Another round of fixtures beckon in the Premier League this weekend and by far the standout game is the North London derby between Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal. These two sides hold one of the fiercest rivalries in English football and no matter where or when they play, there is always incident, controversy, and thrilling football.
Spurs host the Gunners at Wembley in the Saturday lunchtime kick-off, and it should be yet another high-octane match brimming with talking points. Both are in a battle for Champions League places at the top of the Premier League table, but both are currently outside of the leading quartet and have work to do to catch up. Arsenal won the reverse fixture at the Emirates back in November last year but Spurs will be out for revenge in front of their home supporters. The nature of this game also makes it intriguing from a betting point of view, with league position and local bragging rights up for grabs.
Another game which catches the eye from a betting perspective is Everton’s home match against Crystal Palace on Saturday afternoon. The Eagles have successfully climbed out of the relegation zone under Roy Hodgson but remain in danger of being sucked back in. The Toffees have improved considerably under Sam Allardyce and hold 10th place but they are not entirely out of the woods in a congested bottom half of the table. However, this game has the profile of exactly the type of match in which Allardyce teams thrive, and the bookmakers are offering generous odds about a home win.
Our third recommended bet this weekend waits until Sunday when Southampton host Liverpool. the Saints are unbeaten in six matches, but this tipster suspects those results are not as good as they look on paper. Liverpool suffered surprise defeats to West Brom (FA Cup) and Swansea (League), but they remain third in the table and have bounced back with good performances against Huddersfield and Spurs.
Spurs v Arsenal
While this fixture is often a tight one it doesn’t always lack goals. Odds of +138 with BetVictor about over 3.5 goals could be worth taking in a game that has the potential to be explosive.
Spurs currently occupy 5th place in the Premier League table with 49 points, while Arsenal are one spot back in 6th with 45 points. That four-point gap means that this is a game where the Gunners will be eyeing up a valuable three points to reduce the deficit.
Alexis Sanchez made the move to Manchester United with Henrik Mkhitaryan going in the opposite direction. The Armenian made a stunning start to his Arsenal career with three assists in the 5-1 mauling of Everton, and along with the signing of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, provides a new dimension to Wenger’s attack. Three of their last five games have gone over the 3.5 goal line and both teams have scored in each of them.
Harry Kane joined the Premier League century club with his 100th goal in the 2-2 draw with Liverpool and it is hard to point to a better striker in English football at the moment. Spurs haven’t lost a game since the 4-1 defeat at Manchester City on the 16th of December and as such an attacking side, they are no strangers to a high-scoring match.
The last two fixtures between the sides have ended 2-0 in favour of the home team but I’m going to stick my neck out and recommend a bet on over 3.5 goals in a game that should provide compulsive viewing.
Everton v Crystal Palace
Everton are quoted at +130 with BetVictor to take three points at Goodison and that looks wide of the mark.
Sam Allardyce excels at winning home matches against mid-to-lower league opposition and this type of game has been the ‘bread and butter’ of his success at maintaining Premier League status over the years. The Toffees are also coming off the back of a humiliating defeat at Arsenal and it is far from unusual for teams to show a reaction after such results. Everton have won four of the last seven on home soil, only failing to get the better of Manchester United, Chelsea, and West Brom.
Palace are three points clear of the drop zone in a very tight bottom half of the table. That’s a huge improvement from earlier in the season when they were rooted to the bottom but they’ve only won two of the last nine fixtures. It’s been 1-1 draws the last twice with West Ham and Newcastle but, on paper at least, Everton are a better side than both of those opponents. Prices of odds-against about the home win are well worth taking in this fixture.
Southampton v Liverpool
Finally, I’m tipping Liverpool to take three points from their trip to the South coast at odds of -127 with 888Sport.
Southampton are unbeaten in six matches under Mauricio Pellegrino but does the form stack up to anything of note? Last week’s 3-2 win over now-bottom club West Brom was an excellent away result which helped to allay the Saints’ relegation fears, but both other victories in this sequence have been slender 1-0 FA Cup victories over Fulham and Watford. They held Spurs to a 1-1 draw at home back in January but have also drawn matches with Brighton and Watford in the Premier League. Southampton have failed to win in the last six top-flight home games and have been beaten at St Mary’s by Leicester and Crystal Palace.
Liverpool are third in the table, and while the title is beyond reach, a Champions League place is well within the reckoning. A blip of two defeats to West Brom and Swansea came as a surprise recently, but in a wider context the Reds have won six of the last ten matches and drawn two – with Arsenal and Spurs. Jurgen Klopp’s side have also won five of the last seven on the road and are the division’s second-top scorers after Manchester City. Sunday’s match could well be a happy return the South coast for former Saints’ defender Virgil Van Dijk.
Spurs v Arsenal – Over 3.5 goals
Saturday 10th February, 12:30 GMT
Everton to beat Crystal Palace
Saturday 10th February, 15:00 GMT
Liverpool to beat Southampton
Sunday 11th February, 16:30 GMT