FootballPremier League

Premier League tips – Sunday, Dec 6: Kane to break North London Derby scoring record as Spurs see off Arsenal

December 2, 2020

THERE'S something different about the North London Derby this weekend. Oh yeah, that's right, absolutely everything. Spurs are scoring goals for fun, beating top sides left, right and centre while abject Arsenal are one of the toughest watches in the Premier League this season, abstaining as they currently are from creating open play chances.

Harry Kane needs one more goal to be the all-time leading scorer in North London Derbies in history, while Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang needs one more goal to… simply reach three goals this season.

Elsewhere on Sunday, West Brom looked to build on their first win last week when Crystal Palace visit the Hawthorns, Sheffield United try for the 11th week running to remember how to play football, and man of the moment Diogo Jota welcomes his old club to his new home as Liverpool take on Wolves.
 

West Brom vs Crystal Palace | Sunday December 6, 12:00
 

West Brom won their first Premier League game of 2019/20 last week, but there's very little to suggest there will be more wins to follow. The Baggies will not face an opponent as beatable as Sheffield United for a long time, that is until January's FA Cup clash with Blackpool presumably, while. Slaven Bilic's side also have the worst expected goals total (5.9) with a frankly ludicrous 43% of their goals this season coming from outside the box. There's really not much to build on there.

Crystal Palace have also been pretty poor of late, failing to score in either of their last two games as Burnley (1-0) and Newcastle (0-2) prevailed, but Wilfried Zaha's return after his Covid-enforced absence offers legitimate hope for improvement. Zaha opened the scoring the last time the sides met in the Premier League in 2018 when Palace earned a 2-0 win.

This game ought to suit Roy Hodgson down to the ground. West Brom have only managed a league-low of two goals in the second half, so it seems set up for Palace to sit in, soak up pressure, and spring the counter. It'd be a surprise if highlights of this game avoided last spot on Match of the Day, but if one counter-attack comes to fruition, Hodgson will be satisfied.

Match odds: West Brom (9/5) Draw (11/5) Crystal Palace (17/10)
Correct score: West Brom 0-1 Crystal Palace (13/2)
Tip: Match multi – Crystal Palace to win, Wilfried Zaha to score (4/1)

 

Sheff Utd vs Leicester City | Sunday December 6, 14:00
 

Sheffield United are one of only three teams in English top-flight history – after Man Utd (1930/31) and West Brom (1985/86) – to collect one or fewer points from their opening 10 games. The Blades seemed destined for a top six finish last season, more than occasionally hinting they could even break the top four, but they've now won just a single point from the last 42 available. No one is doubting the heroics Chris Wilder performed to get Sheff Utd to the Premier League, but his ability to keep them there seems highly questionable.

Leicester's 2-1 defeat at home to Fulham on Monday – a game that was over before half-time – laid bare a clear problem from Brendan Rodgers. Away from home, Leicester have won four of five games, beating Man City (2-5), Arsenal (0-1), and Leeds (1-4). At home, they've lost three of five games with West Ham (0-3), Aston Villa (0-1) and Fulham (1-2) all taking maximum points. Leicester are brilliant away from home, but currently fairly average at the King Power.

More bad news for Sheff Utd then. Leicester have nearly five times (19) the amount of league goals Sheff Utd (four) have this season. Even a below par, wasteful display should be enough to seal three points. 

Match odds: Sheff Utd (29/10) Draw (5/2) Leicester City (Evens)
Correct score: Sheff Utd 0-2 Leicester (8/1)
Tip: Leicester to win to nil (47/40)

 

Tottenham vs Arsenal | Sunday December 6, 16:30
 

Jose Mourinho was meant to bore Spurs fans with relentless focus on defensive positioning. Mikel Arteta was supposed to enrapture Arsenal fans with progressive attacking play. Like some sort of Premier League/ Freaky Friday crossover, they appear to have swapped roles. Mourinho can do no wrong just now with Harry Kane producing his best ever form, and even Eric Dier looking reasonably decent, while Arteta is going through such a bad patch you have to say the pristine blackness of his Lego hair is under threat.

After July's 2-1 win, Mourinho can become only the second Spurs manager to win both of his first two North London derbies (after Jimmy Anderson) while Arteta can become only the second Arsenal manager to lose both of his (after Bertie Mee). With Arsenal currently 14th, their lowest position ahead of a clash with their rivals since 1993, the good omens are all Spurs'. The Lilywhites are currently on the Premier League's longest unbeaten run (nine games), and their longest unbeaten run at home to Arsenal since 1968 (six games).

That's the general bad news out of the way for Arsenal, now for the more specific bad news. In 10 previous home games, across four Premier League spells, Mourinho has never lost to Arsenal. In fact, against no side in his entire career has Mourinho faced more times at home without losing. Kane, currently level with Emmanuel Adebayor and Bobby Smith on 10 goals, needs just one more goal to be the outright North London derby top goal scorer. This is really shaping up to be an absolutely awful evening for Arsenal.

Spurs probably could have pushed a bit harder for the win last week away at Chelsea, but that performance suggested Mourinho is firmly back to his 'beat your rivals at home, draw away' approach. And fair play if he is. Expect Spurs to go for the throat more this weekend – if, or rather, when they do, there is only one result on the cards.

Match odds: Tottenham (19/20) Draw (11/4) Arsenal (14/5)
Correct score: Tottenham 2-0 Arsenal (8/1)
Tip: Wincast – Harry Kane to score and Tottenham to win (21/10)

Liverpool vs Wolves | Sunday December 6, 19:15
 

Caoimhin Kelleher's fine Champions League performance and clean sheet against Ajax means he is likely to retain his place with Jurgen Klopp suggesting Alisson would miss this game with a hamstring. That should offer Liverpool some useful consistency, the kind simply never afforded by error-prone Adrian. Wolves' ability to cope without Raul Jimenez who fractured his skull at Arsenal is less assured. Jimenez has been one of the division's leading targetmen for a few years now, it's not just a replacement required, but a reshuffle.

Only three players (Alan Shearer, Les Ferdinand, Jermain Defoe) have scored in their first five Premier League games for a new club. With Diogo Jota on four, and the immutable law of the ex taken into account, 11/8 for Jota to score any time and increase that elite group of goal-scorers to four seems like a good value punt. Replacement Pedro Neto has three goals in 10 games this season, as many as he managed in 29 last year. He can be backed to find the net at 17/4.

After shipping seven goals in their first three league games, Nuno Espirito Santo's side have allowed just four in the subsequent seven, but Liverpool will put any strong defensive record in world football under threat at Anfield. Now on the second longest unbeaten home run in English football history, Liverpool have averaged 2.6 goals for, and 0.7 goals against, in those 64 unbeaten games.

The Reds have dropped more points (six) from winning positions this season than they did in the whole of 2019/20 (five), but last week's 1-1 draw with Brighton, particularly in light of the VAR controversy, should fire up Klopp's side for this one. This is not a complacent side by any means – forge ahead in this one, and I would expect them to see it out comfortably.

Match odds: Liverpool (4/9) Draw (18/5) Wolves (13/2)
Correct score: Liverpool 2-0 Wolves (13/2)
Tip: Mo Salah to score first (7/2)
 

Click here to read Premier League betting tips for Saturday December 7, 2020