NORTH LONDON DERBY: ARSENAL V/S SPURS

Introduction

It isn’t every day that you see a North London Derby without the top six clubs in it. Arsenal has been less than perfect this season so far. Tottenham too has lacked a sheer something all season long. In his most recent interview, manager Arteta revealed why Arsenal has been bad. According to him, Arsenal’s worst enemy is (you guessed it) Arsenal. But the question is can Spurs prove to be a bigger enemy? An away derby win is just what Tottenham needs. This could push their place up higher but Arsenal won’t give up without a fight.

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Why Should You Be Watching?

Spurs are close to achieving something truly amazing. They could get as many wins as Arsene Wenger had with Arsenal in his campaign. The game itself should be quite exciting. While both these teams have underperformed, we know they have goals in them. Odegaard’s recent thunderous strike for the Gunners was one of many of the night. On the other hand, Bale recently got some goals to his name to get back in form. Regardless of where they are placed, a derby is always exciting. What makes it even better is both these managers have something to prove. Both these teams need a good season in their last eleven league games. This will surely drive them to win and if not, at least put up a memorable fight!

North London derby
North London derby

Build Up

Fresh from a 4-1 win over Crystal Palace, Spurs’ hopes of getting into the top four have been boosted over back to back home wins, three wins in a row, and back-to-back braces from Gareth Bale. The strike force of Son, Kane, and Bale (or BHS, as labeled by Spurs fans) is finally in full swing after a long wait. But right now, Jose Mourinho’s men sit in 7th,5 points behind 4th placed Chelsea with a game in hand, and 7 points above their rivals Arsenal, who sit in 10th after yet another disappointing campaign so far for the Gunners- who followed up their shock win over Leicester with an embarrassing draw with relegation rivals Burnley.

Team News AND Lineup

Arsenal

Arsenal currently has no injuries or suspensions. Emile Smith Rowe returning from injury in the midweek clash against Olympiacos. Mikel Arteta fielded a strong starting lineup in midweek against Olympiacos and is unlikely to make a lot of changes to that side for the game against Tottenham.

In goal, there is no looking past Bernd Leno, who will be aiming to redeem himself after a dodgy display in the Europa League clash. Kieran Tierney is a certain starter at left-back 

David Luiz has become a permanent fixture at the heart of the Arsenal defence and that is unlikely to change on Sunday. However, he could be in for a change of partners, with Pablo Mari replacing Gabriel Magalhaes, despite the Brazilian scoring a goal in midweek.

Thomas Partey is a shoo-in in the middle of the park for Arsenal. The Ghanaian’s ability to break up attacks and play precise, purposeful forward passes will come in handy for the Gunners against Tottenham. He will be supported i the middle by Granit Xhaka, who will often drop into spaces left vacant by the marauding left-back.

Martin Odegaard, who scored his first goal for Arsenal in midweek, should continue as the No. 10 while Bukayo Saka is also a surefire starter on the right. Willian has shown signs of a form of late but could make way for Nicolas Pepe, who has been on the bench in the last couple of games. Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will be the man leading the attack against Tottenham.

Leno

Tierney Chambers Luiz Mari

Partey Xhaka

Odegaard

Saka Aubamayang Willian

Mourinho (Spurs) and Arteta (Aresnal)

Tottenham

For Tottenham, however, Harry Kane is a doubt for the game after seeming to have picked up a slight knock in Spurs’ 2-0 win over Dinamo Zagreb in the Europa League, although not too much doubt over an absence for the England captain.  However, there is hope for Jose’s men, since this could be the last came that Giovani Lo Celso

Club captain Hugo Lloris mans the goal for the SPURS. Serge Aurier and Sergio Reguilon take up the full-back slots. Toby Alderweireld ought to return to the side to partner in-form Eric Dier at the heart of the defense. Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg was given a well-deserved break against Dinamo Zagreb but should return to the side on Sunday.  Tanguy Ndombele will partner with Hojbjerg and act as the ball-carrier for Tottenham.

Gareth Bale, who has been in sublime form of late, should return on the right-wing while Son Heung-min is a certain starter on the left. Dele Alli should make way for Lucas Moura in the No. 10 roles with Harry Kane spearheading the Tottenham attack against Arsenal.

Lloris

Reguilion Toby Dier Aurier

Hojbjerg Tanguy

Son Bale Moura

Kane

Players to watch

Heung Min Son

With strike partner Harry Kane a doubt for this game, the South Korean has to rely on a link up with Gareth Bale to help his side to a double over their north London rivals. He scored in N17 back in December in the first game Spurs fans could go to this season. But with the Englishman potentially out for the derby, Son will be looking for someone else to provide him with assists.

Bale and Son ( Spurs)

Gareth Bale

With the Welshman finally, in form after his summer loan from Real Madrid, he faces Arsenal for the first time since 2013. With more Premier League goals against The Gunners than against anyone else, can he add more to his tally?

Bukayo Saka

The wonderkid has been Arsenal’s brightest star in yet another poor campaign at the Emirates. But can he tear up the North London Derby?

Willian and SAKA (Arsenal )

Willian

Arsenal may not be in recent top form but Willian sure is. The ex Chelsea star had been underperforming this season but has been back on track off late. He has given 5 assists in the last 5 matches for Gunners. He is the Leading assister for Arsenal with 7 assists off lateTo make things better the Brazilian shares a rivalry to Tottenham from his blue days and will be keen to get on the sheet tonight

Conclusion

The North London Derby is one of the greatest derbies in England, Europe, and even the world. The story between these two sides dates back to 1919 When Arsenal moved north of the river. That’s over 100 years of rivalry. So many moments. Sol Campbell. 5-1 to Spurs in 2008, and Kane’s masked curler. Will this weekend see another moment of magic in North London?

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