Tottenham vs Arsenal: Premier League match preview, likely line-ups and score prediction
With Tottenham set to finish above Arsenal for the first time since 1995, the home side go into this north London derby as the favourites for a change and will be looking to take advantage by maintaining the pressure on league leaders Chelsea as they look to steal the Premier League title from the hands of their west London rivals.
Spurs’ FA Cup semi-final defeat to Chelsea last weekend may have been a major blow to their hopes of success this season, but it was their first defeat since mid-February, which is also how far you would have to go back to their last Premier League defeat, when they were beaten by Liverpool at Anfield.
Unbeaten at White Hart Lane since last May, Mauricio Pochettino’s side will want to keep that record going for the rest of the 2016/17 season and they look likely to do so given their immediate reaction to defeat at the weekend as they beat Crystal Palace.
Arsenal go into the Sunday afternoon fixture in great form, having bounced back from their thrashing at Crystal Palace to regain confidence.
Victories over Middlesbrough and Leicester have done enough to get confidence flowing through the team as they look to attack with swagger, but the FA Cup semi-final win over Manchester City was vital for Arsene Wenger and co.
Whilst they may still not be at their best, the Gunner will not have any pressure on them as they travel to White Hart Lane for the final time in its current form, and that could play to their advantage.
Tottenham predicted starting XI Arsenal predicted starting XI
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Spurs are likely to stick with the same starting eleven which saw off Crystal Palace in midweek, with Son Heung Min likely to be unfortunate to miss out once again with Christian Eriksen and Dele Alli preferred behind Harry Kane in attack.
Arsene Wenger ditched his 3-4-3 formation for the midweek clash with Leicester but is expected to return to the set-up in an attempt to match up to Mauricio Pochettino’s shape with Tottenham. That will see Hector Bellerin and Kieran Gibbs miss out whilst Olivier Giroud and Aaron Ramsey are likely to replace Francis Coquelin and Theo Walcott.
Danny Rose could return to contention for Tottenham after three months out having rejoined the first team for training this week, though he is unlikely to go straight into the starting line-up, particularly given the recent form of Ben Davies as his replacement.
Michel Vorm is close to fitness but may not yet be ready to resume his place on the bench whilst Erik Lamela and Harry Winks have both been ruled out for the season.
The biggest doubt for Arsenal is defender Laurent Koscielny who suffered a knock against Leicester and will be hoping to shake off the knee injury in time for this weekend’s huge fixture.
Shkodran Mustafi will also be hoping to make a comeback from his thigh problem whilst striker Lucas Perez is also back in training after a similar issue and could hope to take a place on the bench. David Ospina, Santi Cazorla and Mathieu Debuchy have all been ruled out.
Match Prediction: Tottenham 2-1 Arsenal
The pressure will be huge on both sides so it could be a cagey affair, but Tottenham’s attacking prowess should be enough to see them through.
Arsenal could look to take advantage of Eric Dier on the right of a back three, but Tottenham are much stronger defensively.
Granit Xhaka will have his work cut out in midfield to keep the likes of Christian Eriksen and Dele Alli quiet but they are likely to prove decisive with their creativity.
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