It’s here. The North London Derby gives us the opportunity to remind our neighbours of their rightful place, and hopefully our resurgence this season is a tangible mark of recovery after last season.
The last two seasons has seen tottenham finish above us and upset the equilibrium of the last twenty two years of dominance over spurs. This season, with the arrival of Unai Emery, we have gone on an unbeaten run that hasn’t been seen at Arsenal for over a decade, and we can give homeless spurs a reminder that we will give them a run for their money this season for bragging rights.
It will be far from easy though. Spurs are coming off the back of a brilliant 3-1 win over previously unbeaten Chelsea, and have their main men injury-free and ready to wreak havoc. It will need every ounce of defensive regimen we can muster.
However, we are far from inferior in attack. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is joint top scorer in the league, Alexandre Lacazette is in fine form too and we will have a fresh Mesut Ozil - who can hopefully recreate his performance from last season when we came out 2-0 victors.
We have recently changed our formation, one that had no room for our German playmaker, and will Unai Emery go for the same again? Or will he go with what has worked for the majority of our unbeaten sequence, and name Ozil in the team?
Laurent Koscielny is being assessed before the game, but this match will most likely be too soon for our skipper. Nacho Monreal is also being assessed before kickoff, and Sead Kolasinac stands by to deputise for the Spaniard.
That aside, it is down to formation that will dictate selection, and perhaps the opponent.
Alex Iwobi offers more defensively than Henrikh Mkhitaryan, and with the Armenian suffering poor form, the Nigerian should be in the lineup. Will we go with our famed duo of Auba and Laca for this game? The best form of defence is attack, so Emery could go all out.
Lucas Torreira will be decisive, and if the Uruguayan terrier is at his best, he could take care of Harry Winks, Dembele and co. If Mauricio Pochettino goes for an attacking verve, then Moussa Sissokho will play, and our midfield can stifle him.
What to expect
If this game was judged on attack, then it would be tighter than tight. Unfortunately, defences are part of the team too, and this could be where we suffer.
Harry Kane, whether we like it or not, is a world-class striker that will keep us busy. Dele Alli’s runs will also take concentration, and our midfield have their part to play to stymie this.
It will be Eriksen though, that will be our biggest threat. Silly set-plays given away could be fatal to us, and any shooting room outside the box and the Dane has shown he can deliver.
For us, if we can set free Auba or Laca, we can swing this. Much will hinge on Ozil and Iwobi to pull the strings and Vertonghen and co out of shape to allow space to our frontmen. If we can do that and stay on the front foot, we’ve got this.
We also need to start better too. Spurs had the game against Chelsea won inside the first twenty minutes. If we get off on the wrong foot like we have been doing regularly, then we could be facing an uphill battle from the outset.
Make no mistake, this game can be won. If we do that, then the pundits will be forced to realise we are on the up. We just have to work bloody hard to do it.