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Tottenham vs Arsenal – Match Preview

Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech will miss his first league game of the season after suffering a groin injury as he went up for a corner against Swansea.

Cech will be replaced in goal by David Ospina. Laurent Koscielny has a damaged calf and has also been ruled out.

Tottenham head coach Mauricio Pochettino hopes Mousa Dembele will be available after missing the last two games with a groin injury.

Dele Alli could start after he was only used as a substitute against West Ham.

Editor’s Note: Here we are, match day of what some are saying is the biggest North London Derby ever. It could have been even bigger if both sides held the top two spots in the Premier League but even though Arsenal now find themselves currently in 3rd it doesn’t take anything away from the huge magnitude of this game.

It was unlucky Number 7 for Tottenham on Wednesday as they were outclassed and outfought by West Ham at Upton Park. A rare off day for Mauricio Pochettino’s side it must be said but as frustrating as the missed opportunity that not going top on Wednesday evening was it’s certainly not all doom and gloom.

It was a case of damage limitation as Arsenal ended up throwing away a lead at home to Swansea and were dealt their second defeat in the space of three days. That means in the grand scheme of things nothing has really changed, bar the slight increase of a gap that Leicester have over the two sides. If it was a must win game on Tuesday then it’s still a must win game this Lunchtime.

Last time these two sides met it was a 1-1 draw back in November, a game that Spurs would probably have felt they should have won. That Afternoon people spoke of Tottenham’s naivety in that closing off the game, it’s fair to say that their victory at Manchester City a few weeks ago was a coming of age performance

If West Ham was a low for Tottenham then last Sunday at home to Swansea must have been a high, a relentless approach to the game in which they made 34 chances. Even after going behind you felt that they were still well in with a chance of winning. Danny Rose’s 77th Minute strike secured all 3 points and raised expectations all around White Hart Lane.

Expectations were also raised at The Emirates on Valentines Day after Arsenal beat Leicester. Since then they seem to have fallen out of love with winning after subsequent defeats to Manchester United and Swansea. People have accused Arsenal of bottling their biggest opportunity of winning the title in years, Today they have to make sure they aren’t out of the race for good.

It’s the same old criticism’s being levelled at Arsenal and Arsene Wenger. No backbone, lack of desire, Wenger needs to go. It’s all been written and heard before but you can bet that after losing two in a row Arsenal will be battling with everything to make sure it isn’t a third.

It’s probably easier to point out who doesn’t come in for criticism for Arsenal as of late, across all the areas of the park they have been second best. Their form has let them down at the crucial moment and it’s seemingly the end of the world for Arsenal. You must remember that they are still well in with a chance of winning the title. Such is a doom and gloom nature of a modern day Football fan.

Tottenham will be hoping that both Mousa Demeble and Dele Alli will be fit to start this Lunchtime, it’s fair to say that the side can cope without one of them but when both are missing from the centre of the pack it’s seem as if the side struggles without the drive and guile that they offer.

Arsenal will definitely be without Petr Cech due to his hamstring injury. It was a final roll of the dice situation on Wednesday night as he went up to try and snatch a late late leveller. How costly will that be in terms of not only today but the run in and how able a deputy will David Ospina be.

Ospina was in goal when Harry Kane really introduced himself to the main stage last February, his two goals saw Tottenham come from behind to win at White Hart Lane. Kane has been quiet as of late but he does seem to like scoring against Arsenal and how much would everyone connected with Spurs love him to score Today.

If Tottenham were to win they would go top for at least a couple of hours, if Arsenal win then they go level on points with their most hated rivals and pull themselves back into the title race. The title isn’t going to be won today but this result is going to have a massive bearing on where it ends up on May 15.

I’m not going to attempt a prediction, you may think that’s cowardly but I don’t want my Tottenham bias to get in the way. You can’t begin to understand how much I want them to win Today, I think they have every chance to but Arsenal are a wounded animal right now and you’d be silly to write them off.

We will have a better idea how the landscape lies after 2:30pm. If you’re a neutral then you are in for an absolute treat if you support either one of these sides then I can’t think of a nervier way to spend two hours. See you on the other side.

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