Bookmakers have installed Tottenham Hotspur as the new Premier League favourites, but a frightened former Arsenal player is too blinded by hate and bias to admit it.
Sky Sports pundit Charlie Nicholas has tipped Spurs to slip up against West Ham United tonight. This is the same man who predicted Arsenal to draw with Barcelona in the Champions League.
SEE MORE: Premier League title odds: Bookmakers install Tottenham as new favourites
Now tell me that he isn’t wearing Arsenal-tinted glasses.
Nicholas is expecting that the London derby at Upton Park, where a win on their final ever visit would send Tottenham top of the table on goal difference, will end in a 2-2 draw.
He told Sky Sports: “West Ham would love nothing more than to dent Tottenham’s title aspirations and they will be greeted by a really aggressive atmosphere in east London.
“Their players thrive on these big games, as they have shown with victories at Arsenal, Manchester City and Liverpool, and then again when Chelsea came to visit.
“These are the types of matches where you really need to compete physically and while Pochettino’s side have shown they can do that, I still worry about them in the final 15 to 20 minutes of games.
“I’m expecting a lot of tension and plenty of goals and I wouldn’t be surprised to see things boil over and somebody being sent off.”
While Nicholas is spot on that a trip to West Ham is a tricky test of Tottenham’s title credentials, his reasoning for thinking that they will not win is not supported by facts.
Spurs have scored seven league goals after the 70th minute of games since the last time that they conceded in the final 20 minutes – against title rivals Leicester City in January.
That has included crucial winners against Crystal Palace, Swansea City and Manchester City, where Christian Eriksen’s late strike got Spurs believing in their title dreams.
And although West Ham do have an excellent track record in big games this season – they bottled their trip to White Hart Lane earlier this term as they were hammered 4-1.
Spurs have also won five of their last eight visits to the Boleyn Ground – drawing one and losing two – and are the form team in the Premier League with six successive victories.
Nicholas is entitled to his opinion, but it isn’t backed up with much concrete evidence, and seems to be obvious scaremongering ahead of Saturday’s huge North London derby.
The Scot, who made over 150 appearances in four years at the Gunners, is clearly worried that Arsenal’s fiercest rivals are going to pip them to a title which has been so elusive.
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