The North London Derby is upon us, and recent results make this one perhaps even tastier than usual.
tottenham have lost their last two games, relinquishing what was a ten point lead, converting it into a four point lead. A lead that could be whittled down to a solitary point with victory at Wembley.
This is something we have done once in five games.
We are well overdue a win at the ‘home’ of our hated neighbours, but it will be far from easy. They have been above us for the majority of the season for a reason - they have maintained consistency a little better than us, and have recently squeezed out results without their best players and while far from their best.
Like it or not, Harry Kane and Dele Alli represent danger for us and now that Kane is back in the side, our defence will have to summon their best if they are to snuff him out.
We will have to press effectively, link midfield to attack quickly and above all else, maintain concentration.
So, who can we call upon in our hour of need?
Our injury list is in rude health. Aside from the three players out for the long term - Hector Bellerin, Danny Welbeck and Rob Holding - we have a full bill of health.
Laurent Koscielny limped out of our last match - the 5-1 win over Bournemouth - but he will be fit and raring to go in this match. Shkodran Mustafi would have most likely filled in, and the German has been in a decent spot of form recently.
In midfield, Granit Xhaka and Lucas Torreira’s budding partnership will most likely see them take the midfield spots, and if Emery opts for three in the centre, expect Matteo Guendouzi to take to the field.
In attack, Alexandre Lacazette has been in fine form, and he didn’t start our last game, so if Emery goes for one up top, then Laca looks like getting the nod. Perhaps though, Emery could throw caution to the wind and put Aubameyang in the lineup. It normally yields results, and the best form of defence is attack.
The question on everyone’s lips though, is will Ozil start? The German started against the Cherries and he was instrumental in our performance. Emery could drop him in favour of rotation, but another player will most likely keep his place. Henrikh Mkhitaryan is finally showing us the player we knew from his time at Dortmund, and could give us the edge.
Player to Watch
The Dane is capable of spinning a game on its head with a moment of brilliance. The playmaker can shoot from range and could catch out Leno, so must be closed down quickly. He is also handy at a long pass or one over the top.
In short, Eriksen must be neutralised. A job for Torreira?
How Will this Go?
I’ve no idea how this will go, only how it could go if we apply ourselves - or a worst case scenario should we fail to turn up.
If we recreate the performance in the first NLD of the season, we have this in the bag. We pressed well and took our chances, and snuffed out their dangermen with impeccable midfield play. We will need the same again.
If we have one of those games where we sit back and wait for the game to come to us, tottenham could get back to winning ways quite easily.
The pressure will be on them though, make no mistake. With two losses on the bounce, the supposed title charge dead before it began and their manager renouncing any sort of title chance for the next 5-10 years, tottenham are on a cliff, and we have the chance to pish them over the edge.
Unai Emery mentioned the word ‘intensity’ about 80 times in his last press conference, but he has a fair point. If we manage to fight for every ball and give our all, we can get the points.
Fingers crossed, and Up The Arsenal!
Predicted Linuep - Leno, Maitland-Niles, Koscielny, Sokratis, Kolasinac, Torreira, Xhaka, Mkhitaryan, Ramsey, Aubameyang, Lacazette
Predicted Scoreline - 2-1 to The Arsenal