The great thing about introducing a new format is that you get to tweak it around to suit your needs. Even though this is called Match of the Week, we’re going to have to cover more than one match. This Sunday is looking juicy with two big derbies coming up. (OK Chelsea v Fulham is on too, but I wouldn’t classify it as big as the others). The first North London Derby of the season, and the Merseyside Derby a few hours later. Considering that four of the top six teams will be playing each other, the shape at the top of the table might be shifting around.
The North London Derby
Over the past few years the derbies have been tight affairs with neither team scoring more than 2 goals since 2012 when Arsenal beat Spurs 5 – 2. During their last game back in February, Spurs emerged 1-0 victors after a 49th minute strike by Harry Kane was enough to seal the win.
Both teams are on a great run of form, with Arsenal being undefeated in their last 18 games across all competitions and Spurs have won 6 games on the trot. It’s difficult to see how this game will turn out but Spurs have not had one draw so far this year, and both teams will be playing for the win. Arsenal have been really weak in the first half of each game so expect Spurs to take advantage of that and try to inflict some early damage. On the other hand, Arsenal haven’t suffered two consecutive defeats against Spurs since 1982, and as they showed against Liverpool a few weeks ago, they can band together and fight as a unit when they put their mind to it. Spurs haven’t been able to beat Arsenal at home since November 2010.
Taking in all of the above, I’d consider Tottenham to be winning after the first half at 41/20. Or the game to end in a draw and both teams to score at 16/5.
If the North London Derby promises to be an exciting affair then the Merseyside Derby promises to be no less explosive. Over the past few seasons Everton have invested heavily in their team, some complete duds, but also a few gems. While Liverpool have transformed into one of the most exciting attacking teams in the Premier League under the tutelage of Jurgen Klopp. Adding to Everton’s misery is the fact that they haven’t won this fixture, home or away, since October 2010.
We can’t see this match up going any way other than a Liverpool win. Also considering that Liverpool have only conceded one goal at home in the Premier League this season we see Liverpool to Win to Nil at 7/5 as being the best option here.