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Tottenham v Arsenal: Gunners shouldn’t be ruled out

| 02.02.2013

You could be forgiven for thinking Arsenal aren’t playing very well ahead of this massive north London derby, but the fact is they are. They’re playing even better than Tottenham if you look solely at Premier League results.

The Gunners have won four and drawn one of their previous five top flight outings, while Spurs have managed two fewer points in the same period so, for all the Lilywhites’ excellence in recent weeks, going to town on their 5/4 to take their nearest and dearest foes to the cleaners could easily backfire.

The visitors are more than capable of claiming the spoils in Spurs’ backyard, a 21/10 offering, while the draw is also a sumptuous prospect at 12/5.

The result is deceptively difficult to call, though much will hinge on Gareth Bale’s impact on the derby. He hasn’t exactly flourished in this fixture – three goals in 10 appearances, one of which was a dead rubber in the corresponding fixture with the score at 5-1 to Arsenal – though it’s fair to argue he was a far cry from the player he is today in 75 per cent of those clashes.

Wales’ answer to Cristiano Ronaldo is the 4/1 to open the scoring, which isn’t the best value for a midfielder. A better punt, therefore, has to be the 2/1 that says he’ll notch in a home win. Having accounted for six of his sides’ previous seven league goals, the result could hinge on his performance; if Arsenal can keep him quiet they stand every chance of landing the bragging rights.

One thing that is almost set in stone when these two best of enemies lock horns is that both goalkeepers are forced to retrieve the ball from the back of their net at some point. This has been the case in 17 of the previous 20 outcomes and, at 8/15 for an 18th instalment, there is certain to be some serious money lumped on this price in the run up to kick off.

All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date



James Middleton