Sunday afternoon will see the return of one of the UK’s most intense rivalries as Arsenal play host to Tottenham Hotspur in a match that could have a significant effect on both side’s efforts to finish in the top four this season.
Arsenal have adjusted to life under Unai Emery with ease, the club have reeled off an 18 game unbeaten run in all competitions and appear to have a mental strength that was lacking in the final years of Arsene Wenger’s reign. Their neighbours have had an equally impressive start to the season, and while Spurs may have come under fire for their lack of summer recruitment, they’re sitting pretty in third.
Here are all the key things you need to know as the first North London derby of the season approaches.
How To Watch
|When Is Kick Off?||Sunday 2nd December|
|What Time Is Kick Off?||14:05 (GMT)|
|Where Is it Played?||Emirates Stadium|
|TV Channel/Live Stream?||Sky Sports Main Event/Sky Sports Premier League|
Arsenal have been handed a major boost ahead of the clash with Spurs, with the news that star centre back Laurent Koscielny could feature for the Gunners for the first time since sustaining an injury in May. The Frenchman appeared for Arsenal’s Under-23 side earlier this week and appears to be close to a return. Alexandre Lacazette should also be back to full fitness after missing out against Bournemouth last week.
Spurs have had their own positive injury news this week too, with the return of Danny Rose to the match day squad in midweek and Jan Vertonghen making his first appearance since injury, the side’s depth appears to have improved. Kieran Trippier is also pushing to make an appearance, but the Arsenal game could come too soon for him.
|Arsenal||Leno; Bellerin, Mustafi, Holding, Kolasinac; Xhaka, Guendouzi; Mkhitaryan, Ozil, Aubameyang; Lacazette.|
|Tottenham||Lloris; Aurier, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Davies; Winks, Dier; Son, Alli, Eriksen; Kane.|
Head to Head Record
Despite Arsenal’s obvious dominance of this fixture in the early 2000s when Wenger’s side was at its imperious best, clashes between the Gunners and their neighbours have been relatively equal in the last four years.
In all competitions dating back to 2014, Arsenal have three wins to their name and Spurs have three, the other four matches all ended in draws, suggesting Sunday’s match could be yet another close encounter.
Arsenal’s well documented unbeaten run has seen them win eight of their previous 11 Premier League fixtures and propelled them up into Champions League contention once again.
Spurs – despite a rough patch – have looked back to their best in recent weeks, registering a statement 3-1 victory over Chelsea in which the north London clubs were utterly dominant in every area of the pitch.
Here are both sides’ last five Premier League results.
|Bournemouth 1-2 Arsenal (25/11)||Tottenham 3-1 Chelsea (24/11)|
|Arsenal 1-1 Wolves (11/11)||Crystal Palace 0-1 Tottenham (10/11)|
|Arsenal 1-1 Liverpool (3/11)||Wolves 2-3 Tottenham (3/11)|
|Crystal Palace 2-2 Arsenal (28/10)||Tottenham 0-1 Manchester City (29/10)|
|Arsenal 3-1 Leicester (22/10)||West Ham 0-1 Tottenham (20/10)|
It’s always difficult to predict games of this magnitude, players react differently to the pressures of a local derby meaning experience of this type of match is key.
Spurs have that in abundance, but will find it tough to keep out an Arsenal attack that looks to be amongst the most potent in the league. An entertaining draw looks likely.
Prediction: Arsenal 2-2 Tottenham.