Arsenal vs Tottenham: Match preview and predicted line-ups
You have to go back to 2014 to find the last time that Arsenal were victorious in a North London derby in the Premier League, and with the Gunners already three points ahead in the league standings, they will be the favourites at the Emirates as Arsene Wenger looks to secure a victory after going without a win in the last four league clashes between the teams, dating back to before the appointment of Mauricio Pochettino as Tottenham manager. After Arsenal pipped Spurs to the post to finish second on the final day of last season, fans are desperate to regain some bragging rights and will be desperate to upset the odds away from home come Sunday lunchtime.
Wenger’s team have not fallen to defeat since losing to Liverpool on the opening day, with impressive victories over a number of impressive Premier League sides such as Southampton and Chelsea. After drawing a blank against Middlesbrough, the Gunners have followed it up with a convincing EFL Cup victory over Reading, a demolition job of Sunderland and a memorable comeback against Ludogorets in the Champions League in midweek as the Gunners made it nine games in which they have scored three or more goals of the 16 played so far this season.
Spurs’ form is the polar opposite as their run without a win now stretches to six games with defeat at Wembley at the hands of Bayer Leverkusen, making Champions League qualification a difficult task with two games to play. Draws against Leicester, Bournemouth and West Brom have done little to inspire and Pochettino’s men have not scored from open play in 451 minutes of action, so they may struggle at the Emirates on Sunday.
Arsenal predicted starting XI Tottenham predicted starting XI
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After rotating in midweek for the trip to Ludogorets in midweek, Wenger is expected to return to a line-up similar to that which thrashed Sunderland, with Theo Walcott and Granit Xhaka likely to come in to replace Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Mohammed Elneny. Olivier Giroud will be in contention given he has scored three goals in two games over the last week, but Wenger is unlikely to change the set up which has seen Alexis Sanchez start as the central striker.
The only changes likely for Spurs from their midweek defeat to Bayer Leverkusen will see Premier League regular Danny Rose return in place of Ben Davies at left back with Erik Lamela replacing the suspended Moussa Sissoko. Son Heung Min is likely to be given the nod ahead of the misfiring Vincent Janssen once again with Lamela likely to benefit and earn a place in the starting eleven for the first time since after three games on the sidelines.
Suspensions and Injuries
The Gooners are likely to be without Santi Cazorla and Nacho Monreal as the pair of Spaniards try to overcome Achilles and muscle injuries respectively but are struggling to win the race against time to be fit for Sunday’s fixture. There are also doubts over the availability of Theo Walcott, who was rested amid injury concerns for the midweek tie against Ludogorets, sparking fresh speculation that he could be left out again for the derby but it seems unlikely that Wenger will leave out his in form attacker. Long term injuries will see Per Mertesacker, Danny Welbeck, Yaya Sanogo, Lucas Perez and Chuba Akpom all watching on from the stands.
For Tottenham, there is good news in that Harry Kane may be available to Mauricio Pochettino having returned to full training after suffering an ankle injury. The England striker may not start the game but could be a useful impact sub for Spurs who have not scored more than once in their last six matches. There were also hopes that Toby Alderweireld could return, but the Belgian is unlikely to have recovered in time for the clash. Moussa Sissoko is suspended after picking up his fifth yellow card of the season in the draw against Leicester
This one will be tight, with there likely to be little between the teams. However, Tottenham are far from their best and are missing some key players, which may mean that the Gunners can make the most of home advantage to secure an Arsenal win.
Featured Image: All rights reserved by Emrah Partal.
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