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Tottenham v Arsenal: Find out three value players you should be backing to open the scoring

We're hoping for a goal-fest in the North London Derby and here are our three tentative fancies to find the onion bag first

by Josh Powell | March 14, 2014

Tottenham face Arsenal in a North-London Derby on Sunday that should give your weekend that extra bit of spice. Just one of the last 37 games between these two sides has ended 0-0 which fills us with confidence that this Super Sunday could live up to the hyperbolic, exaggerated slow-motion montages that will inevitably accompany it.

So at the risk of jinxing the game and turning it into a mind-numbing 90 minutes of negative football and tentative football, we’ve picked out three players who are decent prices to open the scoring. The other handy thing is that if you fancy one of these lads, or any player in fact, to score but aren’t quite sure if they’re the type of unstoppable go-getter that breaks deadlocks, you can always back them each way. How super.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain: 10/1 to score first

The Ox is likely to line up on the right hand-side on Arsenal’s attacking trio in their 4-2-3-1 formation and that means he’ll be facing Tottenham’s Jan Vertonghen. The Belgian defender has made two errors directly leading to goals in big games – in the 6-0 hammering by Man City in November and the 4-0 beating by Chelsea last week. Although there are defenders who have made more brain-farts (Sebastian Bassong, I’m looking at you, pal) none of them have directly led to goals.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

To emphasise the point, Spurs have conceded 37 goals in the league this season, and 62 per cent of them have been scored from the right-hand side. Now we’re not blaming Vertonghen for all of those goals, we’re not that mean, but it is clearly a weak area for the Gunners’ back line.

The Ox has started just two games this season but bagged a brace in one of them against Crystal Palace. Mesut Ozil’s injury could open the door for the Oxlade-Chamberlain to get a rare place in the starting XI which is great if you fancy backing him to score or if he’s in your Fantasy Football side.

Emmanuel Adebayor: 6/1 to score first

It has been more than a month since Adebayor found the back of the onion bag in the Premier League but he is an appealing price for a Spurs side that has failed to score just once in their last 12 home games.

Since Tim Sherwood and his fashionable gillet took the reigns at White Hart Lane, Adebayor has exploded into form with eight goals in his last 13 games. The striker has a 70 per cent shot accuracy rate and converts 40 per cent of the chances handed up to him. Since leaving Arsenal, Adebayor has played against his old side eight times and bagged three goals so will fancy his chances of adding further misery to Arsene Wenger’s title challenge.

Per Mertesacker celebrates

Per Mertesacker: 25/1 to score first

Incredibly there are just six players in the Arsenal squad who have had more attempts on goal than Per Mertesacker. The BFG has had 16 attempts this year, which is just four less than ‘England’s Savior’ Jack Wilshere. Unfortunately Mertesacker boasts just a 37 per cent record for accuracy and an even more dismal 14 per cent conversion rate, however at the price he could be value.

This year Spurs have won just 46 per cent of aerial duals – with just six teams in the league posting a worse rate. Mertesacker himself has won 69 per cent of headers he has gone up for, and has two goals in his last three games against Tottenham. It’s a long-shot but the Gunners have had 16 corners in their last three games and Mertesacker’s aggression in the air could be the difference.

  • Get on the punting scoresheet this weekend by checking out the latest Tottenham v Arsenal odds here: Desktop | Mobile

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