Charlie Nicholas states his prediction for Tottenham v Arsenal
Charlie Nicholas is backing Arsenal to edge to a narrow 2-1 win against Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday
Charlie Nicholas is backing Arsenal to beat Tottenham Hotspur in the north London derby at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Arsenal will make the trip to north London looking to return to winning ways after the Gunners were held to a 1-1 draw with Leicester City on Tuesday night.
Jamie Vardy’s late goal against 10-man Arsenal denied Mikel Arteta’s side a fourth successive Premier League win to all but end their hopes of finishing in the top four.
Arsenal will need Leicester, Manchester United, Wolves and Sheffield United to drop a lot of points to manage to pull off an unlikely late bid for a top-four finish.
The Gunners have beaten Southampton, Norwich City and Wolves to find some form under Arteta and finish a difficult Premier League campaign on a positive note.
Tottenham are a point adrift of Arsenal, having won just two of their five Premier League games since the English top flight returned to action following the coronavirus pandemic.
Spurs were held to a 1-1 draw with Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium on Wednesday to heap pressure on Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho ahead of the north London derby.
Former Arsenal midfielder Nicholas is backing the Gunners to edge to a 2-1 win against Tottenham in north London on Sunday afternoon.
“This is a game where they will both look at each other and realise they have become average sides,” Nicholas told Sky Sports.
“From an Arsenal perspective, they are improving. It is slow and not overly attractive, despite playing decent going forwards.
“Tottenham are going backwards. You look at Heung-Min Son, and I may regret this, but they look to be playing as individuals. There is no team pattern, but the defence changes and they keep a clean sheet. Harry Kane should have had a penalty but Bournemouth should have had a goal.
“This is a team under Jose Mourinho which does not have any identity. It is hard work and they are grafting but it isn’t working.
“Tanguy Ndombele is coming in for bits and pieces, Giovani Lo Celso is nice and neat, and Erik Lamela has lovely ability. Harry Kane is always a goal threat against Arsenal so I would not be surprised if he scored once again.
“The back three of Arsenal looked more solid and in control, so for these improvements, alongside Granit Xhaka and Dani Ceballos, Arsenal have looked better. These two are not my favourites and they are weak defensively as a holding pair, but they have improved on the ball.
“Tottenham could raise their game, but Arsenal will be dangerous on the counter-attack. Serge Aurier makes mistakes, and Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will both play as Eddie Nketiah is suspended, but I do think Arsenal could see them off.”
Spurs are unbeaten in their last five Premier League games on the white half of north London.
Furthermore, Arsenal have only managed to keep one clean sheet in their last 10 visits to Tottenham.
While the head-to-head record may favour Tottenham, the form book looks good for Arsenal given the Gunners could win three successive away games without conceding a goal for the first time since May 2013.
Arsenal will host Premier League champions Liverpool FC at The Emirates and Tottenham will travel to Newcastle United.