Spurs go into the NLD Derby as odds on favourites with the bookies for the first time in the premier league era. In awesome form at home and playing some exciting free flowing football, and expected to win, there is still plenty to be wary of to avoid upsetting the apple-cart.
1. Chelsea win – Spurs are aiming for bigger things in the league this season than Arsenal. That’s not a dig, that’s just the reality of how it is. Any slim chance of winning the title relies on Chelsea dropping points today at Everton. If Chelsea win ahead of Spurs kicking off that could easily affect the players. With the title race over last season Spurs lost their last two matches to slip behind the gunners at the by the end of the season.
2. Over Confidence – confidence has been a feature of Spurs’ home performances of late, and whilst we want more of the same, this isn’t Bournemouth or Watford, this is Arsenal so some extra caution will be needed. Arsenal are one of the 6 clubs picked out to challenge for the title and whilst their season hasn’t been the best it’s not as bad as Arsenal Fan TV will have you believe. There are still good players, it’s still a NLD and they will be extra hungry to prove a point. They have had an upturn in form and momentum and a new formation that will make them hard to beat. Similar to last season anyone expecting a stroll may be disappointed. Patience will be needed. Maybe even coming from behind.
3. No Dembele – When the media hype up Spurs players this guy seems to be regularly missed. He’s our best player, and is undergoing a late fitness test to make today’s line up. The formation may switch from 3-5-2 to 4-2-3-1 if he doesn’t make it, and whilst Spurs should be able to shuffle and cope, having the big guy in there breaking up play and controlling the territory will be a massive plus.
4. Lloris error – Hugo is often subject to the old World Class debate. Is he? Isn’t He? The thing in the minus column would be his big match status. He doesn’t make many errors, or put in many bad displays but when he does it tends to be a big game. One in this fixture last year, to add to one at the Emirates, a couple against Chelsea last week, and a couple away at City. His mentality in big games is certainly a cause for concern and we’ll be hoping for no repeats.
5. Theo Walcott – he may not be the best player in Arsenals squad, but he loves playing against Tottenham, and with Rose out may enjoy it even more than if he was available. Spurs have always struggled against his pace and whilst a far better side now, minus Rose the left back side is the area of weakness matched worryingly with Walcott who has always enjoyed plenty of action on the right wing in this fixture. Combine with the overconfidence factor, Walcott could have plenty of opportunity to stretch Tottenham on the break if they do not box it clever.
A fast and frantic start from Tottenham who may need an early-ish goal to stop nerves setting in as Arsenal play their way into the game and push forward more in the second half.
I always say if you back 1-1 in the NLD and the home side to win 2-1 you won’t be far wrong.
Or if you can’t decide, back each team to have 2 or more corners in each half at 5/2
Dan De Luca