The match of the weekend in the Premier League is surely the North London derby between Arsenal and Spurs at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday. A packed midweek of Champions and Europa league games has ensured that five fixtures will be played, and with three live on TV, it’s a Super Sunday to look forward to.
Also in action are last season’s champions Leicester and Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool, who are being tipped by many to match the Foxes achievement this time around. The Reds are joint top of the table and only below Manchester City and Arsenal on goal difference. They host Watford in what might not be the quite the home banker that the bookmakers are expecting. The Hornets are flying high in 7th place under Walter Mazzarri, and they’re unbeaten in four ahead of the trip to Anfield.
Leicester’s heroics in the Champions League haven’t quite been matched by their league form, but they have played away at Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea and Spurs already this season. This week it’s a much more palatable home tie against West Brom. With Champions League qualification more or less in the bag, Claudio Ranieri can turn his attention to the league – starting with three points on Sunday.
Arsenal v Tottenham
Firstly, Arsenal look a fair bet at +100 with William Hill to beat a misfiring Tottenham side.
Spurs can’t possibly be as lacklustre as they were in the Champions League defeat to Bayer Leverkusen in midweek, and this fixture does tend to bring the best out in them. However, with Harry Kane on the sidelines it’s been a poor return in front of goal for the North Londoners in recent weeks. They’ve hit just three goals in the last six matches without the England striker. Despite being unbeaten so far in the league they’ve failed to win any of those six, losing to Levekusen and Liverpool (EFL Cup) and drawing the other four.
Spurs are still 5th in the table and with Kane set to return, their season is very much still alive. Last season’s Premier League top goalscorer is said to be in line to come back for this match, and although that will give Spurs players an extra boost, he can hardly be expected to be up to match sharpness.
Sharpness is something Arsenal have had in spades in recent weeks, and by comparison, the free-scoring Gunners have notched 18 goals in their last six games. It’s ten wins in eleven games for Arsene Wenger – whisper it quietly – but Arsenal could be serious challengers for the league title this year. They’ve been beaten only once since losing to Barcelona in the Champions League back in March, and that was the 4-3 defeat to Liverpool on the opening day of this season.
Champions League group qualification has been secured with two games to spare, and all is rosy at the Emirates right now. Sanchez, Walcott, Giroud and Ozil are all among the goals at the moment, and as a team the Gunners have too much firepower for Spurs. It’s ended all square in the last two encounters at Arsenal, but Wenger’s men emerged victorious on the previous four meetings on their ground and can do so again on Sunday.
Liverpool v Watford
Liverpool are as short as -333 to beat Watford, which seems a little disrespectful to the 7th placed club, and a better bet might be a home win and both teams to score at +200 with Betfair.
The Reds have been very impressive under Jurgen Klopp this season, and their position in the top three is well deserved. It’s been nine victories in eleven matches, but such is their attacking style that they’ve conceded in eight of those games. Liverpool have conceded in four of their last five matches at Anfield – the likes of Leicester, Hull, West Brom and Spurs have all found the net in defeat. The fans won’t care a jot as long as the wins keep coming, but defensively they are vulnerable and Watford are good enough to take advantage.
The Hornets are on a run of four unbeaten and have only lost once in five Premier League away games. They’ve taken points from Southampton, West Ham, Swansea and Middlesbrough on the road, and although this is a step up in class, they can play without pressure. 7th place is more than would have been expected at this stage, but Mazzarri has filled his squad with good quality players and relegation shouldn’t be a concern this year. They’ve found the net in ten of their last twelve games, and lose as they might on Sunday, they’re fancied to get on the scoresheet.
Leicester v West Brom
True they are playing on the back of a 0-0 Champions League draw in Copenhagen, but the Foxes have had a tough run of league fixtures and their ‘poor’ domestic form is slightly exaggerated. As mentioned, away games at Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester United and Spurs is an unforgiving sequence, but home form has actually been much better. In five games at the King Power in the Premier League this season they’ve won three (Crystal Palace, Burnley, Swansea), and drawn two (Arsenal and Southampton).
West Brom are 16th in the league, just three above the relegation zone, and on a run of just one win in ten matches since the opening day victory over Crystal Palace. Nacer Chadli has been a bright spark of the season so far, but they have little strength in depth and will continue to struggle for goals with a conservative game plan.
After all but securing Champions League group qualification in the week, there should be a party atmosphere in Leicester and they could just blow West Brom away.
Arsenal to beat Tottenham
Sunday 6th November, 12:00 GMT
Liverpool to beat Watford and Both Teams to Score
Sunday 6th November, 14:15 GMT
Leicester to beat West Brom
Sunday 6th November, 16:30 GMT
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