North London Derby Betting Preview: Can the Gunners peg back Tottenham?
Tottenham host Arsenal in the final North London derby of the season this Sunday, knowing that a win will ensure that they finish above the Gunners for the first time in 22 years.
Chelsea knocked Pochettino’s men out of the FA Cup last weekend, but an incredible finish by Christian Eriksen against Crystal Palace in midweek ensured that they kept the pressure on in the Premier League.
When asked whether finishing above Arsenal motivated him, Pochettino claimed that the club’s ambitions reached beyond being better than their rivals, stating that “one day to achieve big trophies, you must be mentally bigger. You must think about bigger dreams."
Arsenal meanwhile progressed to the final of the FA Cup by beating Manchester City 2-1. They also kept up the pressure on the top four by beating Leicester thanks to a Robert Huth own goal.
The victory represented a turn around in fortunes for the north London club, as it was the first time since January that the club had won two games in a row. Meanwhile, Leicester’s renaissance under Shakespeare appears to have tapered off, as they have now gone five games without a win.
Despite their recent run of form, Arsenal are not expected to win at White Heart Lane on Sunday. Sky Bet has them at 11/4 to prevail while a win for Tottenham has odds of 17/20. Bet365 offers similar odds, with an Arsenal win ranked at 3/1 while a Tottenham win is again at odds of 17/20. Harry Kane is the favourite to open the scoring, the Tottenham talisman 7/2 with Paddy Power and Ladbrokes to be the first name on the score sheet. Meanwhile Paddy Power has given Alexis Sanchez odds of 6/1.
Arsenal’s chances of toppling Spurs will no doubt be affected by the possible absence of Laurent Koscielny. The French defender is a doubt for the game after picking up a knee injury in the Gunners’ victory over Leicester. His absence would prove problematic for Wenger as he decides whether to stick with the 3-5-2 formation he employed against City, shorn of his most experienced defender. Koscielny joins Lucas Perez, Santi Cazorla, David Ospina and Shkodran Mustafi on the treatment table. Meanwhile Tottenham’s Mousa Dembele is also a doubt after injuring his ankle against Crystal Palace.
The game is expected to be an exciting affair, with many bookmakers backing both teams to score.