Arsenal vs Spurs is always the first two fixtures I look for the dates of when the fixture list is announced before the beginning of the season. This fixture is more than a rivalry, it is pure hatred on both sides. It is imperative that we win to keep Spurs in their rightful place, our shadow.
We trail Spurs by 4 points but we’ve been here before and it was the 5-2 mauling at The Emirates that kick started our late run of form to secure our Champions League spot.
Jermain Defoe has recovered from an ankle injury and looks set to start the game on the bench.
Clint Dempsey is out with a calf injury, and Younes Kaboul, Sandro and Tom Huddlestone are also not thought to be included within the squad.
Bacary Sagna is ruled out with a knee injury and fellow defender Kieran Gibbs is still out with a thigh injury sustained earlier in the season. Abou Diaby is hoping to have recovered from a calf injury.
Arsenal have won the last two meetings 5-2. On both occasions, Tottenham have had a man sent off.
There have been 33 goals in the last six meetings in all competitions. It’s the highest-scoring fixture in Premier League history with 121 goals.
Arsenal have not won on any of their last four league visits to White Hart Lane (D2, L2).
My prediction for the match is a 3-1 win to Arsenal if things go well. I can see Tottenham scoring, probably through Gareth ‘Bubbles’ Bale, but I believe that we have more firepower and danger in other areas than the opposition. If we stifle Bale and Dembele, then I think we will have an easier afternoon than if we allow them room to roam. The danger however is that if we foul either in a position close enough for Bubbles to aim a free-kick in then we could be in danger. I can also see Wenger starting either Diaby or Coquelin and I’d prefer the later rather than the former. Aaron Ramsey has been playing well recently & seeing as he knows Bale inside out from their time with the Welsh squad, coupled with his non stop running I think he would be a better choice than the injury prone Diaby. Coquelin could be used as he has played against Spurs before and baring the Blackburn game has looked impressive when he has started, especially against Bradford City.
Should things not go so well, I can see us still coming away with at least a point. I don’t want to focus on us not doing well so I’ll end with a charming picture of Bale and the words North London Is Red.
As always, feedback/discussions at @RyArsenal