Odds: Man City 31/20, The Draw 12/5, Arsenal 8/5
It will be one day short of 21 years since Tottenham last finished above Arsenal in the league when the Gunners kick off against Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium.
From game 24 of this season onwards, the prospect of St Totteringham’s Day (the day on which the Lilywhites can no longer mathematically finish above their rivals) being celebrated this year has seemed increasingly unlikely.
That is until a seven days for Spurs which saw their title challenge ended by draws against West Brom and Chelsea, with midfield maestros Dele Alli and Mousa Dembele lost to suspension for the season a long the way.
Suddenly a campaign seemingly destined to be remembered as Arsenal’s least forgivable failure to mount a credible title challenge since they last won the league can be redeemed.
Just three points behind Mauricio Pochettino’s demoralised and patched-up outfit with two games to play, the sheer schadenfreude of maintaining their dominion over north London could yet save their season.
First on the agenda, if that objective is to be achieved, is beating a Manchester City seemingly set up for the purpose after their dispiritingly fruitless midweek trip to Real Madrid.
Win, Lose or Draw?
Despite their moderate recent form, Arsenal have little in the way of excuses not to feel confident for this fixture.
They’re unbeaten in five clashes with their hosts, winning three of their four meetings across this season and the last.
A full week will have elapsed since they last saw action when besting Norwich 1-0, during which time City put up an utterly lifeless showing at Santiago Bernabeu.
Manuel Pellegrini’s swansong had already been in danger of going badly out of tune prior to their Champions League exit.
Their 1-0 defeat to Real meant that Manchester side have now won just once in five games.
Admittedly only one of the fixtures they failed to prevail in across that sequence (the 0-0 stalemate with Madrid) came on home turf.
Yet, backyard advantage has counted for little in the Citizens’ previous Etihad skirmishes with their fellow top-eight sides in 2015/16.
Of the leading octet coming into the penultimate matchweek, just one of the six to visit City in Manchester so far have failed to win.
In fact, only four teams in the Premier League have a worse record against sides in the top third than the team Pep Guardiola is soon to inherit.
No less than 83% of matches at the Etihad this season have ended up north of the 2.5-goals-divide this term making it by some margin the most entertaining ground in the Premier League.
Stamford Bridge came second on that particular scale, way back on 67%, suggesting City’s airline-emblazoned stronghold is an unparalleled goal magnet.
Three of the hosts’ last four clashes with Arsenal have also produced at least three strikes and 56% of the Gunners road games this term have rewarded overs backers.
Who will do the damage?
If Arsenal are expected to come away with three points then scorer bettors need to look no further than Alexis Sanchez.
The Chilean has found the net on four of the last five occasions his team has bagged at least once.
At 7/4 Olivier Giroud also makes some appeal, despite notching just twice in his last 21 appearances, having registered in his last three meetings with the Citizens.
There have been 26 goals in the first half of matches at the Etihad this season, but only nine netted after the interval.