CB: The North London derby rarely disappoints and it looks like we’re in for another cracker this weekend. Which way do you see it going?
LC: For the first time in years, Tottenham go into the north London derby as favourites, and on recent form, it is warranted. During Arsene Wenger’s 15 years at the helm, Arsenal have always had a stronger squad than their arch rivals, however this season, roles have reversed. Harry Redknapp has established an extremely powerful side with depth in numbers. For this reason, Tottenham’s favouritism in bwin’s 3Way result market is just, and 11/10 for a home victory is a great price. I cannot see Arsenal overturning Spurs at White Hart Lane.
GT: Spurs have caused Arsenal a few problems in recent clashes between them, but let’s not forget that the Gunners have only lost one league game at the Lane since 1999. Yes, they have problems defensively, but the open nature of these matches plays into their hands and I wouldn’t be surprised if they came up trumps at 47/20. However, these fixtures have often ended in draws and I’ll be backing that at 11/5.
CB: All the talk in the build-up has been about Emmanuel Adebayor, who is likely to be the pantomime villain for Arsenal fans. Will he come back to haunt them again?
LC: Tottenham have an abundance of players who you could argue a case for grabbing a goal. Rafael van der Vaart seemed to enjoy this fixture last season, scoring twice at the Lane, and also notching at The Emirates. His passion and desire is unquestionable and he has always stepped up in the big games, so odds of 6/1 for Van der Vaart to score first goal are excellent value. On top of this, Arsenal have a habit of conceding penalties against their north London rivals, and the Dutchman will step up and find the net if this happens. Both fixtures last season saw him score from the penalty spot, so odds of 17/10 for Van der Vaart to score at anytime are worth a second look. But as you say Chris, the dream for Tottenham fans would be to see Adebayor score against his former club. When playing for the red half of north London, Adebayor had a phenomenal record in this fixture, and the white half of north London will be praying he brings that form into Sunday’s clash. He has claimed it is written in the stars for him to score in this match, and if bwin customers believe this to be case, then 5/1 for him to break the deadlock should be snapped up.
GT: I’ve got nothing to say about Adebayor, thank you very much! Robin van Persie is Arsenal’s main man this season and after scoring his 99th and 100th goals for the club in last week’s win over Bolton he will be brimming with confidence. He has five goals to his name already this campaign and has scored four goals in his last four league starts against Spurs, which makes his odds of 17/10 to score at any time look staggering value. Theo Walcott scored at Spurs last season and bwin’s odds of 13/4 for him to score at any time could also be worth a shout, assuming he passes a fitness test.
CB: Goals are always guaranteed when these two rivals lock horns, so where’s the best value in this area?
LC: Yep, goals are definitely on the agenda. The 5-4 Arsenal victory in November 2004 is probably the most memorable example of this in recent years. With Spurs currently having the edge over their rivals, a bet on them to win and over 3.5 combined goals scored in the game at odds of 19/4 looks very tasty.
GT: I’m expecting plenty of goals as well, it’s a no-brainer really. Three wins on the spin with eight goals scored will give Arsenal added confidence and odds of 31/20 on there to be over 3.5 goals scored looks a must considering there has not been a goalless draw between the two sides in the league since 1998.
CB: Over 3.5 goals definitely looks a decent punt. What else are you looking at?
GT: Arsenal have scored in all but two games this season and have trailed at half-time just once so I believe they represent great value at 12/1 to lead at the break then be pegged back for the draw at full-time. I would fully expect Arsenal to fulfill their odds of 37/20 to score in the first half as they have done in their last three games. A fast start is what will be required and with the pace of Walcott, the creativity of Aaron Ramsey and the goal threat of Van Persie, you would expect the Gunners to strike early on. Arsenal scored nine times against Spurs last season, including seven at the Lane, which should give the Gunners faithful hope. They also opened the scoring in all of those games.
LC: Tottenham to win the second half at odds of 3/2 looks to be the gem of the betting card. Having already discussed the games during the 2010/11 campaign, it is obviously a no brainer why this is a worthwhile bet, but this season’s early form also points to this outcome. Arsenal have already thrown away points against Blackburn after holding an advantage. Leading 2-1 at the interval, they seemed to press the self-destruct button and ended up losing 4-3. Contrastingly, the Lilywhites have won the second half against Wolves and Liverpool. Going into the game with total confidence, Spurs are likely to come out firing at the beginning of both halves, and the experience the members of their squad have over Arsene’s young guns should ensure the men from White Hart Lane win the second half. New customers receive a free £25 bet for joining bwin – and backing Tottenham to win the second half would return £62.50 if successful.
CB: Thank you both for your thoughts – I can’t wait for this one to get started!
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