Preview of the North London Derby a Tottenham Perspective

Tottenham (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
Tottenham (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images) /
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Gareth Bale with Harry Kane Tottenham
LONDON, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 01: Gareth Bale with Harry Kane Tottenham (Photo by John Walton -) /

Expectations and Prediction for NLD

Given the anything can happen nature of this affair, we should expect the unexpected. With Michael Oliver managing the pitch as the official, the unexpected should likely include a penalty. Oliver actually awarded one each to Arsenal and Chelsea in the Gunners 3-1 win in December.

In all likelihood, any penalty will be for, rather than against Arsenal. The Gunners have scored five penalties this season while conceding only one. Alternatively, Tottenham has conceded six and only converted three.

Tottenham must once again avoid stupid and bad fouls

Besides penalty kicks, Arsenal is also strong in set pieces and we know Tottenham is weak there. The Gunners have scored on four set-pieces this season while the Spurs have conceded on six. Between the penalty kicks and set pieces, those 12 goals represent 43% of what Tottenham has conceded and the nine goals for Arsenal are 26% of their total. Those statistics demonstrate just how critical avoiding those situations is for the Lilywhites.

Given the intensity and emotion that is likely to be involved in the game Sunday, we should expect that Spurs will give up at least one bad or stupid foul, the key is limiting how many. If Tottenham can manage to stay on the front foot as they have for the most part the last several matches, it will go a long way toward avoiding the dumb fouls and giving Arsenal the chances they covet.

Tottenham are just too strong for Arsenal in the end

While a 0-3 whitewash of Arsenal would be ideal, it is hard to envision the Spurs getting the shutout on the road, crowd or not. Arsenal is likely to get a chance or two and convert at least one of them. However, much to their chagrin Tottenham will get several more chances and convert on at least three of them and run rampant at the Emirates.

José Mourinho has this team clicking on all cylinders and it does not matter they are playing their archrivals. Tottenham is picking up steam and Arsenal is now just the next team on the track. Expect a Tottenham win that is bigger than Arsenal fans will like but not quite as big as Spurs fans want either, as the Lillywhites win 1-3, with Son, Bale, and Kane all scoring for Spurs in the big win.

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