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Perhaps the most hostile derby fixture in England’s top-flight returns this weekend, as Arsenal host Spurs. Both the London clubs haven’t exactly had it their way this season with the hosts down in 10th, while Jose Mourinho’s men haven’t been quite as poor, but still find themselves in seventh.
This is a vital game for both sides. The Lilywhites could find themselves two points off Champions League football for next season should some other results go their way and they win, which certainly didn’t look possible last month in the midst of five defeats from six winless matches.
They have turned that around to win all their last three, while across all competitions it’s now five on the bounce, and with the likes of Gareth Bale and Harry Kane on song, things are looking up.
The Gunners are looking in a good vein of form themselves, having only lost once from their last seven across all competitions (W4-D2-L1), coming against the runaway Premier League leaders Man City by just one goal.
It has to be said, they tried all they could to throw away their one goal lead against Olympiacos mid-week, but a 3-1 victory in that, while Martin Odegaard started to show what he’s really capable of looks like promising signs for Mikel Arteta’s men.
Both Teams To Score
One thing they will be slightly concerned about though, is the fact they’ve now conceded in all their last nine outings, as lapses in concertation continue to hold them back.
Excluding that home defeat to the Citizens, Arsenal are W4-D3 from their seven games at the Emirates across all tournaments since their Boxing Day victory over Chelsea. That run also included a draw against Man Utd, and so we would be surprised if this Spurs team could overturn them here.
As we mentioned, Tottenham are on an impressive run of victories, but if you look at the quality of opposition, it isn’t exactly surprising to see them winning those games.
Indeed, against the top half sides in the league, they’ve lost six games on the bounce, but they did score in half of those as two of their shutouts came against Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea and Pep Guardiola’s Man City defences, so we’d at least expect them to get on the scoreboard.
Mikel Arteta’s men against similar opposition have only gone W2-D1-L5 from their last eight such outings, which also includes a two-goal deficit in the reverse fixture against their rivals back in December. That certainly doesn’t fill you with confidence that they have the ability to go on and win this either.
They will take confidence in the fact that Mourinho’s men have gone just W2-D3-L4 on the road since mid-November though, even if Spurs scored in six of those still, and this probably has the makings of yet another Emirates North London Derby.
Arsenal And Spurs To Draw
Since the start of the 2014/15 campaign, they’ve drawn four of their six meetings here, as both sides netted in five of those including each of the stalemates, and that looks the best bet for us in a game of very little margins between the two sides.