Arsenal take on North London rivals Tottenham today at Emirates Stadium in the first Derby of the 2009-2010 season, and the betting suggests the Gunners will win. The match is live on Sky Sports 1, with kick off at 12.45pm.
Can this fixture live up to last season's classic?
The corresponding fixture ended 4-4 last season and came a matter of days after Redknapp took the job. This match represents the perfect opportunity to see just how far Spurs have come under Redknapp's leadership. In all honesty Arsenal were by far the better side last year, and should have beat Spurs convincingly.
In the above mentioned game Spurs were helped by an early wonder goal (although I would call it a goalkeeping error) by David Bentley who has hardly been seen since. They then gamely hung in there, and at the end took advantage of a calamitous final 10 minutes to claim an unlikely draw.
This year should be different, the squad is now mainly a Harry Redknapp one and is there to be judged on its performance. Robbie Keane certainly rates it as he has already stated that the Spurs bench is stronger than the Arsenal bench. A remark I would imagine has been taken out of context and remixed by journalists. Never the less, not a wise one and it would already have done a large amount of Wenger's team talk for him.
It could be said though that the Spurs squad isn't as strong as the Arsenal one is. Luka Modric is still out with a long term injury and Harry Redknapp hasn't been able to replace him. In Arsenal's case if their main ball player - Cesc Fabregas - was out they have youngsters like Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere waiting in the wings to step in.
No Luka Modric is a huge blow for Spurs
The loss of Modric has and will continue to be felt by Tottenham. Last week's match with Stoke is a perfect example were they dominated proceedings but couldn't find that bit of craft or guile to open Stoke, and surely the floodgates up.
In today's game David Bentley looks set to come back into replace the injured Aaron Lennon after Harry Redknapp stated he has impressed in training lately and looks to have got his head down. Jermain Defoe is still suspended so Peter Crouch will continue up front in his absence.
For Arsenal goalkeeper Vito Mannone is set to be replaced by Manuel Almunia. The Spaniard has now fully recovered from a chest infection. Theo Walcott, Denilson and Tomas Rosicky are still out injured but Samir Nasri is available again. He will more than likely only figure on the bench though.
Arsenal V Tottenham Betting 2009
Onto the football betting and Arsenal are a best price of 4/7 with Totesport, Stan James and Ladbrokes.
Tottenham are 11/2 with Bet365, and the draw is 3/1 with Paddy Power.
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