|Gabriel and Ben White are yet to concede when they play together, is that about to change with Harry Kane in town? (Photo credit: Premierleague.com)|
Arsenal vs Tottenham HotspurEmirates Stadium4:30pm
The land is not the same anymore, healing from the scourge of the deadly virus that ravaged the world, the silence in stadiums over one and half seasons and then the return of the noise, the 12th man as we all know it, but for one fixture that doesn’t respect form or history, it’s the North London Derby.
Let’s take it back a fortnight, Spurs were top of the table, three wins in three and Nuno Espirito Santo couldn’t have wished for a better start to his Tottenham career, at the same time it was the opposite at Arsenal, three games, three losses and not a single goal scored, today, there maybe nothing between them if Arsenal best Spurs at the Emirates.
Arsenal fans wouldn’t be deluded to think their team is good enough for the title charge but they can celebrate little wins and a win over Spurs at this stage will mean a significant progress, one they really couldn’t measure with wins over Norwich and Burnley.
What is wrong at Tottenham? Over-reliance on Harry Kane will always catch up but are they really going to challenge with the Portuguese in charge? The signs were always there even when they were winning, you can defend to victory, but can you really defend your way to the title?
What has changed at Arsenal? Nothing beyond the fact that they have won four times on the bounce and that has changed the mood, none of the teams they beat represent their class but the wins came at a time they needed confidence, but here’s the real test to their resurgence.
Both teams enjoyed joy over the other last season, both winning on their respective home ground, but does that mean Arsenal can be hopeful of a win in this fixture? Does any of the sides hold any advantage over the other in this particular instalment of the North London Derby?
Harry Kane is a major factor, he has 11 goals in 15 derby games between the two, he comes alive on days like this, yet to spark this season and even went a whole game without a single touch in the opposition box, that was against Crystal Palace, is today the day?
Spurs might be able to call on Lucas Moura if he’s available, he suffered ankle problems in the UEFA Conference league game against Rennes a fortnight ago, his energy will be useful for the visitors on the counter.
Arsenal is expected to retain Aaron Ramsdale in goal and there might be a return for Granit Xhaka who was out serving his ban from the red card he received against Manchester United and of course, Pierre Emerick Aubameyang is expected to return upfront.
It will be best for Spurs to attack Arsenal and try to exploit their defensive weaknesses, while Arsenal will also test their visitors with attacks down the flank, it will be fun on Sunday.