Arsenal vs Tottenham Match Preview
The North London derby is a great way to get Premier League football back underway after a dull international break. Arsenal are four points behind their rivals, and both are in need of a win if they are to keep pace with the two Manchester clubs. Infogol’s Analyst previews the game, producing the best bet.
Arsenal were deservedly beaten by Manchester City last time out, and despite Arsene Wenger’s recent comments that it was a tight game according to expected goals, it wasn’t, with the final total being 2.2 – 0.4 xG in City’s favour.
This was another game in which they showcased a vulnerability in defence, and against a top side, a lack of an attacking threat. Their three meetings against three of the top four from last season (Man City, Chelsea and Liverpool) result in an aggregate score-line of 7-1, and an xG aggregate of 6.5 – 2.5, suggesting they struggle against top opposition.
In Arsenal’s defence, they have played all three of these matches away from home, which will have been to their disadvantage, but their struggles are clear to see. The Gunners’ continue to win a few and then lose a few matches, and the level of inconsistency in their performances may hinder them from achieving a top-four finish this season.
Tottenham, on the other hand, have impressed once again this season, even with minor hiccups, as their process remains consistent and to a high standard. The strongest part of their game is undoubtedly the defence, and they have the second best expected goals against (xGA) total in the league this season to back this up.
Though Spurs have only picked up three points from their three matches against the ‘top-six’, their performances have been far superior to those of their North London neighbours. Having played Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United, the aggregate score-line is 5-4 in their favour, with the xG aggregate being 4.5 – 2.7 xG – showing just how good their performances have been, and how unlucky they are not to have collected more points from those three games.
Despite having an injury crisis on their hands, with key players Hugo Lloris, Jan Vertonghen, Dele Alli, Harry Kane and Harry Winks all facing a race to be fit, the latter three are all fancied to line-up on Saturday. Even with key players missing, Spurs are a force to be reckoned with, and have a deep enough squad to deal with any set-backs.
Tottenham win @ 9/5
At a huge price, there is undoubtedly value in backing Tottenham, with Infogol ranking them as the better of the two sides by some way. If they remain consistent with their process, they will cause Arsenal’s leaky defence problems and get the three points.