Tottenham Hotspur vs Arsenal
Spurs host Arsenal at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Sunday afternoon in the strangest of circumstances.
While Spurs vs Arsenal would normally be a battle in the midst of a Top Four chase in Premier League, it is now a pivotal match in the hunt for Europa League. Add to that the absence of the usually noisy atmosphere in these games and it will be a weird experience for fans and players alike.
But one thing that never changes is the fierce rivalry between these two old foes and most of all it’s about the North London bragging rights.
Jose’s VAR woes
Spurs have picked up four points from the last three games and that modest return has left them in ninth place, a point behind Arsenal and ten behind a top four spot.
The return of Harry Kane and Heung-Min Son from injury gave Spurs fans cause for optimism, but they have struggled to recapture their best form, while Jose Mourinho has been even more perplexed by the VAR technology. In a recent defeat to Sheffield United, Harry Kane was denied an equaliser at a crucial point in the game when VAR spotted a handball by Lucas Moura in the build up. Jose was furious and a UK TV pundit called the decision ‘horrendous’.
SBOBET football fans can be frustrated by VAR; but Jose hates it!
His side got back to winning ways against Everton thanks to a Michael Keane own goal, and then he was delighted by a bust-up between Son and keeper Hugo Lloris after the Frenchman berated his team-mate for careless defending. The Spurs boss praised their passion.
But then a completely lacklustre display against relegation threatened Bournemouth ended in a 0-0 draw, and while Spurs didn’t register a single shot on target, VAR was the villain again in Mourinho’s eyes… and he had a point. How the Cherries’ striker Josh King got away with a shove on Kane I’ll never know. It was a clear penalty on a night when VAR got it wrong in all three Premier League games. Both Manchester United and Southampton were on the lucky side when they were awarded distinctly dodgy penalties.
Jose made his feelings known, as you’d expect, saying only VAR assistant referee, Michael Oliver, couldn’t see King’s foul, and pointing out Oliver was also the VAR official during the defeat to Sheffield. The bad news for the Spurs boss is that the very same will be in the middle, refereeing the derby on Sunday!
No Nketiah for Gunners
The mood at the Emirates has been a little lighter as Mikel Arteta’s side has progressed well in recent weeks, with consecutive wins over Southampton, Norwich City and Wolves, scoring eight unanswered goals, as well as reaching the FA Cup final at the expense of Sheffield United.
They had to settle for a point in their last game against Leicester City which they had under control, but they let the Foxes off the hook. Young striker Eddie Nketiah was sent off and, after an unsuccessful appeal, faces a three match ban. He was initially booked for a foul on James Justin, but VAR got stuck in and upgraded it to red.
You see Jose; it isn’t just Spurs struggling with the technology!
Nketiah’s absence is Spurs vs Arsenal news to please the Whites’ boss. He’s one of a number of young players impressing at the Emirates. 18 year old winger Bukayo Saka has made six assists and he could be in for a start against Spurs, having scored in the impressive win over Wolves.
Striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has continued his fine form, scoring his 20th goal of the season against Leicester and is in the race for the Golden Boot, just two behind the Foxes’ Jamie Vardy.
The Gunners have won twice as many of the North London derbies in the Premier League era as their rivals, at 24 to 12, but Spurs have not lost to Arsenal in the last four games when they have played at home.
The last two meetings have been draws, 2-2 at the Emirates in September and 1-1 in Spurs’ home fixture last season.
|Tottenham Hotspur vs Arsenal||Arsenal First Half Asian Handicap 0.00 @ 2.01|
|July 12, 23:30 (GMT+8)|
All derbies are tough to call as the increase in passion and rivalry comes into play, and this clash is no different. Spurs are at 2.50 to win with the Gunners at 2.70 and the draw is available at odds of 3.11.
With all three results in play, SBOBET Asian Handicap sports betting is the way to join in this one, and I’m going for a Draw no Bet win for Arsenal in the first half.
The Gunners have their tails up, while Spurs are stuttering and Arteta’s men have won their last three games on the road.
|A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR () BETS ARE WORTH:|
|= €20 (Highly confident)||= €10 (CONFIDENT)||= €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)|
Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.
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