Ahead of this weekend’s huge North London derby between Arsenal and Tottenham, we take look at the key duels on the park and where the match could be won and lost.
Harry Kane’s goal record against Spurs’ North London rivals Arsenal is well documented, with the England captain’s tally of 11 Premier League goals against the Gunners a record in the fixture.
Only against Leicester City and Everton has Kane netted more frequently than when faced with Arsenal, with 19 and 14 goals respectively. Spurs’ top marksman will be hoping to continue in this vein as Antonio Conte’s men go in search of three points which would propel them above their rivals at the top of the Premier League table.
Standing in his wake at the weekend will be one of Arsenal’s stars of the season so far – 21-year-old central defender William Saliba. Frenchman Saliba has been a revelation at the back for the Gunners since returning from a successful loan spell with Marseille in his homeland, forming a formidable partnership with Gabriel.
A battle with a seasoned Premier League striker of Kane’s calibre will be a true test of Saliba’s mettle in his fledgling young career, and a perfect opportunity to endear himself even more with an already adoring Arsenal support.
bet365 have priced Kane at 5/1 to score first in the match.
At the opposite end of the pitch, a South American matchup is in store with Arsenal’s new Brazilian star striker Gabriel Jesus set to come face to face with Spurs’ accomplished Argentine defender Cristian Romero.
Both tenacious and spirited competitors on the park who are not shy to mix it with the opposition in physical duels, this has the makings of a great one-on-one contest.
Romero will have to be at the top of his game to thwart the advances of Jesus, who has bagged four Premier League goals since arriving from Manchester City in the summer.
The traders at bet365 are giving odds of 6/4 for Jesus to score anytime in the match, and 11/8 for Romero to be booked.
Finding a way of taming Harry Kane’s threat in attack for Spurs becomes more difficult when you factor in his devastating partnership with South Korean sensation Son Heung-min.
Usually deployed off the left, Son could find himself directly up against Arsenal’s Ben White who has been atypically used at right-back for the Gunners so far this season, in what appears a potentially fruitful mode of attack for Conte’s charges.
A natural centre-back, White could have his work cut out to contain Son, with Spurs’ number seven notching a scintillating hat-trick off the bench in his last Premier League outing after an uncharacteristic run of eight games without a goal in all competitions at the start of the season.
Son is 15/2 to score first in the match, with White priced at 4/1 to receive a yellow card.
Midfield maestro Martin Odegaard is a key cog in Mikel Arteta’s preferred 4-3-3 formation, with the Norwegian providing a key source of creativity and link between the midfield with the attack.
Odegaard will be an important player for Spurs to keep tabs on and limit the influence of if they are to keep Arsenal at bay, with Uruguayan midfielder Rodrigo Bentancur perhaps best positioned and equipped to combat his threat on the day.
Bentancur is an athletic midfielder who offers a screen of protection in front of the Spurs defence, and he will be tasked with keeping a watchful eye on Odegaard looking to make things happen for Arsenal in the final third.
You can get odds of 5/2 for Odegaard to register more than 0.5 assists, with Bentancur at 7/4 to get booked.
One of the most intriguing tactical battlegrounds in this weekend’s North London derby will be down the flank occupied by Arsenal’s influential right winger and Spurs’ Croatian summer signing Ivan Perisic at left wing-back.
Both managers will be hoping to gain authority in this area of the pitch in order to both impose their own will on the game and neutralise the threat of the opposition in what could become an almost cat-and-mouse individual tussle.
To this extent, the more involved and threatening Saka is down Arsenal’s right, the more defending the conventional winger Perisic will be forced to do for Spurs. Although if the Croatian is able to get forward regularly and provide impetus himself down Spurs’ left, then it will be Saka who is pinned back and nullified from the game.
bet365 are offering odds of 5/2 for Saka to score anytime, with Perisic priced at 6/1 in the same market.