Andre Villas-Boas was condemned as a Premier League flop last season after exiting Stamford Bridge just a few months into his Chelsea stint, although the Portuguese is now flying with Tottenham.
It helps when you have a player like Gareth Bale who is currently winning games singlehandedly for Spurs and Monday’s 3-2 win at West Ham was a case in hand, with the Welshman burying two excellent goals to ensure Tottenham are four points clear of Arsenal going into this game.
Sunday’s north London derby was always going to be a hotly-contested match although this is a significant match when it comes to determining whether the Gunners are going to continue playing Champions League football or instead drop down to the Europa League.
Defeat for Arsenal would mean that a top four finish is highly unlikely and bet365 offer an attractive 11/8 that their arch-enemies land a maximum haul which could yet see Bale and Villas-Boas steer their team into second spot in the Premier League.
Arsene Wenger’s team do have a Champions League match in Munich on the horizon, although this match is arguably their most important of the season and the Frenchman will point to the fact that they won the first north London derby of the campaign by a 5-2 scoreline.
On the flip side, Emmanuel Adebayor was sent off early in that match and Arsenal made heavy weather of beating their opponents, although last weekend’s 2-1 win against Aston Villa keeps them in the hunt for a top-four finish.
For several seasons, the Gunners have been favourites to win this particular fixture although bookies such as Coral are prepared to go 2/1 about the visitors winning at White Hart Lane and they been a flimsy betting prospect for much of the campaign.
Cup exits at the hands of Bradford and Blackburn have intensified the pressure on Wenger at a club where success seems to be very much measured by how much silverware is being won. Unfortunately, Arsenal’s current manager isn’t winning pots anymore.
The key for the Gunners will be how to stop that man Bale. The Welshman is enjoying the purplest of patches at the moment and can be backed at 5/1 with Ladbrokes to break the deadlock in this match as he did at Upton Park on Monday.
Goals seem heavily likely considering the reverse fixture yielded seven and we rarely see a low-scoring match between Arsenal and Tottenham, especially when there is so much at stake. 5-2 Tottenham anyone?