We really do have a great chance to restore the natural order of North London.
Tottenham for the last few campaigns have finished above us. It’s been hard to swallow but they were on the up and we were feeling the rough end of Wenger’s legacy and the tough ask of installing a new regime at the club.
Now though, our next game is the latest instalment of the North London Derby and we start the game above our neighbours. A win in this game would stand us in great stead for finishing above them.
With a European place looking doubtful, this is one of the only things left to aim for in the tail-end of this season.
With Jose Mourinho at the helm of that lot? It would make it even sweeter.
Thankfully, we have enjoyed an upturn of form since the lockdown ended and we are enjoying our football, creating chances and looking half decent.
Form counts for very little in a derby game though. Arteta will know that and he will have his side set up to deal with the threat that spurs possess.
Who will Arteta name in his side? Who gives us the edge over spurs?
Our long term injured are still unavailable. We received good news about Bernd Leno, who will come back to training before the season end, but the German will still miss the rest of the season.
We appealed Eddie Nketiah’s red card inflicted in our draw with Leicester, but to no avail, so the striker will miss three games. That means an extended run in the side for Alexandre Lacazette. The French striker has previous against spurs and his hold up play could prove pivotal.
In defence, our formation has seen us use three centre-backs. That has been a constant of Shkodran Mustafi and David Luiz, with either Kieran Tierney or Sead Kolasinac alternating as the third in the centre. It has worked well and it would be surprising if this changed for this game.
In midfield, only Matteo Guendouzi will know his ultimate destination when the season ends, but this game doesn’t look likely to be when he comes in from the cold. Ditto Mesut Ozil.
Player to Watch
Giovanni Lo Celso
Tottenham haven’t been creating a lot recently. In fact, in the entirety of Bournemouth’s tenure in the PL, they have stopped just one team registering a shot on target in a match…
That was Tottenham during the week.
But one bright spot has been the form of their Argentinean midfielder, who has shown some neat touches and a little spark in midfield where at the moment – there is none.
How This Could Go
As referenced above, Tottenham aren’t exactly in poor form – but they are playing pretty badly.
A dearth of chances created, some uninspiring displays and a style that hails straight from the Mourinho playbook, circa 2006. It may restrict teams playing against them, but they are showing about as much teeth as a nursing home at lunchtime.
Mourinho however, is still pretty decent at getting his team to play in the big games. Remember when his team rarely got beaten when a top 6 rival played them? He still has that in his repertoire – and this game will still be tough.
We need this win though. We have Liverpool on the horizon and with us still outside the top5/6, every point is precious.
Like it or not, we should be disappointed if we don’t win the game. In the last couple of seasons, if we came away from that hole they called a stadium, we wouldn’t be disgusted.
This season though – with the football they play?
Our vibrant football should be too much for them to cope with.
We just need to keep our heads.
Against both City and Leicester, a decision from the ref has cost us. Against Brighton, we took our foot off the gas and got rattled.
We simply need to keep our composure.
It’s time for us to send a message – and there is none more emphatic than a win at the enemy’s ground.
Predicted Lineup – Martinez, Mustafi, Luiz, Kolasinac, Cedric, Tierney, Xhaka, Ceballos, Pepe, Aubameyang, Lacazette
Predicted Scoreline – 2-1 to The Arsenal
Have a go and predict the lineup here