The first of five games Today in the Premier League sees us go to The Emirates and it will be Arsenal’s biggest home game of the season as they play host to their arch rivals from just up the road Tottenham Hotspur. Going into this game Arsenal have a 3 point advantage over Spurs and Mauricio Pochettino’s men really can’t afford to make it 6 by 2pm this afternoon.
And 6 is quite a prevalent for Tottenham as of late, no win in 6 across all competitions and no win in 6 at Wembley either. It was Wembley where Tottenham’s last action took place on Wednesday and in all fairness it was a night to forget as Bayer Leverkusen ran out 1-0 winners to make the white half of North London’s chances of qualifying for the Champions League Round of 16 a lot more difficult.
Difficult was the word to sum up Arsenal’s trip to Bulgaria on Tuesday when they took on Ludogorets, that said they still cleared the hurdle in Sofia and subsequently have booked their place in the knockout stage. What was a surprise was going 2-0 down but a stunning comeback was complete in the 87th minute with Mesut Ozil’s frankly audacious goal which turned the game around and gave The Gunners a 3-2 win.
Last Saturday saw Arsenal overcome a very minor blip away at Sunderland. When Jermain Defoe levelled for The Black Cats they were on the ropes but then a quick fire assault of goals from Oliver Giroud and Alexis Sanchez gave the scoreline much more comfortable as they ran out 4-1 winners.
That brace from Giroud earned him a start in Sofia with Sanchez deployed out wide and although Giroud got on the scoresheet you would have to argue that Arsenal look more of a force with the Chilean deployed at the top of the attack line. The decision for Wenger is whether or not to stick with the midweek setup or go with the setup that started against Sunderland.
For Tottenham the focus turns to matters off the pitch and their seemingly ever growing list of injuries. Belgians Toby Alderweireld and Mousa Dembele look set to miss out and their absence will no doubt be a massive blow to a side which is low on form.
But someone that will give the side a massive boost is the probable return of Harry Kane. Last season’s Golden Boot winner seems to save some of his best for this game, he has scored 4 in the last four league North London Derbies can he make it number 5 today?
Tottenham are certainly lacking a spark up front, it seems as if Heung-min Son’s flurry of goals was more the exception rather than the rule as he has now reverted to type. Kane’s understudy Vincent Janssen has found the net in the league but he is still yet to find the net from open play.
It was last Saturday in which Janssen got his first league goal of the season as he stepped up to take a spot kick at home to Leicester, unfortunately for the home side they had to make do with a frustrating draw with champions Leicester after Ahmed Musa restored parity after the break.
And it’s that run of draws which has seen Tottenham slip down to 5th in the Premier League table. That said they still have their unbeaten record intact and are still only three points off the top. A win today would see them on the same points as Arsenal.
Failure to win today and it will be the not so magnificent seven as Tottenham’s search for a first victory since the impressive victory over Manchester City continues. Many felt that the beating of Pep Guardiola’s side would kick this side on even further but unfortunately that hasn’t been the case.
While Tottenham are still searching for a first win in just over a month, Arsenal have forgotten what’s it like to lose a game. Not since that 7 goal spectacular on the opening weekend of the season where they lost 4-3 to Liverpool have they managed not to lose. That is quite the run of form going into this game.
But as we all know the form guide has a habit of being thrown out the window when it comes to this match, that said I think Arsenal’s impressive run of results as of late and the fact they have less injury concerns makes them the slight favourites.
I think both teams will score but I think Arsenal will edge this one 2-1, although I really hope I am wrong. Tottenham fans would probably take a draw what with our current run of form but you still have to go into this game with the belief that it can be won.
Let’s see the fallout come 2pm this afternoon, try to enjoy the game as I find these are incredibly nervy to watch but then again that is what makes them so exciting. See you on the other side