If there are two events that are likely to appeal to punters this weekend then without doubt, the two big derby matches in the Premier League this weekend will be the match ups attracting most bets.
First up in the capital, it is the North London derby at White Hart Lane where Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham take on fierce rivals Arsenal in a battle between the teams currently occupying the 5th and 6th spots in the Premier League table.
If either of those teams slip up then Liverpool will be seeking to capitalise, but they face a tough task making the very short trip across Stanley Park to the home of their city rivals Everton in what promises to be another exciting Merseyside derby.
Let’s take a look at each of the weekend’s big derby games, and have a look at which bets look the most appealing if you were looking to have a flutter on each game.
Tottenham Hotspur v Arsenal
Both these teams come into the game at the weekend on the back of excellent victories last weekend, Tottenham winning 3-0 at West Brom and Arsenal strolling to a 5-0 home win over Aston Villa. The Gunners have won eight of their last ten games and the signs are that Arsene Wenger’s team are just starting to look like a team capable of challenging Manchester City and Chelsea’s dominance. A 2-0 win at Manchester City seeming evidence that Arsenal are ready to make the next step.
The return of key players such as Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud from injury, plus the return to top form of the likes of Santi Cazorla have seen Arsenal show a more consistent side to their game in recent weeks. The Gunners have the 6th best away record in the Premier League and they will be confident of getting something from the game.
Tottenham’s recent form has been a tad more erratic than Arsenal, winning five, drawing three and losing two of their last ten games. Spurs don’t have the best home record in the Premier League (9th best) but they had won their last four at White Hart Lane prior to a shock 2-1 defeat to Leicester in the FA Cup.
Aaron Lennon has moved on to Everton on loan but Emmanuel Adebayor remains at the club after a deadline day move to West Ham was torpedoed by Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy.
Harry Kane, Spurs in form striker, signed a new deal on deadline day too and he will likely spearhead the Spurs attack in a game both teams will feel they need to take three points from if they are going to make a serious tilt at the Champions League places.
Tottenham v Arsenal betting tips
The first game between the two sides earlier this season at the Emirates finished in a 1-1 draw and looking at both teams and the odds, the 13/5 available with Bet365 on the draw looks a solid selection here in the Full Time Result market.
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Both teams will feel a point isn’t ideal, but is markedly better than losing the game. The bookies have Arsenal as the favourites to win the game at 11/10 but to be honest, I think that is very short, even if the Gunners do have a decent record at White Hart Lane over the years.
My other tip here is for the goalscorer market. Harry Kane would be my pick to grab the first goal at 11/2, though it may be more prudent to back him at 8/5 to score anytime.
For Arsenal, Alexis Sanchez is the clear favourite to score at any time 5/4, but I think Aaron Ramsey has the knack for scoring key goals in big games for the Gunners and I like the odds of 21/10 on the Welshman scoring at any time for the Gunners.
Everton v Liverpool
The last time these two sides met at Anfield back in September, a superb last gasp strike from Phil Jagielka handed Everton a share of the points in a game that up until then Liverpool had largely dominated.
Both sides have struggled for the consistency they showed last season but the signs are Liverpool are finally coming out of their early season malaise. They have lost just once, an extra time defeat at Chelsea, in their last 13 games and with Daniel Sturridge back in first team contention and a new tactical system working well for manager Brendan Rodgers, the Reds will be confident of exacting revenge for that late equaliser back at Anfield.
Everton’s recent form has been disappointing to say the least, with manager Roberto Martinez thankful that last week’s 1-0 win at Crystal Palace saw them win for the first time since 15th December. Martinez also moved to strengthen his squad on transfer deadline day with the speedy Tottenham winger Aaron Lennon joining the club to provide the club with real pace down the right hand side.
The departure of Samuel Eto’o to Sampdoria was a surprise, but it seems the return of Arouna Kone from injury meant that Martinez felt his side had sufficient options in attack to do without the Cameroonian veteran. Goodison Park will likely be a hotbed of local fervour come tea time on Saturday night and this will be a fiery encounter, as most derby games tend to be.
Everton v Liverpool betting tips
Four of the last five matches between these two teams have finished in a draw, oddly enough 0-0, 1-1, 2-2 and 3-3. Liverpool winning the other match in this period 4-0 at Anfield last season.
Everton’s last win over Liverpool came back in October 2010, when they won 2-0. The 12/5 on the draw here looks a good choice if you view the historical data, but derby games are always hard to predict and you could make a case for Everton or Liverpool winning the game. That said, I feel that the smart money is probably on the draw which is my selection here.
Another solid option is the 4/6 available on both teams to score, as this is a derby game which seems to indicate both teams will find the net, given both sides defensive frailties at times this season combined with both side having a potent attack.
If you are looking for a good goalscorer bet then Leighton Baines as an 11/2 option to score anytime is a strong bet. Baines will no doubt be back on penalty duty for Everton, plus his proficiency at set pieces, an area where Liverpool have shown weakness this season, could be a key factor.