The first north London derby of the season is here and both sides come into it in red hot form. We look ahead to the game with our data-powered Arsenal vs Tottenham prediction and preview.
Arsenal vs Tottenham: The Quick Hits
- Arsenal are predicted to win this game, with the Opta supercomputer giving them a 47.6% chance of victory over rivals Tottenham.
- This is the first ever Premier League north London derby with both clubs unbeaten coming into the match.
- Arsenal are looking to win three straight league games against Tottenham for the first time in over 30 years.
Fresh off the back of playing their first Champions League game in over six years, Arsenal host rivals Tottenham at the Emirates Stadium this weekend.
Both sides come into this game with unbeaten Premier League records (W4 D1), and Spurs (2nd) sit two places above Arsenal (4th) on goal difference alone. Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool are sandwiched by the two teams in third, with Manchester City out in front at the top.
Both teams’ fast starts mean this will be the first Premier League north London derby with both Arsenal and Tottenham unbeaten coming into the match. Going further back, it’s just the third NLD in league history that both clubs come into the game with an unbeaten record, and the first since 1990.
Arsenal have had the better of this clash in recent years, winning both of their league meetings last season, and the Gunners have won four out of the last five Premier League fixtures between these two sides. Mikel Arteta has a perfect 3/3 record in home league meetings against Spurs and should he win again on Sunday, he’d become just the second manager – after Terry Neill between 1977 and 1980 – to win each of his first four home north London derby matches in charge of Arsenal.
They come into this fixture on a high after comfortably breezing past PSV Eindhoven 4-0 to celebrate their Champions League return. It was notable how potent Arsenal looked playing against a team that tried to engage them high up the pitch, given that is the way Ange Postecoglu demands his teams play. Now, granted, Spurs have a higher calibre of player than PSV, but the joy that Arsenal got through central areas, particularly via the electric Martin Ødegaard, should stand them in good stead ahead of the derby.
Tottenham Hotspur had to work extremely hard for their latest win – a 2-1 success over Sheffield United last time out – as two late goals from Richarlison and Dejan Kulusevski saw them pull off the latest winning comeback in Premier League history.
Still, that late win maintained their unbeaten start to kick off the season and saw them score 2+ goals again in a Premier League game. Ange Postecoglou is now the fifth manager to see his side score 2+ goals in each of his first five matches in the competition (after Carlo Ancelotti, Pep Guardiola, Craig Shakespeare (yes!) and Maurizio Sarri). Of the previous four, only Sarri’s Chelsea failed to score at least twice in the sixth game.
We have, of course, been here before with Tottenham. Antonio Conte guided his Spurs side to an unbeaten start after five matches (W3 D2) last season, but their campaign eventually imploded and they finished eighth. But even if Spurs’ unbeaten run does come to an end here, the feeling around the club is very, very different from 12 months ago.
Bukayo Saka has been in sparkling form for Arsenal. The English winger has been involved in 18 goals in his last 18 Premier League home appearances (12 goals, six assists), either scoring (2) or assisting (1) in all three of his league games at the Emirates Stadium this season. Arsenal’s starlet grabbed a goal and an assist against PSV on Wednesday night, after setting up Leandro Trossard’s winner at Everton.
David Raya was again preferred in goal over incumbent Aaron Ramsdale in midweek. The Brentford loanee has now started Arsenal’s last two matches, and his ability with the ball at his feet – particularly his passing accuracy over long distances – gives Arsenal a different weapon in their build-up game.
Gabriel Martinelli is a doubt for this game with a hamstring strain he picked up against Everton at Goodison Park last weekend. It could hand another opportunity for Trossard to start. Earlier in the week, we made the case that the Belgian has done more than enough in his limited playing time so far to justify a starting lineup spot, and maybe the Martinelli injury opens the door for him. Thomas Partey is still a doubt.
Arsenal will be happy to see the back of Bayern Munich’s Harry Kane in this fixture – who scored 14 goals in 17 Premier League appearances against the Gunners, but they might have to deal with a revitalised Richarlison. The Brazilian’s cameo against Sheffield United would have been very welcome to those in Tottenham’s half of north London. His equaliser was just his second ever Premier League strike for Spurs in what was his 32nd appearance. Son Heung-Min led the line from the start in that game and will probably do the same again at the weekend, but a rejuvenated Richarlison could be a damaging option off the bench.
Spurs were dealt a big blow in training this week as experienced Croatian Ivan Perisic suffered an ACL injury in non-contact training. He will now join Rodrigo Bentancur (knee), Ryan Sessegnon (hamstring), Bryan Gil (groin), and Giovani Lo Celso (quad) as those who will miss this game.
Arsenal vs Tottenham Head-to-Head
This Sunday will be the 194th north London derby in history. Arsenal lead the bragging rights overall (81-51-61).
They’ve also had the better of this fixture in recent memory. After winning both of their league meetings against Spurs last season, the Gunners are looking to win three straight league games against their north London rivals for the first time in over 30 years (five in a row between 1987-89).
The fact this game takes place at the Emirates should give Arsenal fans even more confidence. Remarkably, Tottenham have won just one of their last 30 Premier League away games against Arsenal (D11 L18), and are winless in 12 (D4 L8) since a 3-2 victory in November 2010.
So far the only blemish on Arsenal’s start to the season has been a frustrating 2-2 draw at home to Fulham, a game that they really ought to have won based on the quality of chances they created. Still, with wins over Nottingham Forest, Crystal Palace, Manchester United and Everton, they are unbeaten to start the season and sit just two points behind leaders Manchester City.
Wednesday night gave Mikel Arteta his first taste of Champions League action, and the games come thick and fast for the Gunners. They’re scheduled to play five in just two weeks across three different competitions before the international break. It’s a congested spell that ends in a Premier League showdown against Man City.
With 13 points through five matches, Spurs are off to their best start in Premier League history. To put that achievement into context, it’s their best points return after five games since 1965-66 (also 13), and they’ve only had a better start to a top-flight campaign once in their history, back in 1960-61, when they started with five wins from five.
Opta Power Rankings
The Opta Power Rankings are a global team ranking system that assigns an ability score to over 13,000 domestic football teams on a scale between zero and 100, where zero is the worst-ranked team in the world and 100 is the best team in the world.
Ahead of kick-off this weekend, here is the Opta Power Ranking for both sides.
Arsenal vs Tottenham Prediction
The Opta supercomputer is predicting an Arsenal win in this match, giving them a 47.6% of doing so at the weekend. Historically, home advantage has been crucial in this fixture and given Spurs’ terrible away record at the Emirates, the 25.7% they’re given for taking all three points might appear generous. But it’s a new era at Tottenham and now might be time to finally shift that narrative. A draw has a 26.7% likelihood.
Looking at the latest Opta supercomputer predictions for the 2023-24 Premier League season, Arsenal win the title in just 2.0% of the 10,000 simulations. That makes them the model’s third favourites, behind Man City (91.1%) and Liverpool (6.6%). Tottenham win the league in just 0.1% of the simulations.
Qualifying for a UEFA Champions League spot is far more likely for the Gunners (82.0%) while Spurs qualify in 31.4% of simulations.