EPL: Arsenal vs Tottenham Preview

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Arsenal and Tottenham go head to head on Saturday in an eagerly awaited North London derby.

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English Premier League | Saturday 18 November | Emirates Stadium | 14:30

Arsenal 27/20 | Draw 51/20 | Tottenham 37/20

Arsenal and Tottenham will settle scores at the Emirates Stadium in Saturday's early kick-off in the first north London derby of the season.

Their last encounter saw Spurs claim a 2-0 victory at White Hart Lane in April and prior to that game, the sides had cancelled each other out in their previous three meetings.

Tottenham are third in the league on 23 points, eight behind runaway leaders Manchester City, while Arsenal are sixth with 19 points.

The derby used to be about Arsenal reasserting their dominance over Spurs, but many would say this one is about trying to prove the Gunners can match them.

Arsenal

The applauds Tottenham have been getting recently haven’t sat too well with Arsenal fans. Once upon a time, Arsenal's attractive football made them the neutrals favourite, but Mauricio Pochettino's young side are now threatening to take that crown for themselves. 

Arsene Wenger’s side will be desperate to claim bragging rights over their arch rivals, but also claw back some ground in the battle for the top four. Victory over Spurs would take the Gunners to within a point of their neighbours, and reignite their bid to recover their seat at Europe's top table – the Champions League.

Wenger’s side have failed to beat Spurs in the Premier League in the past three seasons, with their last victory coming at the Lane in the 2013/2014 campaign with Tomas Rosicky scoring the game’s only goal. The Gunners did, however, beat Spurs the following season, 2-1 in the League Cup thanks to a brace from Mathieu Flamini. 

Arsenal will be happy to be playing at the Emirates Stadium where they believe they can beat any team. They’ve been superb there this season, winning all five of their matches, beating Leicester, Bournemouth, West Brom, Brighton and Swansea. Although, it’s fair to say they haven’t faced any big teams there. 

In team news, Olivier Giroud is a major doubt for Arsenal with a thigh injury picked up on international duty, while Wenger will also be sweating on the fitness of Danny Welbeck and Shkodran Mustafi.


Tottenham

Tottenham recorded a 1-0 victory over Crystal Palace at Wembley Stadium thanks to a strike from Son Heung-Min before the international break and prior to that, Spurs claimed a memorable 3-1 win there over Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League. 

Mauricio Pochettino’s side beat Arsenal 2-0 at White Hart Lane in April thanks to goals from Dele Alli and Harry Kane. Their last three trips to the Emirates Stadium have seen them leave with a point on each occasion, but they’ve failed to win there since 2010 when Arsenal blew a two-goal lead for Spurs to come back and win 3-2. 

Pochettino’s side have impressed away from home this season. They’ve won four of their five matches, having beaten Newcastle, Everton, West Ham and Huddersfield. They lost 1-0 at Manchester United in their last outing, but they were unlucky to lose that game and were missing Kane. 

Pochettino will be delighted to have Kane fit to face the Gunners. Tottenham’s No.10 has struck 13 times in 14 matches this season and has an excellent record against Arsenal, scoring six goals in five league meetings. He's never lost to the Gunners either. Against an Arsenal defence that was recently run ragged by Manchester City, Kane will be confident of adding to his tally. 

Pochettino is facing an injury crisis ahead of the derby, with a number of key players currently out of action. Toby Alderweireld looks set to miss the clash due to a hamstring injury, while Harry Winks is a major doubt and Victor Wanyama is still battling to return. Jan Vertonghen should recover in time, though goalkeeper Hugo Lloris faces a race to be fit. If Lloris isn’t passed fit, Paulo Gazzaniga, who impressed on his debut against Crystal Palace, will start in goal as Michel Vorm is also injured.

Probable line-ups:

Arsenal: 3-4-2-1
Cech; Koscielny, Mertesacker, Monreal; Bellerin, Ramsey, Xhaka, Kolasinac; Ozil, Sanchez; Lacazette

Tottenham: 3-4-2-1
Lloris; Sanchez, Vertonghen, Dier; Trippier, Dembele, Sissoko, Rose; Eriksen, Alli; Kane

Verdict: Kane to Score Anytime & Tottenham to win (28/10)
This is going to be an absolute cracker. Neither side will want to lose this match, but Spurs just look too strong right now. For years, they’ve been in Arsenal’s shadow and now they’ll want to show that’s no longer the case. Arsenal haven’t beaten Spurs in the league in the last three seasons and I’m backing Pochettino’s side to claim maximum points. Take Kane to Score Anytime & Tottenham to win at 28/10.



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