A Arsenal side in full flight have been further strengthened by the return of one of their ace strikers, Olivier Giroud, back to form. The tired but quietly confident Gunners will be returning from their UEFA Champions clash in Bulgaria against Ludogorets to host a weekend Premier League duel with 5th placed Tottenham Hotspur. The Spurs, too, will be coming out of a mid-week Champions League clash with Bayer Leverkusen at the Wembley.
For Mauricio Pochettino’s men it has been a goal drought. A reading of the following scores will throw up the Spurs low scores on goal-getting since October beginning
Tottenham 2 – Manchester City 0
West Bromwich Albion 1 – Tottenham 1
AFC Bournemouth 0 – Tottenham 0
Bayer Leverkusen 0 – Tottenham 0
Liverpool 2 – Tottenham 1
Tottenham 1 – Leicester City 1
Apart from their impressive win against Pep Guardiola’s men in early October, the Spurs have hardly made any impact in the remaining five matches. Minions Bournemouth and West Bromwich have managed to eke out draws and even a team like
Leicester City which has one of the worst away records in the Premier League succeeded in forcing the Spurs to a 1-1 draw at White Hart Lane. While the back line of Walker, Dier, Vertonghen and Rose have been exceptional in keeping out goals, folks like Dembele, Eriksen, Del Alli, despite all their fluidity upfront, have not produced the desired results. Even possession rates of 60 to 70 per cent haven’t translated into goals.The Spurs are having to bank heavily on Korean striker Son Heung-min to find the back of the net especially with Harry Kane out of the picture owing to a prolonged injury. The big signing Vincent Janssen is gradually turning into a liability with no replacement in sight.
While Spurs’ dour defence has been effective in warding off goals, against an aggressive counter-attacking side like Arsenal their resistance could just crumble. The 2nd placed Gunners have as many as 23 goals from their 10 Premier League outings so far and while the Spurs have conceded just 5 they have scored 14 (and only 3 from their last five games). The Gunners have scored as many as 13 goals in their last five appearances in all forms of competition and let in just three. Just everyone has been into goals this season for the Gunners – Alexis Sanchez (8), Theo Walcott (8), Mesut Özil (6), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (5) and folks in the midfield and defence, too, like Santiago Cazorla, Granit Xhaka and Laurent Koscielny have a couple each to their names.For the Spurs, Son Heung-min with five has been their top goal-getter by far and looks to be their best bet if they are to find the back of the Arsenal net on Saturday.
On paper there seems to be little likelihood of Tottenham coming off with a win at the Emirates. Unless the Gunners put in one of their rare inconsistent acts,it should be them all the way. As for the Spurs, a defeat would mean slipping down the table one more notch from the 5th position they presently are in.
Arsenal to win, Best Odds 22/23 888Sport
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