The battle for North London reconvenes this lunchtime as Arsenal and Tottenham once again go head to head, Mauricio Pochettino’s men may have moved to Wembley this season but they will still look to prove the local supremacy when the two arch rivals go head to head in a few hours time.
The international break has been and gone and we are now uninterrupted between here and March of next year, the early season sparring has taken place and now it is time to land a few more powerful jabs as the race for the end of season glory continues.
Before the hiatus the two London outfits had contrasting fortunes with Arsenal being the latest team to fall short at The Etihad as Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City side ran out 3-1 winners, City were the deserved winners but it was not a game that went without controversy.
Arsene Wenger’s post match comments did him few favours as he felt that Raheem Sterling had dived in order to win a penalty, one that would eventually see Sergio Aguero slot home from the spot to put City two nil up just after the restart.
It looked as if the game was a lost cause but Alexander Lacazette came off the bench to half the deficit and give the Gunners a glimmer of hope, the fact that he has become an unwanted supersub has asked the most questions as of late and he will be wondering if he has done enough to start this lunchtime.
The fact that they were in the game was immaterial with 16 minutes remaining as Arsenal forgot one of the most simple instructions in football, that being ‘play to the whistle’ they didn’t and although the lack of offside call was perhaps questionable it did however mean that Gabriel Jesus would slot home and wrap up all three points for City.
Tottenham on the overhand had to make sure that they did not have a post Real Madrid hangover after their exploits at Wembley in the Champions League. It may have needed a half time Alka-Seltzer or two to get the players revved up again but Hueng min-Son’s solitary second half strike would be enough to see Spurs over the line.
With such big fixtures later that day it was a game that Tottenham could ill afford not to win and thankfully for them they just about passed the test that Roy Hodgson’s Palace side set them, it was always going to be a case of after the Lord Mayor’s show but thankfully this was just about a show worth seeing.
That win sees them stay third in the Premier League but they are once again level with Manchester United with both clubs doing their best to sit on the coattails of Manchester City as they currently find themselves eight points behind and knowing that the gap cannot get any bigger if they are to have any realistic title dreams this season.
For Tottenham however it is a case of the walking wounded as of late with a raft of injuries affecting the squad, Toby Alderweield will not feature until the New Year and as big a blow that is they do have sufficient defensive cover, the concern is higher up the pitch and whether the likes of Harry Kane and Dele Alli will be fit.
The general consensus is that they will be good to go against Arsenal and that will be a boost to Mauricio Pochettino as he looks to become the first team to take points off of the Gunners at The Emirates this season. It is five wins from five for Arsenal in front of their own fans but this arguably their first real home test.
As to who will come out on top, well depending on who you believe you either cannot split them or one of the clubs has become a clear favourite. Truth be told there is little to split these two sides especially on a day such as today, I never enjoy this matches. I’ll see you on the other side.
Here is what social media thinks will happen – you can still vote on the outcome
Time for some weekend scientific polls now
— Dan Tracey (@dantracey1983) November 17, 2017