Having recorded five straight wins in the Premier League, Arsenal head into the derby clash in great spirits in spite of the midweek’s heavy loss to Bayern Munich. Spurs, on the other hand, have shown plenty of improvement of late and they now hope to get revenge on their rivals for the League Cup defeat at White Hart Lane.
Inconsistency has been the main problem for Arsenal over the years as they would either start the season strongly and struggle in the second part or enjoy a poor start and very good finish to the campaign. And having been in excellent form in the opening exchanges of the new season, the Gunners are certainly hoping they will avoid a similar scenario and finally perform up to the standard throughout the Premier League campaign. The 5-1 loss to Bayern Munich is highly unlikely to destabilise the team as there aren’t too many sides that would have fared better against the Bavarians on top of their game, with five straight league wins giving the hosts plenty of reason for optimism. The Gunners were forced to deal with another injury crisis, but the results did not suffer and they remain level on points with leaders Manchester City. And it’s not as if Arsenal were grinding out wins of late, but they instead recorded four triumphs by a three-goal margin, which could spell trouble for improving Tottenham. Having also defeated Spurs on the road in the League Cup, Arsene Wenger’s charges should definitely be seen as favourites on Sunday afternoon. The manager should welcome back Laurent Koscielny from a hip injury, whereas Mikel Arteta and David Ospina could return as well. However, Hector Bellerin continues to miss out with a groin problem.
While their bitter rivals have failed in their attempts to mount a serious title challenge, Spurs have largely struggled to match their Champions League ambitions, with the team now finishing outside of the Premier League top 4 three years in a row. Tottenham did get rid of some fringe players this summer, whilst recruiting few more quality footballers and they appear to have made a slight improvement when compared to their last season showings. Star striker Harry Kane needed a while to rediscover his scoring touch, but he is now back in business, and with Christian Eriksen recovering from injury, Spurs were always going to improve on the poor start. However, it would appear that Mauricio Pochettino’s side still lack the cutting edge and character to match England’s top sides, and they could face a tough time when facing red-hot Arsenal. Even if they, too, have quality in midfield, Spurs could find it hard to dominate the proceedings with the likes of Santi Cazorla and Mesut Ozil on the other side, especially is Alexis Sanchez will be roaming the pitch and making the job even more difficult for the inexperienced Dele Ali and Eric Dier. Heeung-Min Son returned into action after a six-week injury lay-off, whereas Clinton N’Jie and Danny Rose should be back as well.
Arsenal have been thoroughly impressive in the league of late and having defeated Spurs at White Hart Lane already this season, we fully expect them to win at their Emirates as well. Tottenham have upped their game of late, but the inexperienced midfield could end up costing them a positive result.
Verdict: Home win
Best Odds: 8/11
Bookmaker: William Hill