exciting match, with plenty of goal-scoring opportunities."

In the reverse fixture at the Emirates Stadium, Mauricio Pochettino impressed fans and pundits alike with a show of flexibility. He played a 4-4-2 with the cliched 'two banks of four' sitting deep, allowing Arsenal possession and breaking out on the counter. Nacer Chadli played as an auxiliary forward and Ryan Mason made his debut in central midfield.

Despite the 'low block' style being adopted for most of the match, the Spurs goal came when Christian Eriksen pressed Mathieu Flamini after Arsenal failed to re-organise having gained possession from a Spurs free-kick. Erik Lamela pounced on the loose ball and set up Chadli to score - it was the type of goal that a Pochettino team should score fairly regularly.

In that match, the spine of the Spurs team was made up of Younes Kaboul, Etienne Capoue and Emmanuel Adebayor. Kaboul had his best match in a Spurs shirt for months - if not years - but, in spite of that, all three players have been sidelined, and the club tried to move each of them on in the January transfer window. Two of their likely replacements in this fixture - Nabil Bentaleb and Harry Kane - have been two of Spurs' best performers this season, and come into the match in good form.

I find it hard to imagine that Tottenham will attempt to play a containing game this time around; not at White Hart Lane, and not with Kane and Eriksen so successful at pressing in recent weeks. That does, however, mean that Arsenal will most likely be left with pockets of space between Spurs' defence and midfield should they be able to escape the press, and we have seen over the years how well Arsene Wenger's team can exploit these.

The other main weakness in Spurs' formation recently has been the space left in behind the full-backs - not due to poor individual performances so much as systemic issues. Kyle Walker and Danny Rose are both keen to get forward, and there is not always adequate protection from the wide players ahead of them. Calum Chambers and Keiran Gibbs played extraordinarily high in the 1-1 draw at the Emirates and Chambers in particular had an excellent game going forward. Hector Bellerin is arguably even more of an attacking threat and boasts significant pace; Spurs' double-pivot in midfield will need to add protection in those wide areas should the wing-forwards be caught upfield.

Arsenal's away record in the league this season (P12, W5, D3, L4) is neither awful nor awe-inspiring, much like Tottenham's record at home (P12 W6, D2, L4). Spurs have beaten Chelsea and Southampton, but have also lost to some weaker sides.

Both teams started the season somewhat unpredictably but seem to be starting to find their stride. For example, prior to the previous North London Derby, Spurs had been defeated at home by West Bromwich Albion, whereas this time Spurs come into the match having beaten the same team 3-0 at The Hawthorns. Arsenal have won their last three league games with an aggregate score of 10-0.

Early in the season a draw was probably good enough for both. But now, with Arsenal on 42 points and Tottenham on 40, both will see a win as vital. As a result I expect an open, exciting match, with plenty of goal-scoring opportunities. I predicted goals in the last match and there were just the two, as it finished 1-1. This time I fully expect both teams to score again (back 'Both teams to score' at [1.66]) and probably more than once. It's tempting to really push the boat out and back Over 4.5 Goals at [5.5] given the attacking talent likely to be on display.

Lamela set up Chadli's goal at the Emirates and he had a flurry of assists at the start of the season, where he was productive but imperfect. His general play has become more polished since then, but he hasn't set up a goal in any of his last 15 appearances. For that reason, Pochettino might be tempted to start Andros Townsend on the right. The England winger has a point to prove having been unable to nail down a starting place and, as a Tottenham fan, he knows what the game means to the fans. Should he start it might be worth backing him to score at [4.0], particularly as he is Tottenham's nominated penalty taker.

Harry Kane will also score because: Harry Kane.  You can back him to score at [2.5] or score first at [6.5] (on the Betfair Sportsbook) if you are feeling brave.


You've read the view from White Hart Lane -now get the Arsenal take on the NLD

Join today View market
More Tottenham Hotspur