Daily Archives: March 16, 2014
The Premier League showcased its unpredictability yet again with Aston Villa grabbing maximum points against the table toppers and with Manchester City getting a favorable result against Hull, the onus will be on the Gunners to secure the victory that would be absolutely vital to their title challenge as any result bar a victory would make the Gunners lose further ground on the leading pack.
Both teams didn’t fare too well in Europe with the Gunners earning a creditable draw in Germany but the damage done in the first league was more than enough to send them packing from the Champions League in the Round of 16 for the fourth season in a row. Tottenham on the hand, were gazumped by SL Benfica and it seems very likely that they would be beaten in the home of the Champions League final when both sides clash again.
Arsenal’s form in White Hart Lane is rather disappointing with the Gunners failing to win in their last five encounters (W0 D2 L3) on this ground. Funnily enough, Tottenham has gotten the upper hand in this fixture at home and last season, two quickfire goals from Gareth Bale and Aaron Lennon were enough to hand Spurs victory.
However, Tottenham’s last result in the Premier League was a 4-0 trouncing in the hands of Chelsea in a game marred by school boy defending. Jan Vertonghen and Sandro were culpable for horrendous mistakes in the game and the Gunners would be hoping for more of the same, I guess. Tottenham have suffered four defeats in their last six outings in all competitions, will also be aware that the likes of Manchester United and Everton sit within touching distance just below them and harbour ambitions of snatching continental football for next season.
For those interested in stats, Tottenham have kept four clean sheets in their last five Premier League games at White Hart Lane. One goal in this game will see it become the joint-highest scoring fixture in Premier League history, level with Liverpool vs Newcastle (126 goals). Emmanuel Adebayor is the highest scorer in the history of North-London derbies with eight for Arsenal and two for that lot down the Lane.
To injuries, there would be doubts of the fitness of Kyle Walker (groin), Moussa Dembele (hamstring) and Emmanuel Adebayor (ankle) but they’d be odds on to face late fitness tests ahead of such a crucial encounter. However, Tottenham will be without the services of Vlad Chiriches, Erik Lamela, Etienne Capoue and most recently, Michael Dawson. At Arsenal, the usual suspects, Abou Diaby (Diabytes), Aaron Ramsey (thigh), Jack Wilshere (foot) and Theo Walcott (knee) will be joined by Mesut Ozil (hamstring).
My expected lineups will be,
With Kieran Gibbs and Nacho Monreal still having difficulties staying fit, Thomas Vermaelen can be given another chance to deputize in their stead. This would be a fixture the Verm would want to put up a good show because it was after a horrible performance in the North London Derby he lost his place to Laurent Koscielny and the French defender never looked back.
The Ox put up a great shift through the middle against Bayern Munich but I suspect that the manager would opt for the Mikel Arteta – Mathieu Flamini combo to offer more protection to the back line. This ultimately means that Lukas Podolski would miss out as I see the Ox, Santi Cazorla and Tomas Rosicky playing behind Olivier Giroud.
This would be an epic encounter. Enjoy the game wherever you are.
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