The London Derby we’ve all been waiting for
Goals, goals, goals. That’s what we’re promised when Arsenal take on Spurs tomorrow. No match in recent years has provided fans with more goals – and thrills – than the north London derby.
The last two games at the Emirates have finished 5-2 to Arsenal, the year before it was 3-2 to Spurs, two years before that it was 4-4. There have been 30 goals scored in the past five fixtures on Arsenal soil, an average of six a game. We have also had a 3-3 and a 4-5 at White Hart Lane as well as other Cup tie goal-fests.
Coral rate +5.5 goals a 10/1 chance and that definitely catches the eye with both sides likely to come out all guns blazing again as the debate rages over which is now the better team after all the comings (and Bale going) at Spurs.
To the outsider, it has been extremely entertaining – “we are better than you…no you’re not…yes we are…” – and of course it is likely to prove much more important than just local bragging rights at the end of the season with the two rivals probably vying with Liverpool for fourth spot and a vital Champions League place.
Whatever happens tomorrow is unlikely to settle the argument one way or the other. This game is a one-off and of course the dynamic might change again before Monday night when the transfer window shuts.
As it stands, while Spurs have changed half their side with the acquisition of Paulinho, Roberto Soldado, Erik Lamela and others, Arsenal have (to be charitable) been playing the waiting game, their only recent signing of note being the return of France international Mathieu Flamini from AC Milan on a free.
But while Spurs supporters will be confident that their team now has what it takes to at last get the better of Arsenal over the season, Gunner fans remain hopeful that quality players like Jack Wilshire, Theo Walcott and Santi Cazorla can ensure they remain top dogs.
Walcott has, in particular, been talking Arsenal up this past week and it would be no surprise to see him make his point on the pitch tomorrow. Coral go 6/1 he scores first or last for the home side (7/4 at any time) and 3/1 an assist during the 90 minutes.
As for the final score, it might be best to think of a number and double it! Arsenal are 125/1 to complete a hat-trick of 5-2 victories, while another 4-4 is 150/1.
And while it might be asking too much for another bonanza, there is every chance of these two attacking sides producing a few goals. Coral go 22/1 an Arsenal 3-2 win and 28/1 Spurs edging it by the same scoreline. Honours even is perhaps the most likely outcome in the circumstances and it might be worth risking a couple of quid on 2-2 at 11/1.
Written by Jon Freeman