Arsenal were able to rest players in their 3-0 win over Oxford Utd, with Fabio Vieira (two assists) and Eddie Nketiah (two goals) stealing the show. The latter should retain his place in the side with regular number nine Gabriel Jesus sidelined, especially having contributed heavily in the Brazilian’s absence. He’s now bagged five goals in as many appearances for the Gunners, which has even led to talk of a potential England call up.
Whilst Nketiah will be full of confidence, the goalscoring markets are inevitably dominated by Harry Kane. The 29-year-old has an incredible record in the North London derby, bagging 14 goals from 16 league encounters, as there were just four games where he failed to net at least once. He arrives at this fixture having scored six goals in as many appearances for club and country since the World Cup knockout stages, and should once again be a thorn in the Gunner’s side.
After a disappointing return to action where they had to rescue a point away at Brentford and suffered a home defeat to Aston Villa, Antonio Conte’s side have put together back-to-back victories over Crystal Palace (4-0) and Portsmouth (1-0). The Eagles aren’t in great form however, while Pompey have just sunk into the bottom half of the League One table following some dissapoiting performances of their own.
Harry Kane To Score Anytime
That leaves the hosts a worrying W5-D2-L5 since mid-October, with those recent clean sheets over Palace and Portsmouth the only shutouts picked up over this period. Of greater concern are their results against the better teams, as they’ve lost four of five winless encounters with the traditional “Big Six” and Newcastle this season. In fact, they conceded twice at a minimum in each of these games, though did at least keep things competitive with Harry Kane scoring in all but one of these.
Both Teams To Score
In better news for Conte, home advantage has played a critical role in the North London derby in recent times. In league meetings alone, neither side has won their away fixture since the 2013/14 season, with Tottenham winning six of eight at home and Arsenal winning five of nine at the Emirates. Of the 17 league meetings over this period, both sides found the net on 11 occasions, and that appears likely once more with the two sides each boasting an in-form marksman.
Conte could also welcome as many as four players back to his squad this weekend too. Lucas Moura remains sidelined, but Yves Bissouma is expected to be fit and Dejan Kulusevski is back in training, while Richarlison and Rodrigo Bentancur will require late assessments. Mikel Arteta also has good news with Emile Smith Rowe back after a four-month lay-off, while initial concerns over Bukayo Saka have been alleviated after the winger was withdrawn as a precaution with a knee complaint against Oxford Utd.
Arsenal To Win 2-1
Although Arsenal have struggled on the road in this fixture in recent times, it must also be noted that they’ve improved drastically on their travels this campaign. They’ve averaged 1.79 xGF and 0.96 xGA (combined +0.83), whereas last season that combined figure was a much worse -0.39.
With that in mind and given Spurs have consistently suffered defeats against the top sides this term, the title-chasing Gunners get our vote to edge this one.
BOTH TEAMS TO SCORE
HARRY KANE TO SCORE ANYTIME
0.5pts: ARSENAL TO WIN 2-1 CORRECT SCORE
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