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In The Mixer: Experts predict the winner of North London's bragging rights
Alex Wrigley
Alex Wrigley
January 11, 2022
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Content Editor at Free Super Tips, Alex was born in the shadow of Old Trafford and is an avid Man Utd fan. After graduating from university he combined his love of football, writing and betting to join FST and now closely follows goings-on in all of the top European leagues.

In The Mixer is FST’s weekly column where we catch up with seven experts in football betting and get their opinion on the hot topic of the week.

Arsenal and Tottenham look to be on the rise again after a difficult few seasons and while any hope of a Premier League title challenge is long gone there is still plenty to play for, namely a top four spot and the all-important North London bragging rights.

Here, experts from FST, Racing Post and ICS discuss who they think will win the battle of North London this season.

Experts back Gunners to edge battle

Alex Wrigley

Editor and sports journalist at Free Super Tips

Antonio Conte has a habit of succeeding wherever he goes but he has admitted there is a lot of work to do at Tottenham and I fancy Arsenal to enjoy the North London bragging rights this season.

The Gunners have turned a corner since their awful start to the campaign, ending 2021 with five consecutive wins before an unlucky loss to Manchester City on New Year’s Day. They look one of the form sides in the Premier League, while Spurs have shown their vulnerabilities lately with their Carabao Cup defeat at Stamford Bridge and a draw away to Southampton.

Henry Hardwicke

Sports journalist at Racing Post

It’s likely to be close but Arsenal may just edge it. The Gunners’ performance in defeat against Man City on New Year’s Day was one of the strongest we have seen for some time and Mikel Arteta’s side had won four league games on the spin prior to that reversal.

The Gunners have scored 20 goals in their last eight Premier League matches and they may look to carry slightly more goal threat than Tottenham. Clearly, Spurs have improved under Antonio Conte, but they aren’t convincing in the central midfield area and their away form could hamper them. Tottenham have only managed three wins on the road all season and two of those came against relegation-threatened Newcastle and Watford.

James Milton

Sports journalist at Racing Post

It’s going to be tight but Arsenal are progressing nicely, impressing in their recent defeat to Manchester City, and they have been racking up points against the weaker teams in the division.

Mikel Arteta’s men have won eight of their nine games against clubs in the bottom eight this term and if they can maintain that ruthlessness then they should edge the north London season match bet.

Spurs have also been reliable favourites this term, winning all six of their home matches against bottom-half teams, but their away form is patchy, which is a concern given that they face trips to Manchester City, Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United before the end of the campaign.

Liam Flin

Sports journalist at Racing Post

I will go with Arsenal but it could well come down to how well each club recruits in the January transfer window. Spurs need support for Harry Kane in the final third – 23 goals in 18 league fixtures is not good enough, even for an Antonio Conte side. The Gunners, meanwhile, need to think about who could replace Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who looks likely to depart.

Dusan Vlahovic has been linked with both teams and if either capture the Serie A marksman, they will finish higher.

For now, though, everything seems to be coming together for a young Arsenal side, who deserved more from a strong performance against Man City and look capable of landing a prestigious top-four berth.

James Mason

Sports journalist at ICS

The January business these clubs conduct could have a major say on deciding who has the bragging rights come the end of the season, but I think Arsenal may just have the edge over Tottenham Hotspur.

After a poor start to the campaign, Mikel Arteta has turned things around at the Emirates and they were unlucky to lose to Manchester City in their last league game, a defeat that ended the Gunners’ five-game winning streak. Arsenal are playing with a new-found confidence since stripping Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of the captaincy and subsequently dropping him from the squad, and bringing in a new striker to replace the Gabon international in January could really help the club move on.

Spurs may be picking up results under Antonio Conte but I still don’t feel they are playing with great fluency under the Italian, who has a big rebuild on his hands with a squad that is lacking in defence and midfield. Tottenham’s away form has also been suspect this season and the fact they still have to travel to Liverpool, Leicester, Chelsea and both Manchester clubs is a real worry for them.

Conte’s Spurs could turn it around

Aaron Rogan

Sports journalist at Free Super Tips

Arsenal may have the upper hand for now, but Tottenham have a better squad, more experience and a better manager than their neighbours. Unlike their local rivals, Spurs did have to balance the Premier League with European commitments, but Arsenal won’t have that edge in the coming months.

While Antonio Conte bemoaning his squad might suggest Arsenal have an edge, that’s just standard transfer window behaviour for one of the most demanding men in football. He will relentlessly push for signings, even walking away from Juve and Inter when they wouldn’t back him. However, it’s still a bit early for Conte to storm off at Spurs and even without January additions they’re still stronger than Arsenal.

Ian Wilkerson

Sports journalist at Racing Post

If you asked this question every two weeks for the remainder of the season, minds would be changed on a regular basis and at times it seems a discussion akin to two bald men fighting over a comb.

The future looks quite bright at Arsenal and there seems to be a philosophical approach under MIkel Arteta, although whether this is due to great savvy management or the emergence of a fine crop of youngsters is a matter of debate.

It is not surprising that many people fancy them to finish above Spurs, but we are still in the early stages of Antonio Conte’s reign and there is still scope for Tottenham to go on a decent run and their league form has improved even if poor cup performances against Mura and Chelsea have attracted the wrong headlines.

I just get the feeling that eventually things will click for Conte, so I’ll chance they will finish above Arsenal, but there won’t be much in it and I wouldn’t be confident enough to back such an eventuality with my own money.

Bobbie Jackson

Sports journalist at ICS

Arsenal haven’t finished above north London rivals Tottenham since 2015-16 and they may have to wait a little longer to correct that record.

There has been a major improvement at the Emirates this season as Mikel Arteta’s project finally seems to be moving in the right direction but Spurs still appear to be further down the line.

Antonio Conte is yet to lose in the league since replacing Nuno Espirito Santo, claiming 18 points from a possible 24 to take Tottenham up to sixth and just two points shy of the Gunners with two games in hand.

During the time that Conte has been at the helm, Arsenal have picked up the same amount of points but they’ve played an extra two fixtures.

It’s also worth noting that Spurs have earned five clean sheets under Conte – compared to just three in 10 games with Nuno in charge – and that solid defensive foundation could prove to be the difference.

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