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Arsenal v Tottenham Prediction: Back on Xhaka in the cards markets

Arsenal v Tottenham Prediction: Granit Xhaka features in our NLD bets.
Arsenal v Tottenham Prediction: Granit Xhaka features in our NLD bets.

The first North London Derby of the campaign takes place on Sunday afternoon at the Emirates.

The hosts may be the bookies favourites here at odds 6/5 but they certainly are not the value considering that their implied probability of victory of those odds is 45% and they have only won 25% of their games when priced accordingly.

In terms of team news for Arsenal, it is worth noting that Granit Xhaka is back from suspension and will likely anchor their midfield here alongside Thomas Partey. Emile Smith Rowe is also expected to come back into the starting eleven on the left side at the expense of Nicolas Pepe.

At around 12/5, Tottenham’s price is spot on as both the implied probability of those odds and the percentage of games they have won at those odds both equals 29%. Nuno Espirito Santo could be without the likes of Lucas Moura, Ryan Sessegnon and Steven Bergwijn here though as the trio face late fitness tests. Oliver Skipp was dropped to the bench against Chelsea but could return here at the expense of Tanguy Ndombele.

Arsenal v Tottenham Tips

Arsenal v Tottenham Odds

Today's football tips
Under 2.5 goals
4/5
Odds correct as of 2021-09-24 12:40 Odds subject to change.

For the most part derbies are usually drab, low scoring affairs frequently ending all square or with the local rivals separated by a solitary goal. Form, financial backing and proceedings in the table are inconsequential in the grand scheme of things. Whilst the second sentence does apply, the first has not in recent history when it comes to the North London Derby.

Since the turn of the decade, these sides have met 52 times in total, there have been a total of 125 goals scored- that is a goals per game average of 2.40- and both teams to score has landed in 73% of those matches.

This fixture has thrown up some ludicrous results, plenty of 3-0’s, 3-1’s and 2-2’s, with the odd 5-1, 4-4, 4-2 and 3-3 and even back-to-back 5-2’s! However, given the last couple of seasons for these clubs, I think these thrillers are a thing of the past.

Both clubs sit in the bottom quarter of the table for goals scored so far this campaign, Arsenal have only found the net twice whilst Spurs have scored thrice. In terms of expected points, Arsenal should sit in sixteenth with Spurs a place below them.

Spurs looked threatening on the counter attack at the beginning of the season but the creativity has never been there, the chances have dried up and Harry Kane is starving up top. England’s skipper has not found the net yet and only generated an xG of 0.70.

The Gunners have only found the net once from open play despite having 57 shots. That is a conversion rate of just 1.7%!

Therefore, I am happy to go against goals here and certainly would not want to put anyone off backing 0-0. 

Arsenal v Tottenham odds
Granit Xhaka to be carded & under 2.5 goals
15/4
Odds correct as of 2021-09-24 12:40 Odds subject to change.

Granit Xhaka has played in eleven North London and his disciplinary record is outstandingly poor. He has picked up seven yellow cards in total, six of which came in his last seven appearances and the only match he was not carded in was when there were no fans allowed in the stadium. He has also committed a hefty 20 fouls in his last five games against Spurs, seven of which came in one single appearance.

Given that he has been carded in 63% of the North London Derby he has appeared in you could make a case for his price being odds on. Looking at his career on the whole though- and the fact that he has averaged 0.33 cards per 90- I make his price of 6/4 perfectly apt given the circumstances of this fixture in isolation.

Using Boylesports ‘Bet Builder’ you can combine a Xhaka card with the game to feature two or fewer goals at 15/4 which I think is a nice way in here.

Granit Xhaka to be sent off
28/1
Odds correct as of 2021-09-24 12:45 Odds subject to change.

Domestically, Xhaka has picked up nine red cards in 413 appearances, I have his price for a red card in an average game at around 32/1.

Given his record for cards against Spurs though and his freakishly high fouls average it is a bit of a minor miracle that the Swiss midfielder has never been given his marching orders in this fixture. I think Sunday will be the day he breaks his duck and at 28/1 it will provide us with an interesting longshot for this clash.

Best of luck if you are backing any of these selections and please remember to gamble responsibly. 

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