Arsenal entertain Tottenham Hotspur in this weekend’s highly-anticipated north London derby from the Emirates Stadium. The Gunners have made an impressive beginning to the Premier League season under the guidance of Unai Emery and an unbeaten run since mid-August sees them within one point off the fourth position which assures them of Champions League football for next term.
Spurs, on the other hand, have fared better than their cross-town counterparts with a two-point advantage and they are currently occupying the third place in the standings. Mauricio Pochettino’s side have suffered injury concerns to key players during the first half of the campaign and they are still experiencing their best-ever start to a top-flight season in the Premier League era.
Two things to watch for:
Arsenal’s defensive organisation: The Gunners have impressed with their 11-match unbeaten run in the Premier League but they have been guilty of conceding a goal in the majority of those matches. With the likes of Harry Kane in the opposition ranks, the Gunners cannot afford any mistakes in and around the box and it remains to be seen whether Emery would adopt the three-man central defence which partly curbed the threat in the recent away trip to Bournemouth. Shkodran Mustafi has been one defender who has been guilty of making needless challenges within the box, and his performance could be influential towards the club securing another derby triumph over their noisy neighbours.
Tottenham’s search for an away win over Arsenal: Spurs have showcased their progress in recent years where they have produced some good performances at the Emirates, but none of those have resulted into victories. That record would undoubtedly be on the mind of both the manager and the players and it remains to be seen whether they can put sufficient pressure on their city counterparts to grab a first away win against them since 2013. Harry Kane would undoubtedly be the main man to make the difference upfront but the supply from the flanks towards him could make or break their outcome. Should Kane score on Sunday, he would equal Emmanuel Adebayor for the most goals scored in north London derbies in the Premier League era.
Image – Getty