Verdict: Arsenal win
Best Odds: 7/5
With all eyes on the north London derby this weekend, Arsenal will welcome Tottenham to what should be a lively Emirates on Sunday afternoon.
Starting with the hosts, while Arsenal might have opened the 2021/22 campaign in the midst of a very public struggle, the Gunners should be boosted by their recent bounce. Last seen in midweek when managing to extend on their EFL Cup adventure, they eventually cruised their way to a 3-0 win against League One side AFC Wimbledon on home soil. With Mikel Arteta praising his side after Wednesday’s routine victory at the Emirates, Pep Guardiola’s former right-hand man finds his side now in the midst of a three-match winning run across all formats. Marking their return from September’s international break with much-needed back-to-back 1-0 wins against early-season relegation picks Norwich and Burnley, Arsenal will also be boosted by their recent improvements at the back. Appearing to have found some resolve defensively, Sunday’s hosts have also kept a clean sheet in each of their three consecutive victories. Desperate to cash in on their recent purple patch, Arteta will know that his side have a real chance to lay down what would be a notable marker on home soil this weekend.
Despite dropping out against AFC Wimbledon in midweek, Aaron Ramsdale should retain his Premier League spot between the sticks this weekend. Midfielder Granit Xhaka could make his return on Sunday after serving a suspension.
Although he might have come off against Burnley last weekend, left-back Kieran Tierney should start here.
As for the visitors, just about managing to extend on their EFL Cup run from the penalty spot in midweek, Tottenham still have the feel of a side seeking some stability. Avoiding what would have been a real collapse away at Wolves on Wednesday, new boss Nuno Espírito Santo does find his side in the midst of a September wobble. While Spurs might have opened the 2021/22 campaign with three Premier League 1-0 wins on the bounce, they have largely failed to keep up that momentum. Putting on a nightmare second-half display at home against bitter rivals Chelsea last weekend, the Lilywhites were hit with a 3-0 drumming in front of their own supporters. Coming under real scrutiny after opening their Conference League adventure with a 2-2 draw away at Ligue 1 outfit Rennes last week, Tottenham have also shown some recent issues at the back. Including a dreadful 3-0 defeat at the hands of Crystal Palace earlier in the month, Spurs have shipped at least a pair of goals in each of their last four outings.
Finding the net against Wolves on EFL Cup duties in midweek, Harry Kane will lead Tottenham’s charge on Sunday afternoon as he still searches for his first Premier League strike.
Defender Japhet Tanganga is available to make his return from suspension this weekend. However, both Lucas Moura and Steven Bergwijn are still seen as real doubts.
Key Factors to Consider
- When Sunday’s opponents last faced off on Premier League duties back in March, Arsenal picked up a 2-1 victory on home soil.
- The Gunners have lost just one of their last 12 straight home fixtures against Tottenham, a run that stems back to 2010.
- Tottenham have conceded over 1.5 goals in each of their last four straight matchups across all formats.
- Arsenal have won each of their last three contests across all formats, keeping a clean sheet in each of those victories.
- Spurs have suffered back-to-back 3-0 Premier League defeats against Chelsea and Crystal Palace.
Despite enduring a very public struggle when opening the 2021/22 campaign, Arsenal should be looking to lay down a real marker on Sunday afternoon. Managing to extend on their recent purple patch with a routine 3-0 win against AFC Wimbledon on EFL Cup duties in midweek, the Gunners have now won each of their last three matchups on the bounce. Showing some much-needed resolve at the back and keeping a clean sheet in each of those three wins, this weekend’s hosts should also be boosted by an impressive home record against their bitter rivals. With Tottenham showing some real September issues at the back, Spurs have managed to win just one of their last 12 straight matchups against Arsenal on the road, a run that stems back to 2010.
Verdict: Arsenal win
Best Odds: 7/5
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