Patrice Evra explains his prediction for Tottenham v Arsenal
Patrice Evra explains why he's tipping Arsenal to continue their title march with a victory at Tottenham on Sunday
Patrice Evra is tipping Arsenal to continue their bid for the Premier League title with a 3-1 win away to Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday.
The Gunners are currently leading the way at the top of the table but could find their advantage cut down to two points by the time they kick off in north London this weekend.
Second-placed Manchester City have the chance to close the gap down to two points with a victory from their own derby showdown against Manchester United on Saturday lunchtime.
Arsenal have been in solid form lately but they will be keen to bounce back from having dropped points in their goalless draw with Newcastle United earlier in the month.
Spurs are currently 11 points behind their bitter local rivals having also played a game more than the Gunners, and Antonio Conte’s men start the weekend in fifth place in the table, having only won two of their last five games in the top flight.
Former Manchester United defender Evra feels that Arsenal are genuine title contenders this season and he is backing them to claim an important win away to Spurs this weekend.
Writing in his column for Betfair, Evra said: “I remember when Arsenal were going for the top four, they got beat by Newcastle and after that they had a chance to still get there when they played Tottenham. It was an amazing game and they started so well, but they conceded that penalty, which wasn’t a penalty, and after that I saw the Arsenal players giving up.
“I don’t think this is the same side at all now, this is a side that believes they are going to win the title. If I was Arteta, I’d be telling my side to believe that they are champions. You have to believe that you are going to win the league.
“Against Tottenham, their enemies, they have to think like that. They should beat Tottenham, I don’t see why they can’t win. It’s a derby, anything can happen, the wrong decision and injustice, but I just don’t see why they can’t win.
“They have to be careful of Tottenham because Conte and the players are really hurt. It’s going to be a big game but when you look at what’s going on with both sides at the moment you have to give credit to Arsenal.
“They have to win every game if they want to win the title, and they can. I believe Arsenal can win the title, when I see their fans they are all scared and don’t want me to say it, but the way they are playing, there’s isn’t another team that’s playing better football and being dominant right now. They aren’t afraid and they aren’t kids anymore.”
Former Chelsea FC striker Chris Sutton also feels that Arsenal will make a statement in the title race by claiming a victory at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium this weekend.
The 49-year-old is backing Arsenal to claim a dominant 3-0 victory in Sunday’s north London derby clash and continue their impressive form in the top flight this season.
“I am looking forward to this game and it will be interesting enough just to watch the technical areas when Antonio Conte and Mikel Arteta are both out there,” Sutton wrote in his column for BBC Sport.
“I don’t think Conte will appreciate Arteta’s antics if he behaves like he did in Arsenal’s draw with Newcastle, so that will be worth keeping an eye on.
“On the pitch, it might be far less of a contest. Arsenal are a much better team, and for most of the season Tottenham’s performances have just not been good enough.
“Spurs might step things up here, of course, because it means so much to both sets of fans that they won’t be able to just lie down – but I’ve had enough of saying they will turn the corner soon, and I’m sick of Conte’s excuses when they play poorly. They don’t deserve me to predict a positive result for them.
“I think a lot of Tottenham fans are sick and tired of Conte’s brand of football too – they are bland and unexciting, while Arsenal are the complete opposite, even with Gabriel Jesus out injured.
“I can see the Gunners making a big statement on Sunday, on Tottenham’s own patch.”
Former Arsenal midfielder Paul Merson, however, feels that the game is likely to end all square, and is predicting a 2-2 draw in north London.
“Harry Kane causes Arsenal problems, and Arsenal cause Tottenham problems,” Merson told Sportskeeda. “If Tottenham want to play defensively, Arsenal will run out of ideas quickly like they did against Newcastle.
“If Tottenham play a dangerous game, however, Arsenal could run riot. I don’t see this game as a foregone conclusion – I hope Arsenal wipe the floor with Tottenham, but I don’t think they will.”