Tottenham can win battle, but Arsenal should win war
It's the North London derby on Thursday night and this one has more riding on it, than has been the case for many years.
Arsenal have made steady progress during the reign of Mikel Arteta and sit fourth in the table, which would see them return to the Champions League for the first time since 2016. With three games of the Premier League season to go, this youthful and exciting Arsenal side have a four point advantage over fifth placed Tottenham. A win would see them clinch a top four place at the ground of their greatest rivals.
Meanwhile, Spurs can throw the race for the Champions League wide open with a home victory on Thursday. A top four finish looked extremely unlikely when they sacked Nuno earlier on in the season, but the team have made great strides under their new manager Antonio Conte and are vastly improved since signing Rodrigo Bentancur and Dejan Kulusevski in January.
Tottenham are the 2.265/4 favourites on the Exchange to claim a victory, with an Arsenal win at 3.412/5 and the draw at 3.711/4. Yet it's Arsenal who remain strong favourites to finish in the top four at 1.331/3, with Spurs out at 3.3512/5.
That seems a fair assessment, given the respective positions of development of the two rivals. Tottenham drew 1-1 at Anfield on Saturday night, which was their second draw of the season against Liverpool. They could have easily won both of those games, just as they did against the Premier League leaders Manchester City. What has held Spurs back, is that though they are capable of beating the best, they remain frustrating inconsistent against lesser opposition, struggling to break down sides that sit back and defend.
Arsenal are the opposite. They have tasted defeat in all four of their league games against the top two, but look set to claim fourth, due to their consistency in beating the teams that you would expect them to. Tottenham's swift counters and quality in attack may well see them claim victory on Thursday, but Arsenal would still be expected to win their remaining games against Newcastle and Everton, to claim the points they need.
Recent history suggests goals
Though Spurs are rightful favourites, it would not be a huge surprise if they failed to get the win they require, with the pressure very much on Antonio Conte's team to perform. The cautious way to start this Bet Builder is with Tottenham to avoid defeat in the Double Chance market at 3/10 on the Sportsbook.
North London derbies often seem to produce games with plenty of goals. Everything points to this game being no exception. The styles on offer should gel and Arsenal's last four games have seen both teams to score.
We will add both teams to score at 8/13. It's landed in five of the last six matches between these rivals, which have averaged exactly three goals-per-game. Over 2.5 goals is 4/5 and crates a Bet Builder treble at 2.89/5.
That's a decent bet in itself, but we can push it a little further without too much risk. Heung-Min Son has been Tottenham's main source of goals this season, rather than Harry Kane. The South Korean has scored 20 goals in the Premier League and has a chance of winning the Golden Boot. Adding Son to have one or more shots on target at 1/6, completes a four-fold at odds of 3.259/4.